Our final stop was my idea, spending New Years in Rio was too fun to resist. We spent New Years Eve on Leblon beach, which was pretty perfect. There were loads of people throwing flowers in the sea, spending time with family and friends and having a good time, but there weren’t huge crowds like in Copacabana. Also, you could see the fireworks from Copacabana and the other side of Dois Irmãos as well, maybe Barra?
It was pretty perfect, though we should have bought our own drinks, as prices were bumped up even more than normal.
We rented an Airbnb in Gavea, right next to the Botanical Gardens which are rather beautiful. Definitely worth a visit, even if it’s just for the shade of trees, and to see monkeys scampering in them, Mum even saw a toucan!
The highlight of Rio was definitely going up to Christ the Redeemer, it’s a pricey trip (70 reais per person, no half price unless you’re over 65 and Brazilian- so students go with rich relatives), but wow is the view worth it. The little train up the mountain is sweet and and its lovely going through the forests and getting little glimpses of Rio through the trees; and then when you’re up there it’s just stunning.
Other than that, we went to the Escaderia Sellaron which I loved as much as I did last time, to the Confeitaria Colombo, even in Rio’s fanciest cafe things don’t work and we couldn’t get what we wanted in typical Brazil fashion but it was beautiful.
Another different thing we did was to go to the Ilha Fiscal, the island in Guanabara Bay with an old customs house on it, unfortunately as its on the Brazilian Navy’s property you have to go on a guided tour (all in Portuguese) that takes an hour and is an utter waste of time, it is a lovely building with some cool views though.
We also took a boattrip to the Ilha de Paquetá which is an hour away from the docks in Praça XV through the Bay to a tiny island with no cars, but electric gold cart things. We were assured the water was clean, but it was an unfortunate brown colour. We had a nice meal though, and it’s the complete opposite of Rio’s hustle and bustle.
We had a great time in Rio, but it was hot! It got to 40° one day, and it was humid the whole time. Bring strong sun screen, 30 should do it, but bring 50 if you’re pale, especially if you go during summer (which is November-March ish). We were sweating the whole time. Also, make sure where you’re staying has proper airconditioning, because it cools down at night, but not that much!