Cidade Maravilhosa From Above

We are not beach people, not by any stretch of the imagination. Add to that the prohibitive rates for less than appealing hotel rooms and we almost cut Rio de Janeiro out of our vacation plans, the main focus of which was Peru and Argentina. But with connections into South America via Sao Paulo we decided to allot a couple of days to Rio to recuperate from the (26 hour) long flight, not really expecting to be wowed by the city.

And Rio de Janeiro, stole our hearts.

View from Pão de Açúcar
View of Corcovado from Pão de Açúcar

We had been warned about muggings and street crime. But we never felt unsafe anywhere. Not in the gritty side streets of Santa Teresa nor while walking through Lapa at night.  But that didn’t mean danger didn’t exist. So we followed all the usual precautions…….no bling jewellery or watches, very little cash and even a cheap spare camera in the evenings.

The beaches were grand of course. As was the Cristo Redentor. But we loved Santa Teresa, the beautiful inland neighbourhood we chose to stay in, faintly reminiscent of old Goa (a Portuguese colony in India).

As also Oscar Niemeyer’s Museu de Arte Contemporânea in Niterói, our walk through Ipanema upto Lagoa and onto Parque Lage, the Sunday feria, the food – oh the food – particularly our sensational meal in Aprazivel, the divine Caipirinhas, the Samba at Rio Scenerium, and the Bossa Nova CD’s we picked up at Toca de Vinicius.

Praia de Botafogo from Corcovado
Praia de Botafogo from Corcovado. And along with a view of the boats of the Rio Yacht Club with the Morro da Urca and Pão de Açúcar in the background

Most of all we loved the spectacular natural landscape of this beautiful city. Every vantage point, and there were many, afforded breathtaking vistas of hills and valleys and fabulous beaches juxtaposed with densely packed pockets of urban construction, that somehow blended into that undulating terrain.

Until next time…….happy travels, no matter where life takes you.

Posted by

Hi, I'm Madhu. Wanderer. Travel blogger. Story teller. Bitten late and hard by the travel bug, I am on a mission to make up for lost time.

81 thoughts on “Cidade Maravilhosa From Above

  1. Beautiful views! Glad you were able to stay a bit for a visit.
    I have not been to Rio de Janeiro, but I spent some time in Sao Paolo on business. A great city and i enjoyed my visit, but my coworkers would not let me go anywhere alone because of the high crime. A different person took me out and about the city every evening after work, and each one of them had been mugged before, many at gunpoint.
    I still would like to visit Rio someday.

  2. Madhu, your photos are just gorgeous. I’m glad you didn’t have any problems on your travels. Now you’ve got me thinking what type of camera I should take for our stroll thru Paris this summer.

  3. Beautiful photos that really capture the awe of Rio. We had a Brazilian exchange student in high school and we went to Brazil for a month to visit him after he went back home. This was a long time ago but even then it was a magical place and, like you said, the food and drinks were amazing. Yes, we were allowed to have a caipirinha or two while we were in Brazil.

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