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January 2013

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Football on Botafogo Beach, Rio de Janeiro Bookmark and Share

Our hotel was in the district of Botafogo, which is mostly a residential area. The beach is huge but less crowded and less animated than the world famous Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon.

Many people go to the beach to run, exercise and of course to play football.

Sugarloaf, seen from Botafogo Beach

Rio has several sights not to be missed, but there two landmarks that stand high: the Cristo Redentor on the Corcovado Mountain, and the Sugar Loaf.

We were quite close to both of them. From the Botafogo Beach there is a really nice view of the Sugar Loaf, and from the hotel door we could see the Christ statue of the Corcovado.

We didn’t have much time I the city so we had to choose which one to visit, and we chose the Corcovado.

The statue of Cristo Redentor on the Corcovado Hill in Rio de Janeiro

So, we went to the bus stop and waited. We met some travelers from Chile at the bus stop and talked with them for quite a long time. Their bus came after 30 minutes.

We asked 3 different persons if this was the right bus stop, and they all told us it was.

Well, we spent more than an hour at this bus stop and the bus to Corcovado didn’t came, so changed our plans and caught a bus to the Sugar Loaf instead. It was the right decision!

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The Bondinho cable car

Visiting the Sugar Loaf requires patience. There’s a long line to buy the ticket, and then another equally long queue to get into the cable car. But the wait it’s worth.

The first cable car goes to the Morro de Urca, which is 215 meters high.
The view is amazing, especially on a clear day.
There’s a heliport right there, from where scenic flights above Rio can be booked.

Some old cable cars are on display, as well as a monument to the engineers who built it or improved it.

Helicopter flight over Rio de Janeiro

From Morro de Urca, another cable car goes to the Pão de Açúcar, which is almost 400 meters high.

From here we took a short walk to the jungle and met some small monkeys.

But the best thing to do here is to enjoy the stunning view!
This city has mountains, islands, beaches and forests. It’s a very particular setting that gives Rio a unique atmosphere.

View from the Pão de Açúcar

Rio de Janeiro is known as the Cidade Maravilhosa. Every person proud enough of its own city could also say that his hometown is a marvelous city.
But the truth is that this nickname is very accurate for Rio!

You’ve certainly heard lots of good things about Rio de Janeiro.
Well, they’re all true!

Corcovado Hill seen from the Sugarloaf

This city breaths vitality and happiness, two characteristics that can be found in almost every Carioca we met.
Maybe that’s thanks to the mild climate. The location of the city, between mounts, sea and beaches, might help too.
Whatever it is, smiles were part of every conversation.

I don’t speak Portuguese and not everyone speaks English, but with this funny mix of Spanish and Portuguese called Potroñol, I could get around without a single problem.

The Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro

Well, you might also have heard a few bad things about Rio, especially concerning security.
They’re also true, but with some common sense, no problem should arise. Caution is a rule in every big city!
There’s no need to be afraid, but it’s wise to keep eyes wide open.

Local authorities have made a lot of efforts concerning security, and I never felt really unsafe in Rio.
It’s just like Colombia: don’t believe anyone that tells you that it’s unsafe to go!

Santos Dumont Runway

The runway of the Santos Dumont Airport is visible from the top of the Sugar Loaf, it’s great to see planes taking off in such a wonderful landscape.

And the next day, it was our turn. We flew to Foz Do Iguaçu and the plane flew over the Rio bay. That was unforgettable!

Our next destination was the city of Foz Do Iguaçu, near the mighty Iguaçu Falls.

Click here for Foz Do Iguaçu, or here for the Iguaçu Falls.

Gol flight departing from Rio de Janeiro

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Brazil Links:

Rio de Janeiro on Trip Advisor
Hotels in Rio de Janeiro
Cheap flights to Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro on Liligo
Compare flights to Rio de Janeiro
Lonely Planet Brazil guides
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View of the Sugarloaf and Copacabana from the plane
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< Previous: Rio de Janeiro (part 1)

< Brazil >

Next : Foz do Iguaçu >
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