Take in the View – For Free

Discussion in 'Brazil' started by NileGuide, Feb 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

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    View from Rua Almirante Alexandrina, Santa Teresa
    There’s no doubt that views over Rio are some of the most stunning cityscapes to be found anywhere in the world.
    Mountains in all manner of wierd and wonderful shapes rise out of the crashing waves of the Atlantic, sandy beaches stretch for miles, and condors swoop out of the tropical jungle that clings to the mountainsides.
    Happily for budget travelers, there are plenty of vantage points in Rio where you can enjoy these sweeping vistas without having to spend that hard-earned holiday cash.
    Number one on the free-view list is Arpoador Rock, which juts out into the ocean at the point where Copacabana meets Ipanema. The sunrise and sunset views are spectacular, and Valentines looking for a romantic setting for a picnic will find this makes the perfect spot.
    Next up in Santa Teresa. The hillside location of this boho bairro (neighborhood) makes for some dramatic views over downtown Rio and Guanabara Bay, and following the tram line along Rua Almirante Alexandrino right up to the top is well worth the effort for views over Sugar Loaf and out to sea.
    While up in Santa Teresa, pay a visit to Parque das Ruinas, a restored mansion house set in pretty gardens. Climb the steel staircase right up to the top floor for beautiful 360 degree views.
    If you don’t mind doing a little legwork, strap on some decent walking shoes and head down to Urca, where the cable car makes the ascent up Sugar Loaf mountain. Nobody’s suggesting you attempt to scale the sheer granite surface of Sugar Loaf itself, but the smaller sister peak, Morro da Urca, has some pretty fine views too, and can be reached on foot by following the marked trail. Make sure you bring plenty of water, if you want to avoid paying bumped up prices at the summit’s snack bar.
    Wherever you choose to take in the view in Rio, don’t forget your camera – pictures can’t do the views justice, but you’ll still have the folks back home green with envy.
    Picture courtesy of Lucy Bryson

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