A South American Escape Part 2 – Rio de Janeiro

This past Spring, Joline and I embarked on what we considered a trip of a lifetime. Our jaunt took us from the Beaches of Rio, through the Jungles of Iguassu Falls, to the “Paris of South America (Buenos Aires), all the way over to Peru and the Land of the Incas. Below are some of the highlights in photos. Enjoy!

Missed a previous post?

A South American Escape Part 1 – Miami
A South American Escape Part 2 – Rio de Janeiro
A South American Escape Part 3 – Iguassu Falls/Foz Do Iguacu
A South American Escape Part 4 – Buenos Aires
A South American Escape Part 5 – Lima
A South American Escape Part 6 – Sacred Valley of the Incas
A South American Escape Part 7 – Machu Picchu
A South American Escape Part 8 – Cusco
A South American Escape Part 9 – Lima Redux…and home.



Copa Cabana Beach from the Windsor Excelsior.




Our Hotel was next to the Historic Copa Cabana Palace.



Rio from Urca Hill.



Sugar Loaf.



On top of Sugar Loaf.


We had high expectations heading to Rio and the city definitely lived up to our expectations. While we did visit the typical tourist-must-sees,like Sugar Loaf mountain, Leblon, Ipanema Beach etc, we spent most of our time off the beaten path exploring the ‘real Rio’.


Signature boardwalk at Ipanema Beach.



Fun at the Beach!



Sunset volleyball & soccer at Leblon Beach.



Sunset at Ipanema Beach. Meditating.



Copacabana Beach.



Aqueduct in the Centro district.



Metropolitan Cathedral.


At some points in the trip we found ourselves a little too far off the beaten path (to the point were I got scared) but it was definitely enhanced our experience (after we were safe).


The Tram to Santa Teresa.



Umm...where are we?



Scary Street Art in the Bohemian Enclave of Santa Teresa.



Cafe entrance in Santa Teresa.



Sign warning us of the danger...of riding the Tram we just did!



Exploring and a little freaked out near Santa Teresa (ok a lot freaked out)



Another Leblon Sunset.



Leblon sunset



Walking around downtown Rio and taking in the architecture.



Metropolitan Cathedral.



Walking around the Ipanema Neighborhood.



Street Art/Graffitti all over the city.

The homelessness issue is one that blew me away. So many on the streets.






Sunset over Copa Cabana



Ipanema Sunset


Brazilians in general seem to enjoy and embrace life and could be seen playing beach volleyball, soccer, jogging, and biking along the beach at all hours of the day.
We walked all day everyday (in fact I managed to get so many blisters the first day I made Phil stop to buy band-aids) but there was just so many neighborhoods to explore! They ranged from quaint, to whimsical, to fast-paced and fashionable. We even ventured into a Favela with some back-packers.


Rio Rooftop Party



And he played a Wet Note.



Joline and one of the Caipirinha vendors on the Copa Cabana boardwalk.


The food was absolutely amazing as well. It was flavorful and the portions were very generous. My favorite were the food stands scattered along Copacabana, Leblon, and Ipanema beaches. Everyday we had at least one coconut milk and sat watching the ocean — ahhh yes it was hard to leave! Of course we couldn’t forget to enjoy our share of Caipirinhas. We even managed to fit in some relaxing beach time and enjoyed the local scenery. Every evening we walked along the Copacabana boardwalk to a large outcropping of rocks where locals and tourists alike would gather to watch the amazing sunsets every night. The people watching was something.


The Food!



Pop a straw in it....Coconut milk is the best!


We loved Rio so much that it was hard to leave…hopefully this was an introductory visit.

Next stop, the jungle.  Ok, not really but the Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls were spectacular!

(A South American Escape Part 2 – Iguassu Falls/Foz Do Iguacu)