If you read my first post about Rio, you know that everything leading up to us actually touching ground in Brazil was a total nightmare. Once we landed, though, everything turned around (literally, since we were suddenly in the southern hemisphere and experiencing the exact opposite weather from what we had just escaped). From the minute we saw the faces of our friends Peter and Julie waiting for us outside customs, our time in Rio was fantastic.
One of the biggest draws of Rio is, of course, the beach (or praia). Peter and Julie live near Praia Barra da Tijuca, which we walked to several times during our visit. It’s much less crowded than the other, more popular, touristy beaches like Ipanema and Copacabana, where we spent the latter half of our trip.
Relaxing on the beach was just one of the highlights of our time in Rio. Some of my other favorite spots in the city were centro, or downtown, Christ the Redeemer, and Sugarloaf. Also, here are the language basics that will help you get to all those places.