Check out The Ultimate Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro from our Brazil travel expert Corinna Stanzel.
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: “Rio Lifestyle”
Let’s start this Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro off right. Spend a day relaxing and enjoying the laid back lifestyle in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilians tend to say that by contrast, people in São Paulo live for working whereas there is a more relaxed feel in Rio and people work for living. Take an afternoon relaxing on the beach or enjoy a nice walk through some of the outlying neighborhoods. Plan your Brazil Tour Now
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Ipanema Beach
Ipanema is the chic version of Copacabana beach. Here you can enjoy a beautiful view of the mountains, The Two Brothers, while sipping fresh coconut water or ice cold mate served by the beach vendors. If you’re hungry try a tapioca crêpe with coconut and condensed milk (in portuguese: coco e leite condensado). If you’re looking for souvenir’s, there is plenty of shopping along the promenade.
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Pareo Canga Beach
You are sure to find a Brazilian Beach Pareo canga at any local shop in Rio. These are perfect for any beach day and come in various colors and patterns. The Brazilian flag is usually the most popular. Grab your canga and head to the beach to watch the sunset. This is the best way to end a day at the beach.
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Sugarloaf Park
On another marvelous day, go to Sugarloaf park and take a walk to see common marmosets and various birds. Reach the peak of the mountain by cable car to have a 360° view of the city. From here, you can see the majestic Corcovado and Cristo Redentor. If you don’t take the cable car to the top you can hike up Sugarloaf Mountain to the peak.
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Escadaria do Selarón Stairs
Climb the 250 steps to the top of Escadaria do Selarón with a Caipirinha in one hand and your camera in the other. These are Rio’s mosaic stairs, which are a great background for some souvenir photos. Try to find tiles from your country on the mosaic style stairway, I bet you will find at least one!
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Drink a Caipirinha
This is a must for any Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro. Try the famous drink of Brazil, the Caipirinha. A caipirinha is made with sugarcane rum, called Cachaca, and lime. It’s the perfect drink after a long day of sightseeing and relaxing on the sunny beach. A good spot for it is Lapa, the neighborhood which welcomes you with its bright white arches. Along the street you will find various stands selling Caipirinhas, but be careful, they can be really strong!
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Nightlife
You can’t miss Lapa and Santa Teresa, Rio’s central neighborhoods that are rich in history and art. Start your evening in Santa Teresa and eat dinner in this beautiful colonial neighborhood while enjoying Brazilian music. After dinner walk under Carioca Aqueduct (arches) and finish your evening enjoying the bustling nightlife.
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Christ the Redeemer
No Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro would be complete without including Christ the Redeemer Statue. Standing at the top of Corcovado mountain stands the 30 meters tall statue – that excludes the 8 meter pedestal he stands on. You’ll truly feel like an ant standing beneath the massive statue.
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Eat a Steak Dinner
Visit Leblon a fancy neighborhood of Rio that is home to some of the best Churrascarias, the typical Brazilian steakhouses of the city. Waiters will walk around with meat on a skewer and cut off pieces for you. Make sure you turn your little sign that is provided on the table to “Nao obrigado” if you’re stuffed. Otherwise the waiters won’t stop serving you delicious meats!
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Copacabana Beach
Stroll around one of the most famous beaches in the world and watch the surfers catch some waves. This beach is over 4km long and offers plenty of activities and water sports as well. Take a look at the various sandcastles that artists built in anticipation for the Olympics in 2016. This is the ultimate activity to include on any Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Paragliding
Apart from all the water sports on the beach like surfing or paddling boarding, you can rent bikes or go inline skating along the coast. If you are feeling adverturous head to Pedra da Gavea, the bizarre rock formation behind the Two Brothers and sign up for paragliding!
Bucket List for Rio de Janeiro: Drink at the Cachacarias
Check out the Cachacarias, small liquor houses with plenty of different liquors to taste. This is a great pit stop if you’re in Lapa or Santa Teresa. Listen to music in all the different bars and dance on the streets with locals.