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Twenty Four Hours in Rio

Earlier this year I headed out to Brazil to meet our two overland trucks that arrived in Rio de Janeiro in time for the world famous Carnival.  Starting your South America trip in a city like Rio can be a little intimidating, but after 24 hours I was feeling right at home and loving it!

Rio city view from Sugarloaf Arrival at the airport and getting to my hotel was surprisingly easy, which was especially good as it was late at night.  There was a taxi booth just before entering the arrivals hall and so I booked and paid for a cab, was met in the arrivals hall, bundled into a taxi and taken to the hotel door.

Slightly jet-lagged and having some trouble adjusting from UK winter weather to the city’s sweltering heat I spent my first day on a Rio city tour.

Usually I like to explore a city myself, wander the streets and get to know my way around.  Rio is a pretty big place though and the tour was a really good introduction to the city and also gave me a chance to get to know a few other Oasis Overland travellers!

Catedral Metropolitana, St Francis statue, Rio de JaneiroWe headed off in a minivan to the city centre, first stop Catedral Metropolitana, a modern Cathedral built in the 70s and what looks like an ugly concrete structure from the outside.  Inside though is different with stunning stained-glass windows that stretch 60 metres from the top to the bottom of the building.  It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I found it impressive and l loved the statue of St. Francis of Assisi.  Not to mention it being a cool retreat from the sun!

Lapa Steps, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilOur guide gathered us up back to van and took us to the Lapa Steps, a narrow, stepped street, completely decorated in colourful tiles.  It is the creation of a Chilean artist called Jorge Selarón who began covering the steps in tiles in the 90s and continued until his death in 2013.  People from all around the world sent him tiles – we could have spent hours looking at them all!

Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio Now for the Rio sights everyone has heard of!  The van drove up and up narrow and incredibly steep roads to Corcovado peak and Christ the Redeemer.  It was pretty crowded and super-hot but to look up at this famous statue and look out over the Rio’s coastline made it worthwhile!

Sugarloaf cable car - Rio de JaneiroThe views from Sugar Loaf mountain were even more stunning and we spent our time looking out over the city, mountains and ocean, enjoying a cool breeze and taking photos of some very cute marmoset monkeys! Marmoset monkey on Sugarloaf mountain, Rio

The Rio city tour is an optional activity on our overland trips – here are a few of our trips that travel to or from Rio:

Overland Adventures which travel in our custom built overland trucks:

Quito to Rio (15 weeks) Kingdoms & Carnivals (coincides with Carnival or New Year’s Eve on Copacabana Beach!)

Quito to Quito (29 weeks) Trans South America (coincides with Carnival!)

Rio to Lima (55 days) Trans Amazon Explorer

Regional Explorers travelling on trains, buses and all kinds of local transport – all 3 trips coincide with Carnival!:

Exploratory – RIO to LIMA via LA PAZ (45 Days) – Brazil, Bolivia & Peru Explorer

Exploratory – RIO to CUSCO (37 Days) – Brazil, Bolivia & Peru Explorer

Exploratory – RIO to LA PAZ (25 Days) – Brazil & Bolivia Explorer

Posted in All Blogs, South America.

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