Rio de Janiro is one of those cities that should be on everyone’s bucket list. From week-long carnival parties to tropical beach retreats, the “wonderful city” – as it’s so aptly nicknamed – has everything for a perfect exotic getaway. All Around Magazine rounds up the 5 best reasons why you have to visitt his city at least once in your lifetime.
1- Its Beaches: It’s rare to find a metropolitan area with so many nearby, if not adjacent, beaches. Leblon and Ipanema are the fanciest, but likely the most tourist-concentrated; we like Arpoador, at the eastern end of Ipanema, where a large rock juts out into the Atlantic. There is often decent surfing in this area. Praia Vermelha, at the base of Sugarloaf, is peaceful if you’re staying in the city; if wanting to get away from the urbanity, the beaches in Barra da Tijuca are lovely and quiet. Botafogo Beach is on the bay, and may make for great tanning (and views), but the water quality isn’t generally the best.
2- Tijuca Forest: Tijuca Forest is largely considered the largest urban forest in the world – it does, however, stand in dispute with the forest in Johannesburg, South Africa but is usually placed as the biggest. Either way it is an extraordinary natural environment. There are many species of birds, plants and animals living there that are not found anywhere else in the world, depending solely on the forest as their only chance of survival. Tijuca Forest also has plenty of waterfalls, hikes, and manmade attractions such as Vista Chinesa, a Chinese-style gazebo with expansive views over Lagoa and Ipanema.
3- Its Fruits: A pleasant way to spend a Sunday is to stroll around the fruit and vegetable street markets. Being a tropical and coastal city brings a unique climate for an array of exotic fruits, many that are rarely, if ever seen within Europe or America. Enjoy Rio’s healthy and active lifestyle by sampling some weird and wonderful new fruits every day during your trip.
4- Its Architecture: UNESCO has named Rio as its first World Capital of Architecture for 2020. The forum will see year-long programs that examine worldwide issues through urban planning, culture, and architecture. One could easily visit Rio for building sightseeing alone.
5- Its Music: Around 15 years ago, a raw, reverberating, lo-fi but high-energy sound made its way from Rio de Janeiro to the U.S., thanks to a mixtape produced by a DJ named Diplo (yes, that Diplo). The compilation was called “Favela on Blast” and it introduced explorative listeners to a genre known as baile funk.