Rio De Janeiro, Brazil: A Place To Lose Yourself

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Every day, millions of people ponder where they'll run off to in order to escape their daily, mundane routine. Dreams of a different pace of life, new and interesting cuisine and an overall exciting atmosphere may begin to envelope their minds. Images of beautiful, exotic scenery and a change from the average day may continuously circulate and become overwhelming, consuming their thoughts throughout the day. If this sounds like you and you're seeking to satisfy these overwhelming desires, Rio De Janeiro is a wonderful place to start.

Rio De Janeiro, simply referred to as Rio by locals, is located in South America and is the former capital of Brazil. This frequently visited city is famous for its tropical climate, crystal clear blue seas, historic architecture, elaborate cultural festivities, popular beaches and much more. With all that Rio De Janeiro has to offer culturally and geographically, it's definitely the right spot to lose yourself (in a good way!).

The People

Brazil represents a true melting pot of cultures, with a fusion of Portuguese settlers, African descendants, Caribbean people and native Brazilians. This gives way to a unique culture that is truly vibrant. Brazilians by nature are very friendly people. They will have no qualms about inviting you for a drink or even to share a meal.

Brazilian people are warm and friendly
One thing you will learn quickly about Brazilians is their love of music and dance - no surprise here since they are so well known for their love of partying and just having a good time. Brazilians will wholeheartedly throw themselves into the party, and focus on the moment. The pace of life is slow and laid back, and Brazilians are proud of this. After all, you can't really enjoy the moment if you're in a hurry right?! So if you're uptight and high strung, a visit to Brazil will definitely cure that!

The Food

Rio De Janeiro is a beloved spot due to its interesting dishes, snacks and beverages.  Much of cuisine of this vibrant city is influenced by it's unique fusion of cultures. The food is delicious, simple and generally quite healthy. Brazilians understand that good food and drink play an important part in truly having a good time! Some favorites include:
Feijoada - Brazilian National Dish
The national dish of Brazil, which originated in Rio de Janerio is Feijoada - a smoked meat (usually pork and beef) and bean stew. A popular lunch time dish, Feijoada is often eaten at least twice a week (Wednesday and Saturday).
Churrasco - selection of roasted meat
Another popular meal which originated with the gauchos and has gained popularity even outside of Brazil is the Churrasco - selection of roasted meat that can include up to 10 choices (Pork, Beef, Chicken, Wild Boar etc) often served with salad, beans and/or rice.

Sopa Leao Veloso
Sopa Leão Veloso is a type of moqueca (fish stew) that is quite common in Brazil as well. It consists of shrimp, fish heads, lobster with seasonings like onion, tomato and saffron.

Quindim dessert
For dessert, Quindim is a popular treat. It is a delicious Brazilian baked dessert (custard) made with egg, coconut, butter, and sugar. It's thought to be a fusion of Portuguese and African cuisine.

The Drinks

Acai rich beverages are incredibly common in Rio and are highly praised for all the nutrients and antioxidants provided. Having a drink consisting of Acai pulp simply combined with fruit or Guarana is a popular snack. Another prominent drink in Rio De Janeiro is Guarana juice. Guarana is a dried paste produced from the seeds of Amazon plants and is used in many Brazilian drinks.  You will typically find juice bars on every corner selling an array of fruit juices like Guava, Papaya, Mango, Sweetsop and Acerola in addition to Acai and Guarana juice.
Suco (juice) bars are popular in Rio
Brazilians also enjoy Coconut water, especially during hot summer months, and no trip to Brazil would be complete without having the national cocktail - Caipirinha, made with Cachaca, lime juice, sugar and ice.

The Sights

Corcovado Mountain
Christ The Redeemer Statue and surrounding area
Corcovado is a famous mountain located in central Rio. The Statue of Christ the Redeemer, which sits atop a 2,300 ft cliff on this mountain, is one of the most popular and intriguing attractions in Rio. Just the view alone from atop this cliff is worth a million bucks but the out stretched open arms of the statue that reaches towards all corners of the city leaves a feeling that is simply priceless. It is no wonder then that this statue is among the seven wonders of the modern world.

Ipanema Beach
Ipanema Beach (Photo via
Listed as the sexiest beaches in the world by Travel Channel, Ipanema beach is a great place to people watch and just marvel at the beauty that surrounds you.

Tijuca Forest National Park
Tijuca Forest National park
The largest urban reserve in the world, Tijuca Forest National Park is a great place to become one with nature as you explore over 46 sq miles of tropical rainforest, waterfalls, creeks, and walking trails that lead to breathtaking views of the city below. The more adventurous can hike all the way up to the 3320 ft summit of Pico da Tijuca, while the less adventurous take in the sights and sounds of the 115 ft waterfall, Cascatinha de Taunay at the Alto da Boa Vista.

Copacabana Beach New Year's Celebrations
Undoubtedly one of the most well-known beaches on Earth, Copacabana is part of the southern portion of Rio. This area is often the location of grand, historical events including: various soccer World Cups, numerous concerts and festivals and most famously, it's annual, elaborate New Year's celebrations.

The New Year's Eve celebration usually consists of a crowd almost entirely dressed in white, as a symbolic way of putting your past behind you, renewing yourself and looking into the future. New Year's Eve may possibly be the best time to lose yourself, anything you hope to leave in the past and look forward to a new, promising future.

Rio De Janeiro is undeniably a desirable city to visit, explore and truly immerse yourself in your surroundings. It's no wonder Rio is one of the most popular destinations in all of Brazil for tourists. This beloved city is full of diversity, culture, history, exotic foods, expressive music, dance and year-round excitement. Go lose yourself!


Anonymous said...

I've never been to Rio, but would love to go soon! Thank you for the all the information you give in this post!

And I love the idea of juice bars selling guava and mango juice. I LOVE those! :-)

Desiree Lowe said...

Thanks for stopping by flanerie! Rio is one of those places that you have to experience. Cheers!

Gail said...

Hi Des, I'm going to Rio de Janeiro for the first time this month and I'm doing a blog so my friends and family can follow where I am. I just love your photo of Corcovado and I would love to use it as the header on my blog. Would you give me permission, please?

Desiree Lowe said...

Hi Gail,

Great to hear that you'll be visiting Rio! The photo in question isn't my personal photo but it should be ok for you to use it. Cheers!

Ricardo Schmidt said...

Hi, thanks for the info about my country. I'm a gaucho, from southern Brazil. I would like to invite you and your readers to also spend some time around south Brazil. There are gorgeous beaches, endless fields, beautiful mountains and historical cities. It's one of the places where you can feel in Europe without stepping on the old continent due to the historical and still very alive european colonization. Example, amazing tasting wines by the italians and, by the germans, the second largest oktoberfest in the world (smaller than Munich only). And, of course, south Brazil is the birthplace of churrasco (barbecue). Nothing like eating the best food directly in the source. I would also like to propose you a small correction in your post. Although it has been in the past, Rio is not Brazil's capital city. Brasília is the capital and it's located right in the middle of the country. Cheers.

Desiree Lowe said...

Thank you Ricardo! South Brazil sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I appreciate the correction and your taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! Cheers!