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Rio trip - 2 days (suggestions appreciated)

Rio trip - 2 days (suggestions appreciated)

Old Oct 19, 15, 9:17 pm
  #1  
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Rio trip - 2 days (suggestions appreciated)

I will be in Rio (staying at JW in Copacabana) and my I'll be there for roughly 48hrs.

It's a short trip in a huge, huge city so I am trying to figure out the priorities.

1. Chill around Copacabana beach (kind of hard to miss)
2. Go to Christ Redentor
3. Visit sugarloaf mountain

I'll be arriving Sunday late afternoon and flying out on Tuesday night. Would it be possible to visit Christ Redentor/ Sugarloaf in same day? Maybe start the day by going towards Christ Redentor and end with sunset at sugarloaf?

I am traveling alone (no family) so I could do public transport or cab. Whatever is most convenient and reasonably priced. I am not on a budget but don't want to spend excessively on cabs either.

I'd prefer to spend time around Copacabana on Tuesday because my luggage will be at the hotel. I can pick that head to GIG straightaway.

Would much appreciate some suggestions.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 4:44 am
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
I will be in Rio (staying at JW in Copacabana) and my I'll be there for roughly 48hrs.

It's a short trip in a huge, huge city so I am trying to figure out the priorities.

1. Chill around Copacabana beach (kind of hard to miss)
2. Go to Christ Redentor
3. Visit sugarloaf mountain

I'll be arriving Sunday late afternoon and flying out on Tuesday night. Would it be possible to visit Christ Redentor/ Sugarloaf in same day? Maybe start the day by going towards Christ Redentor and end with sunset at sugarloaf?

I am traveling alone (no family) so I could do public transport or cab. Whatever is most convenient and reasonably priced. I am not on a budget but don't want to spend excessively on cabs either.

I'd prefer to spend time around Copacabana on Tuesday because my luggage will be at the hotel. I can pick that head to GIG straightaway.

Would much appreciate some suggestions.
Taxis are cheap and readily available. (Really most everything is cheap right now with the exchange rate so much better for the dollar.) Choose a yellow taxi that has the name and phone number of the cooperativa to which it belongs painted on the rear fender. The metro has a limited route and the bus routes are harder to figure out.
You need a clear day to make a visit to any of the heights worthwhile. That is not guaranteed. Personally two heights in one day is too much for me, but your trip is short.
Other activities could include exploring the historic centro, walking around in charming Santa Teresa, going to the Feira Nordestina, taking a scenic ferry ride to Niteroi.....an evening out listening to music and watching locals dance samba or just enjoying a beer and the warm weather street life.
Check www.ipanema.com for more ideas.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
Would it be possible to visit Christ Redentor/ Sugarloaf in same day? Maybe start the day by going towards Christ Redentor and end with sunset at sugarloaf?
I suggest you take a private tour. Pick a guide who owns a car and do a full day tour like:

1st: Cristo Redentor (statue)
2nd: Parque Nacional da Tijuca
-> Vista Chinsea (view point) and Cascatinha de Taunay (small waterfall)
3rd: bohemian side of town
-> start at Santa Teresa, Lapa (Selaron steps) and walk to downtown to the opera house/cinelandia square and have lunch at a "per kilo restaurant"
4th: go up the sugar loaf mountain
5th: enjoy the sunset a arpoador (closed to your hotel) or at posto 9 (ipanema)

This gives you a great first impression of Rio de Janeiro. If you want to squeeze it you can also include Lagoa after the national park. Also Michael Jackson square at Favela Santa Marta could be an option.
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Old Oct 20, 15, 2:34 pm
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How much does a private guide cost for a day? It would be an efficient way to do it but not sure if I can justify if the cost is too much (i am traveling alone).
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Old Oct 20, 15, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
How much does a private guide cost for a day? It would be an efficient way to do it but not sure if I can justify if the cost is too much (i am traveling alone).
Figure at least U$250 for an 8 hr tour. Prices are quoted in dollars, so any benefit of the currently better exchange rate does not factor.
(Remember, that "guide who owns a car" paid twice what he might pay in the US for the same make/model. Imagine riding in a U$60k Toyota Corolla.)
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Old Oct 20, 15, 6:29 pm
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$250 is a bit much for my taste. I'd prefer to take a cab and maybe just visit one of the two spots. If I was with a group, it could be justified but not alone.

Which would be recommended more between Sugarloaf and Christ Redentor for a day tour?
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Old Oct 20, 15, 10:22 pm
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
$250 is a bit much for my taste. I'd prefer to take a cab and maybe just visit one of the two spots. If I was with a group, it could be justified but not alone.

Which would be recommended more between Sugarloaf and Christ Redentor for a day tour?
Sugarloaf is closer to Copacabana and the ride is much more exciting. If you go to the Corcovado, take the train instead of going by car.

If you eat meat there's a great churrascaria a couple blocks from your hotel where they serve unlimited barbeque (rodizio), you also have access to a sushi and salad buffet: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...e_Janeiro.html

To do some shopping and people watching, take a cab to Ipanema (near Rua Maria Quinteria and Visconde de Piraja) and afterwords walk along the the beach promenade towards Leblon (my favorite neighborhood) where you can hydrate and grab a snack at an excellent fresh fruit juice bar: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...e_Janeiro.html

I just came back from Rio yesterday and I'm already missing it.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 12:57 am
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
I'd prefer to take a cab and maybe just visit one of the two spots. ......
Which would be recommended more between Sugarloaf and Christ Redentor for a day tour?
Neither is going to take up a whole day. You might take a look at videos on Youtube that various tourists have made to see what each peak is like.
There is a view over the whole city from Corcovado, out to the beaches of Zona Sul, plus the statue itself. You can go up on the train or by van. (Sugarloaf has a somewhat more limited vista of the water below, but a pretty one, and a longer view over to Corcovado.) The statue is really just that, on a fairly small viewing platform. Some other tourist can take your photo with arms outstretched under the Christ's, and you can try to identify city neighborhoods and landmarks. Sugarloaf is actually two peaks, two cable car rides (with Morro de Urca the first, and Pao de Acucar the second, the tallest). You can also wander around the top of Urca and then take the second cable car up. If you get off the asphalt path on the top, you can see the little monkeys in the trees and buzzards soaring by at that altitude. The Urca neighborhood at the base can be explored too.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 2:32 am
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
$250 is a bit much for my taste. I'd prefer to take a cab and maybe just visit one of the two spots. If I was with a group, it could be justified but not alone.
If you don't mind a (small) group of strangers I'd still suggest a guided tour. Those tours are advertised at the beaches but can also be arranged in advance or by the hotel (might be more expensive though).

Dia no Rio (day in rio) is what you are looking for. Those operated tours pick you up at the hotel. Expect to pay between 55 to 75 USD for it.

I.e.
http://www.riodejaneironow.com/rioenglish.htm (UM DIA NO RIO 1 CLASSIC) or
http://w2rio.tur.br/pr/passeios/dia-no-rio.html or
http://www.rioparadisetour.com.br

Since I can't recommend a specific tour/guide you might just want to have a look at the links above or at google. I
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Old Oct 21, 15, 5:58 am
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Originally Posted by BorussiaMG View Post
Those operated tours pick you up at the hotel. Expect to pay between 55 to 75 USD for it.
And some can spend a great deal of time driving around in heavy traffic doing pickups and drop offs at various hotels across the tourist neighborhoods, as part of the time included in the tour.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 9:38 am
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Skip the guided tour. You don't have that much time, so there's no point with overburdening yourself... put on your flip flops, relax at the beach, have a walk around the beachfront, and go over to Ipanema.

You can definitely do both Christ and Sugarloaf in one day. It is a good idea to leave Sugarloaf for sunset. Plan on having a late lunch at nearby Fogo de Chao, probably the best rodizio churrascaria in town, with an amazing view of Botafogo Bay.

Reserve the last day just for relaxing at the beach, etc. The hotel should be able to hold your luggage and make a shower room available for you. For a very Carioca experience, I recommend lunch at the (very simple) but delicious Pav„o Azul bar, on the corner of Barata Ribeiro and Hilario. Very simple place, but great to have some home-style cooked food and a cold beer. Cash only.
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Old Oct 21, 15, 10:08 am
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If getting in late Sunday afternoon still allows, the Hippie Fair in Praca General Osorio in Ipanema (open until 19:00), has a stand selling typical snack food from Bahia (acaraje) and lots of hand made crafts, artwork and paintings.
http://feirahippieipanema.com/ (with virtual tour)
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Old Oct 21, 15, 10:34 am
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Great suggestions here. I agree there is not enough time to cover a lot (thankfully my visa is 10yrs). My main concern for not having guide was getting lost in an undesirable neighborhood on my way to Sugarloaf Mt/ Corcovado. But it seems cab would work fine.

JW charges a lot of premium for cab from what I read. Can I hail a cab from the street and would that be okay?
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Old Oct 21, 15, 11:17 am
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Definitely spend a few hours just relaxing on the beach, watching vendors working hard at selling their stuff
Walk from Arpoador to the end of Ipanema/Leblon along the beach
Sample acai, capirinha, feijoiada, brigaideiros
Night market in Copacabana for some cheap trinkets
Rent a bicycle at Lagoa Rodriga
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Old Oct 21, 15, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by carsnoceans View Post
Can I hail a cab from the street and would that be okay?
yep!
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