How To Make The Most Of Rio De Janeiro In 3 Days

Tripoto
4th Apr 2017
Photo of How To Make The Most Of Rio De Janeiro In 3 Days by Mohil Poojara
Day 1

Travelling to Rio de Janeiro, more famously called Rio, for a series of business meetings, I was lucky to be able to extend the trip for a couple of days to explore the beautiful city. Days 1 & 2 were spent attending business meetings and dinners. Days were spent working, but we ventured out during the little time we got in the evenings.

How to reach Rio?

We took the Emirates flight from Mumbai->Dubai->Rio De Janeiro. It was a smooth flying experience. Very similar to an Etihad or Lufthansa. It was more enjoyable as there were a lot of Latin American co-passengers and they know how to have a blast. Being seated next to a group of doctors from Argentina and sharing a few drinks with them was an entertaining experience.

The staff was very cordial and helped us out whenever needed. Latin America is a difficult place to survive if you're a vegetarian as the food options are very limited. We got a taste of this at the very beginning of the trip, on the flight from Dubai to Rio. But full marks to the Aircraft personnel in managing to keep us satisfied by some 'jugaad'.

The return Airfare for Mumbai->Rio De Janeiro -> Mumbai cost us Rs 1,65,000 INR per person.

Day 2

After over 24 hours of travel, we reached our hotel. Windsor Marapendi is located in Barra da Tijuca which is one of the upscale and posh localities of Rio. It's a bit far from the touristy beaches like Copa Cabana and Ipenama and a bit more quiet. So if you're looking for a good place to stay away from the hustle and bustle(which you most probably are not, if you're in rio for vacation) then Barra da Tijuca is the place for you. We shifted to a hotel in Copa Cabana on Day 4. More on than below.

The Windsor Marapendi is classic 4/5 star business hotel, with beach facing rooms, swimming pool, and a couple of restaurants. The cost per room per night is approx 7,500 INR.

Beach at Barra da Tijuca

Photo of Hotel Windsor Marapendi - Avenida Lúcio Costa - Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

The view behind the hotel. Taken from the hotel terrace.

Photo of Hotel Windsor Marapendi - Avenida Lúcio Costa - Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

View from the hotel room.

Photo of Hotel Windsor Marapendi - Avenida Lúcio Costa - Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

The hotel room - Windsor Marapendi

Photo of Hotel Windsor Marapendi - Avenida Lúcio Costa - Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

After a full day of hard work at the meetings(which also included a fun session on Samba from local instructors), we went to a very popular French restaurant for dinner. We went for the fixed menu and this place had some decent options for veg and non veg both. They house some of the best wines across the world. Do try them.

Day 3

After a series of meeting on the next day, we again ventured out to a very popular pub in Rio called Rio Scenarium. When we were at the hotel and asking around for the must visit places in Rio, almost everyone told us about this place and boy were they right! This 3 floor pub, is a very popular place to unwind and enjoy some good music for the locals. The specialty here is that each floor has a different genre of music playing. The ground floor is for live performances - and there are various bands/performers performing different types local Brazillian music/dance shows. The 2nd floor has Brazilian music and the third zone is for International dance music. After this experience, it's my turn to say - you should definitely visit this place when in Rio!

Ground floor at Rio Scenarium

Photo of Rio Scenarium - Rua do Lavradio - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Mohil Poojara
Photo of Rio Scenarium - Rua do Lavradio - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil by Mohil Poojara
Day 4

Day 4 of our trip was when we were done with work. Initially we planned to extend our trip in the same hotel, but due to unavailability of rooms at the last moment, we had to check out. This turned out to be good for us as we then checked into Windsor Martinique at Copa Cabana.

Windsor Martinique is a 2.5/3 star hotel located at the heart of Copa Cabana. The per room per night cost at this hotel would still be around 6,000 INR. Though not as good a property as Windsor Marapendi, there is a minor difference in rates due to the location. Windsor Marinique is situated right in the heart of one of the most famous beaches in the world. This hotel is a 2 min walk from the beach. It is in one of the lanes near the beach and therefore does not have any ocean facing view. There are a lot of 5 star properties in Copa cabana beach lined one after the other. Being a major tourist destination, there must be more than 100 hotels in and around Copa Cabana. A normal google search will give you all the options.

Day 4 was completely dedicated to sight seeing. Rio is a classic example of 'A tale of two cities'. A mix of development and underdevelopment, rich and poor, expensive and cheap - Rio has it all.

We pre booked a tour which covered all the major touristy attractions in Rio - The main attractions included sugar loaf mountains, statue of Christ the redeemer, Selaron Steps and Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian.

Pão de Açúcar (Sugar loaf mountains) – One of the world famous sights in Rio are the sugar loaf mountains. They are a set of two mountains situated just at the mouth of the Guanabara bay. This UNESCO world heritage site gives a mind blowing, panoramic view of the city.

The trip up to the sugar loaf mountain is made in 2 stretches which are covered by cable cars starting from Praia Vermelha. The tickets cost around INR 1,600 per person. The first cable car takes you to a hill (Urca hill) which is about 220 meters above sea level. The second cable car takes you to the top of the sugar loaf mountain which is about 400 meter above sea level.

Both the hill tops are bustling with activities and there are good eating places to sit and enjoy a good meal. I’ve heard that the view from the mountain is amazing in the night as well and one can enjoy a nice dinner enjoying the wonderful view of the city.

Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) – The one thing i was looking forward to the most from the beginning of the trip was visiting the statue of Christ the Redeemer. My excitement did not go in vain. I was completely fascinated by the colossal statue. Running around the statue to make sure I don’t miss anything, getting pictures clicked, video calling folks back at home to show them the statue, and enjoying the view of from the top summarize my 20 minutes at Corcovado.

The statue is located at the top of the mountain in Tijuca national park and there are different ways to get there (by car, train). The tickets cost around INR 1,600 if you go by car.

Escadaria Selarón(Selaron Steps) – Another world famous attraction in Brazil is the Selaron steps. They were created by an Chilean Artist named Jorge Selaron(and hence the name!).The uniqueness about these 215 steps is that they are covered by more than 2000 tiles from 60 different countries. You get a good feel of the Brazilian culture here as these steps are not just another tourist attraction where one needs to buy a ticket to enter. These stairs are located in the Santa Teresa neighborhood and are straddled with houses of locals on both the sides.

Catedral de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro – This church is dedicated to Saint Sebastian and is famous for its pyramid like structure inspired from the Mayan acrchitecture. It is a huge church which can accommodate around 20,000 people at a given point. It is really tall (around 300 feet) given it’s pyramid like structure, and the highlights are the 4 patches of colourful glass which run from the bottom right till the top of the cathedral.

Driving around Rio

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

A view of the underdeveloped slums (locally called favela)

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

One of the stadiums used during the Rio Carnival

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Local Streets

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Driving around Rio

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Driving around Rio

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Driving around Rio

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Catedral de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Catedral de São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Driving around Rio

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Municipal theater at Rio

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Mahatma Gandhi Statue

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

One of the posh port areas in Rio

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

View from the Sugar loaf mountains

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Cable car route to get to Urca Hill(en route sugar loaf mountains)

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

CHRIST THE REDEEMER!

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Escadaria Selarón(Selaron Steps)

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Few of the 2000+ tiles at Escadaria Selarón(Selaron Steps)

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara

Escadaria Selarón(Selaron Steps)

Photo of Catedral de São Sebastião - Avenida Coronel José Soares Marcondes - Uep1-S.1, Presidente Prudente - State of São Paulo, Brazil by Mohil Poojara
Day 5

Chilling on the beaches of Rio

This was our last day in Rio and we just wanted to soak in all the good vibes from the beautiful beaches here.

Luckily enough, this was a Sunday. Sunday is the day to be in this part of Rio. All the road are closed for vehicles and are open for walking, running, cycling and skating. All you'll see is beautiful people flaunting their beach bods and indulging in various activities of their choice.

We rented cycles(around Rs 400 per hour) from near our hotel in Copa Cabana and went to Ipenema beach nearby. This beach was bustling as there was a concert going on. The Ipenema beach is also famous for a Sunday Market where you get ordinary stuff for dirt cheap prices.

After spending the whole day loitering around the streets of Copa cabana and Ipenema, we went to Shopping Rio Sul, which is a huge premium mall. We got some souvenirs for folks back home and headed back to the hotel to pack.

With heavy hearts we packed our bags and memories that'll we'll cherish for a lifetime.

Hope this helps you plan your trip.

Obligardo! Adeus!

Be the first one to comment