I was fortunate enough to pick Brazil as my vacation destination of 2012. I ended up not being able to take vacation until this March because work was so busy, but finally the trip materialized and I am back from abroad with wonderful tips and stories.
The first thing I did was go on Airbnb and figure out my Rio de Janeiro living situation. Why choose an apartment over a hotel? Well, in my case I feel that when I’m at a beach destination I don’t really need a hotel - I will barely be there! Instead I opted for a super charming apartment in Ipanema. Ipanema is the best neighborhood to stay in. There is no need to stay in Copacabana at all, even though many guides will point you in that direction.
My host and owner of the apartment was extremely helpful and had everything ready upon my arrival. The building has a 24 hour security guard which made me feel pretty great, even though Rio felt completely safe. I think that as Rio gears up for the Olympics crime is really being tackled, which means this is a great time to visit. The apartment was clean, had great wifi, and was only 3 blocks from the beach by post 10. Great restaurants were all around me and just to give you an idea of where I was I will have you know there was a Louis Vuitton and Nespresso just 2 blocks away. I Loved the neighborhood! I saved some money and still had a fabulous time. I would wake up at 10AM and head to the beach for some sun every day I was there.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Blanka follows me to Rio de Janeiro
Everybody’s favorite Brazilian Street Fighter decided to follow me along on my trip, ya know, just to make sure I had back up. Blanka was posing for his life all over the place. I have never hung out with such a camera hogging vinyl toy.
Blanka, for those who do not know, is a video game character created by Capcom for the classic Street Fighter game in 1987. Blanka makes a cameo appearance in Disney’s Wreck it Ralph.
I know he looks grumpy in this picture, but Blanka loved Ipanema beach.
All year round, Rio is hot: the sand, the intricate tiled walkways, the people.
Luckily, ice-cold, fresh coconuts abound, and these little beach stands that line Ipanema and Copacabana are the ideal place to enjoy a fresh coco or a caipirinha, any time of the day.
There are two different types of stands: the ones that open the coco with a machine that drills a hole in the top (for the less experienced coconut server), and the more authentic stands where the coconut 'barista' chops the top off with a machete. Go to the latter, because after you drink the coconut's water, you can take it back for him to machete the coconut open and enjoy the coconut meat on the inside. A double treat, for sure.