5 things to enhance your stay in Rio on a cruise holiday
Rio de Janeiro. Just say it. The very name sounds seductive. It conjures up the most exotic and alluring visions. The entire city is nothing less than a sultry, samba fuelled colossus, set against a spectacular bay. What isn’t to love?
But Rio is as sprawling as she is heady and exciting. She is brash, noisy, humid, and often chaotic. So if your time is tighter than a Carioca’s swimsuit, what are the must-sees in a short visit?
Guanabara Bay Cable Car Ride
You have to take the exhilarating cable car ride above Guanabara Bay to the summit of Corcovado, where the magnificent, flawless statue of Christ the Redeemer provides some shade. Check out the cruise ships and giant yachts that look like toys flung at random across a sparkling blue carpet. From here, the most famous beaches in the world look like serpentine ribbons of sand. Heady in more ways than one.
If time allows, take a sunset stroll along the legendary sprawl of Ipanema Beach, and hear that world famous song drifting through your head as the cool sea breezes seem to follow in your footprints, while the surf hits the beach like so many muffled drum rolls. Simply magical.
Try and see one of the many local samba schools, as they prepare the stupendous visual glut of incredible costumes and work at perfecting the mesmeric dance routines that explode into frenetic life at the advent of Carnival each February. While they all share incredible energy and drive, each is as individual as a human fingerprint.
A night in Leblon
If an overnight stay is part of your package, sample some nightlife ashore along the beach bars and cafes at Leblon, or the legendary Copacabana. It is probably unequalled anywhere else on earth for sheer range and vibrancy, and it goes on well past the first rays of dawn. During the day, the same wonderful, sun kissed strip is ideal for a little people watching over a coffee and a long, lazy lunch of local sea food.
New Year’s Eve firework display
If you are lucky enough to be in Rio over New Year’s Eve, savour the amazing pyrotechnic firework display that erupts above this staggering sea city at midnight. It is a sublime, simply unforgettable event, set against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty. If you are ashore at any time, be careful of the pickpockets that are adept at working the tourist haunts throughout the city.
Anywhere else you’d recommend? Leave a comment below!