Rio de Janeiro

In May 2013, we found an amazing deal on flights to Rio, so we jumped at the chance for a long weekend of R&R.

Rio de Janeiro

The last time we were in Rio was for New Years Eve in 2004.

This trip was way more chilled-out.

Luxury Link had an auction for the Copacabana Palace that included a king bed, a bottle of wine, a selection of cheeses, breakfast for two each morning, and a 4-course dinner for two at Hotel Cipriani Restaurant.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

The historic Copacabana Palace is located on Avenida Atlântica along the famous Copacabana Beach.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

There is always a lot going on along Avenida Atlântica.

Rio de Janeiro

Street performers, sand art, food vendors, soccer, volleyball, and loads of people watching.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

We stumbled on a food market a few blocks from our hotel.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

By the time we got there, the vendors were starting to breakdown their stalls for the day.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Most of the vendors still had a lot of food to sell so they handed-out samples of delicious produce hoping to reel you in.

Rio de Janeiro

They reeled me in with this fruit. I think it is called cherimoya.

Rio de Janeiro

The black seeds are like polished black rocks but the cream colored pulp is sweet, soft, and rich.

Rio de Janeiro

We bought a couple of those and a bag of strawberries to snack on in our room.

Down the road from the market we noticed a crowded indoor/outdoor restaurant, so we grabbed the first table that became available.

We ordered galeto, young rooster, from the sugestões board.

Rio de Janeiro

It may not look like much, but our lunch at El Galetto ended up being one of our favorite meals.

Rio de Janeiro

Always look for the restaurants packed with locals. They know where to go.

Our other favorite meal of the trip was at Churrascaria Palace Copacabana.

Rio de Janeiro

When eating at a churrascaria there is one very important rule to remember: avoid the filler foods!

Filler foods include everything that isn’t meat.

Rio

They will tempt you with the salad buffet, french fries, onion rings, and bread but you must stay strong.

Trust me, save all of your stomach space for the good stuff.

The rain came and went the whole weekend but we managed to do some exploring in-between the rain showers.

One day we walked Avenida Atlântica towards Leme Beach.

Rio de Janeiro

Our goal was to go to Forte do Leme and walk through the forest to the top of Morro do Leme, but the fort was closed due to the rain.

Near the fort, we saw this narrow walkway that curves around the mountain.

Rio de Janeiro

When we got to the end of the walkway, we saw several fisherman with lines in the water.

Rio de Janeiro

I think they were confused by our interest in them and their fishing spot.

Rio de Janeiro

They were looking at each other like, why would tourists visit Rio and hang out here with us?

Rio de Janeiro

One reason is there is an incredible view of Copacabana Beach from their fishing spot.

The other reason is because that is where real life was happening… and I like that kind of stuff.

Our next stop was Pão de Açúcar, Sugarloaf Mountain.

Rio de Janeiro

Sugarloaf is one of Rio’s most famous sights.

Rio de Janeiro

It’s located at the mouth of Guanabara Bay and stands 1,299 feet above the harbor.

Rio de Janeiro

Many people like to take the cable car to the top at the end of the day for stunning views of Rio at sunset.

Rio de Janeiro

Due to the cloudy skies, we decided to walk the Cláudio Coutinho Track instead.

Rio de Janeiro

The track is 2,500 meters long (round trip) and is a popular place for locals to run.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

I’m sure it is because of the lush trees on one side and crashing waves against the rocks on the other.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

We finally saw a couple of capuchin monkeys playing in the trees.

Rio de Janeiro

They are small, quick, curious, and fun to watch.

Rio de Janeiro

If you are visiting Sugarloaf Mountain, make time for a peaceful walk along the Cláudio Coutinho Track.

Rio de Janeiro

On our last day, we booked a tour with Carioca Tropical to Corcovado Hill to see Rio’s most famous icon, Christ the Redeemer.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

When we first got to the top, the statue was hidden in the clouds:

Rio de Janeiro

And we could barely see the city below.

Rio de Janeiro

But then the clouds started to move . . .

Rio de Janeiro

And everyone cheered as Cristo Redentor was revealed.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

I highly recommend booking a tour with Jane at Carioca Tropical.

She not only has a fantastic sense of humor, but she jumped through hoops (and cut in front of lines) to make sure we made it back to our hotel in time to catch our ride to the airport.

Thanks again, Jane!

Rio de Janeiro

Our long weekend in Rio was perfect.

Rio de Janeiro

A lot of rest and gorgeous walks along the world’s most famous beach was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Rio de Janeiro

Obrigado, Rio . . .

Rio de Janeiro

Tchau!

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