TGIF! Rio, the place to fall in love…

TGIF! Let’s have a little fun!

Love this video… soooo funny!

What makes me laugh more in this “funk” music? This part: all the millions of brazilians come and make me say “gostoso”. LOL!!! When someone is a mix of beautiful, charming and sexy, we call that person “gostoso”. But pay attention to say it right… gostosO is used for man, and gostosA for woman 😉 BTW, it sounds rude and discourteous to say it to a woman in most cases.

Have a nice weekend 🙂

Don’t like tourist programs? Visit Sugar Loaf anyways!

Golden Gate, San Francisco. Empire State Building, NYC. Eiffel Tower, Paris. Pão de Açúcar or Sugar Loaf, Rio de Janeiro.  I know there are some of you – like me! – that just don’t like to do only tourist programs.  I don’t even like knowing a place in a group tour… haha… But visit Sugar Loaf is an obligation in any situation, alone or in a group, if you like or not being a gringo! BTW, there are many tourists from all over the country. The view is soooo beautiful that leaves us breathless. Take a beautiful sunny day to make the most amazing photos of your trip!


To get more information about the history, tour hours, prices and services, go to

Bondinho is how we call a glass-walled cable car that runs every 20 minutes between the peaks of Morro da Urca (first stop) and Pão de Açúcar (second stop), with capacity to hold 65 passengers. Each round trip takes 3 minutes and I guess you will want more to appreciate the 360º view of the city, including the Leme, Copacabana, Ipanema, Flamengo and Leblon beaches; the Pedra da Gávea, Maciço da Tijuca and Corcovado mountains, the Christ statue; the Guanabara Bay; the downtown area; the Santos Dumont Airport; Governador island; the neighboring city of Niterói; the Rio-Niterói bridge; and the Serra do Mar mountain backdrop with the famous Dedo de Deus (God’s Finger) peak.

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The Sugar Loaf is in Praia Vermelha, at Urca neighborhood, one of the most calm and charming area of the city. You can explore it walking by its wooded streets, with beautiful and expensive houses.  One of the things that makes Urca the safest neighborhood of Rio is due to its military base and lack of favelas. You will find much more in the area: the campus of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), the Engineering Military Institute (IME), the General Staff Army Command School (ECEME), the War Navy School (EGN) and the Benjamim Constant Institute for the visually impaired.

Urca has been home to some famous residents (not more than Leblon). One of the most famous and beloved singers of Brazil, Roberto Carlos, live there. And you can see Carmem Miranda’s house at Av. São Sebastião #131.

Urca is close to Botafogo – where is Rio Sul Shopping Mall -, Leme and Copacabana.


Just beside the Sugar Loaf entrance, I recommend Zozô Restaurant, contemporary cuisine. Beautiful décor with a huge tree in the middle of the salon and a deck covered in glass where you can see the landscape. During the lunch (Tue-Sun, noon-4pm), there is a nice antipasti buffet with fixed price per person. At night (only on Fri and Sat, 8pm-midnight), you will find an intimist atmosphere with candle lights. After midnight the kitchen closes and it starts the dance floor. Go well dressed at night.



Time >>>The ticket office opens at 8am and closes at 7:50pm. The Park always closes one hour after the ticket office.

Rates >>> Adults – BRL 53.00; Children 6-12 years of age – BRL 26.00; Children under 6 – Free. The tickets are valid for only one visit on the day they are purchased.

Payment >>> Cash payment R$(real) only. Credit cards and debit cards: Redeshop, MasterCard, Diners, Visa and  American Express. Check not accepted.

Map >>> (Av. Pasteur, 520 – Urca)

Zozô Restaurant >>>

Christ will be photographed by Google Street View!

After Grand Canyon in the U.S. and a mountain in Japan, now is Rio’s turn! The Christ the Redeemer Statue will be photographed by the Google Street View. Isn’t it amazing?!

Accordingly to O Globo journal, the Google’s staff has begun to capture panoramic images of the monument in Rio atop the Corcovado mountain. The images are made by an equipment called “Trekker” with 15 cameras, as you can see in the video below made in the Grand Canyon.


While the images are being produced, see the ones already done in Rio!

Be alert! Useful tips to enjoy your stay in Rio!

The first thing I want to tell you about safety in Rio is: do not be so afraid to come. I know sometimes you hear, through the media, bad news about Rio involving violence and terrible crimes. Unfortunnately, it’s true it happens. But as a tourist in a big city like Rio I would to say to any foreign: stay always alert! When brazilians travel to any place they become tourists like you and the advice is the same for them. Of course, the level of violence is different in many parts of the world… I know, I know… What I want to reinforce is if you take some precautions, nothing will happen to you or at least you know you can do some things to minimize risk, avoiding future problems.

Believe me… Violence in the city has declined significantly. Accordingly to recent news (O Globo/March 3, 2013), the number of deaths caused by firearms dropped in 43.8% in the state between 2000 and 2010. The numbers are related to increased investment in public safety. The local government has launched a citywide offensive against crime, particularly drug-fueled violence in the slums (favelas). UPP (Pacifying Police Unit; in portuguese, Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora), is part of this program as an intensive policing and improvements in social services to meet the needs of locals, while overt criminal activities are inhibited.

Also, in 2000, the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro implemented the first special group in charge of the tourist areas, the BPTur, fully trained to assist tourists. The officers are bilingual and usually they are riding bikes.

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Based on BPTur Command orientations, below are listed some useful tips to enjoy your stay with safety.

  • Do not carry your original passport. A copy is enough.
  • Change your money into local currency (Real).
  • Preferably use ATMs that are inside banks and shopping malls.
  • Avoid walking with a lot of money. Most credit cards are easily accepted.
  • Do not wear jewelry or expensive watches. Keep your valuables stuffs in the hotel safe.
  • Do not take valuables to the beach and never lose sight of your belongings.
  • To order a taxi, always ask the hotel front desk.

Some other recommendations I give you:

  • If you’re on the street and need to take a taxi, make sure the driver/car are from a cooperative cab service.
  • Do not take a minibus on street, unless it is a tourism service you hired with your agency/hotel.
  • The buses are safe at daylight. Always make sure the bus number and its route. Always use taxi at night and avoid taking it alone.
  • Do not walk alone and avoid telling to everyone you are gringo!

What to do if you get in trouble?

Immediately report the incident to the DEAT – Special Police Support for Tourism!!! This department investigates and reprimands criminal offenses committed against foreign tourists visiting the city temporarily. It is also responsible for suppressing criminal offenses against the tourism activity, including fraud and other crimes that undermine the tourism industry. The officers are also bilingual.

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Avenida Afrânio de Melo Franco, 159 – Leblon
Phone. +55 (21) 2332-2924 / 2332-2885
Sources: Globo online; Rio Guide/RioTour.

This is only the beginning!

Hey guys!

Take a deep breath… This video is one of my favorites about Rio and shows different areas of the city, like a puzzle of beautiful landscapes.
The video was set with the goal of participating in the bid to host the Olympic Games. As you know, it worked perfectly! So, what are you waiting to program your trip?!

Did you like it?!