alter-nativ Brésil

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Rio de Janeiro


You cannot help but succumb to the charms of the cidade maravilhosa (the marvellous city). Located along the Guanabara Bay, one of the three most beautiful bays in the world along with those of San Francisco and Hong Kong, wedged between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, Rio de Janeiro enjoys a spectacular landscape. This unique natural site teeming with morros, rocks, coves, lakes, forests, magnificent beaches, is the pride of the Cariocas (citizens of Rio).


The birthplace of bossa nova, Rio has become a cliché. If popular festivals, in particular the Carnival, have lost their spontaneity, the city still weaves its magic. You go up a street or cross a coastal road and suddenly a sublime view unfolds : the Sugar Loaf, the Ipanema, Copacabana, Leblon beaches with Corcovado looming over the landscape, Christ the Redeemer, hands aloft against the background of a blue or stormy grey sky.


You will love:


  • The Santa Teresa district: The most picturesque district of the city is set on a hillside near the Tijuca forest, near the city centre.  This is Rio das ladeiras (sloping streets): ancient little houses, narrow streets, paved alleys, artists’ studios, little restaurants, charming nooks... From here, the view over the Guanabara bay is awesome. To come here, take the tramway at largo da Carioca that passes by Arcos da Lapa. The “bondinho” (tramway) is working since 1896 and the residents are very attached to it.


  • The beaches: The constant animation of the sea front gives Rio its unique ambience of a city where one is never stressed out like in other big cities; it gives a feeling of being on a leisurely holiday. In the same cove, same beach, two names, two ambiences: Leme is more peaceful, has less people than Copacabana that has inspired so many musicians. Further on, after the Arpoador Park, are the Ipanema and Leblon beaches.


  • The confeiteria Columbo: Founded in 1894 and patronised by generations of politicians, artists and bohemians, the confeiteria (patisserie) Columbo seems frozen in time. A cake, a small piece of candy or even a coffee justify a visit to this magical place.