Winter in Rio?!

Hey guys!

This is the face of a beautiful winter day in Rio!

A nice walking from Arpoador to Leblon beach is really recommended! The only thing you will need is a willingness to walk and maybe stop by to drink a cold coconut water… But with this view I guess it will be easy, though!

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The view of Morro Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Hill), from Ipanema beach.

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From Ipanema to Leblon Beach, this is the final stretch of the walk.

 

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The view from Mirante do Leblon, at the western end of Leblon beach.

 

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Mirante do Leblon is a place to be!

 

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Christ the Redeemer blessing the beauty of Rio!

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To the other side of the Mirante: the contrast of the luxury Sheraton Hotel and the Favela do Vidigal.

 

 

Copacabana Fort + Confeitaria Colombo: great combination!

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Which one is the best to visit? The Confeitaria Colombo  (Colombo Confectionery) at Copacabana Fort (Forte de Copacabana) or at Downtown city (Centro)? Touch question, man! Both are great to see and enjoy a good cappuccino. In the first one I am pretty sure you will be delighted with the magnificent view of Copacabana Beach. But if you appreciate architecture and decor, you can not miss the opportunity to see the stained glass, mirrors and brocade marble countertops of Confeitaria Colombo in Downtown, where presidents and many celebrities had visited in the past. Definitely they have different proposals! Take one, or both if you have time!

This week my aunt celebrated her birthday at Confeitaria Colombo in Fort Copacabana and I took some photos for you. It was at lunchtime, and during the week they usually have a menu of the day.

See the history of the Fort here!

At the entrance, you need to pay the admission ticket to visit the Fort and its museum (and also to get at Colombo). The price is BRL 6.00. It really worthy!

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SERVICE

What >>> Confeitaria Colombo at Copacabana Fort

Where >>> Located at Praça Coronel Eugênio Franco, nº 1 – Posto 6 of Copacabana Beach – Phone: (21) 2287-3781

Map >>> Google it here.

Time >>> Exhibition Halls: Tuesday to Sunday – from 10 am to 6 pm // Observatories, Souvenir Vitacura, Confeitaria Colombo and 18 do Forte Coffee Shop: Tuesday to Sunday – from 10 am to 8 pm.

Price >>> Admission to enter the Fort is charged at the entrance. Adults – R$ 6,00, Over 60 years old – R$ 3,00, Students with Student ID – R$ 3,00.

Payment >>> Cash only (BRL).

Website of Confeitaria Colombo >>> Click here. 

Bar D’Hotel: Great food, tangerine chopp and a spectacular view!

Hello guys!

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Rio and I had the opportunity to have lunch in a really great restaurant and bar that I would like to recommend you! Bar d’Hotel is on the second floor of Marina All Suites Hotel, in Leblon… better, in front of Leblon Beach! It must be said that it is not a paid post. I really loved the food, the atmosphere, the service and the view!!! 😉

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The retro-modern décor is amazing,  with a special lightning done by Maneco Quinderé – a famous “light designer” of Brazil – that you can apprecciate if you go there at night. But in a daylight you will feel amazed by the view of the beach. The place fits perfectly with the contemporary cuisine, that leverages creativity with the  Brazilian ingredients.

I confess that it is not easy to talk about food in English, but let me try! I ate a wonderful risotto jerky (dried meet) and a marvilous dessert called Pão-de-ló, kind of cake soaked in milk served with dulce de leche ice cream, that melted in the mouth. Hummm… I guess the picture explains by itself!!!

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SERVICE

What >>> Bar D’Hotel – Marina All Suites Hotel

Where >>> Av. Delfim Moreira, 696, Leblon – Phone: (21) 2172-1112

Time >>> Monday to Sunday from 12:00pm to 02:00am

Payment >>> Visa, Credicard, Dinners and American Express, cash or check

Quitandinha Palace (Palácio Quitandinha): a landmark of Petrópolis

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Rio de Janeiro is very known due to its beautiful beaches, but there are many nice places in the mountain area, such as Petrópolis, which is only about 68 km or 1:30 hour from Rio de Janeiro city.

When it was opened, Palácio Quitandinha was the “Cassino Hotel Quitandinha”, the largest hotel casino in Latin America for two years, during the period when gambling was permitted in Brazil, from 1930 until 1946, when the federal government had outlawed all types of gambling from casinos to games of chance in Brazil. The building makes reference to the Norman style, trend of large European casinos. The interior designs got inspiration from the Hollywood scenarios and was done by the American decorator Dorothy Draper.

After this period, Palace Quitandinha became a luxury hotel and today is under SESC Rio care as a center of culture and fun for the entire audience.

You can visit Quitandinha and learn, through the audio, about its history, curiosities… And there is much more things to visit in Petrópolis, the “Imperial City”. The good thing is because the city is well signed with english directions of turist spots.

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SERVICE

Time >>> From  10am to 5pm, Tue-Sat / from 10am to 4pm – on holidays and Sundays. 

Rates >>> BRL 10.00. 

Payment >>> Cash payment R$(real) only.

Where >>> Av. Joaquim Rolla, n º 2 – Petrópolis. Bus from Novo Rio station each 30 minutes… If you do not have a car, it’s the best way  of going. This is the company that does the transportation Rio-Petrópolis, called UTIL – http://www.util.com.br

Website >>> http://www.sescrio.org.br/programacao/02/01/13/visitacao-audioguiada (only in portuguese). 

Botanical Garden is a green treasure of Rio (better, of Brazil!)

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The Garden is located in Jardim Botânico district, nearby Gávea and Lagoa. Is a serene and quiet place where you will see many families walking by with their children, people doing exercises, nannies taking care of babies, and brides, young couple and models taking pictures to make a photo catalogue with a beautiful scenario.

Botanic Garden is a huge green area (142-hectares) with over 8000 plant species, part of the Tijuca National Park (Floresta da Tijuca), and was designed in 1808 by order of Dom João, the Prince Regent of the United Kingdom of Brazil and Portugal, later known (1816-1822) as Dom João VI, King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves. In 1996 the Garden became the Botanical Gardens of Rio de Janeiro Research Institute. Since then, its mission has focused on conservation and scientific research of Brazilian plant biodiversity.

On weekdays is less crowded than on weekends because this is not only a famous tourism site but also is a place where the locals like to hang out with their families to enjoy a peace environment after a working week.

If you want to have more information about the history, the plants and so on you can arrange a tour by making an appointment with at least 24-hour in advance – make a call to +55 (21) 3874-1808 / 3874-1214. The guided visit happens from Monday to Fridays, beginning at 10am or at 2pm, and the duration is about 90 minutes.  It can be done in English or Spanish.

Also, you can visit the whole area using the local electric cars. To this, you only have to make a reservation when you get there, at the Visitors’ Centre. It takes 40 minutes by car, including Saturdays and Sundays.

The main entrance of the Garden is located at Rua Jardim Botânico 920, where you will see from the outside a huge row of palms.

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Tip #1: Take an insect repellent with you!

Tip #2:  Better to visit in a sunny day, of course, and use sunblock.

Tip #3: Is easy to get there by bus and taxi. Through Lagoa, by foot, turn to General Garzon Street, go ahead and in the end of this street turn to the left side at Jardim Botânico Street.

Tip #4: Take a coffee or have a snack at La Bicyclette. I love the sandwiches with homemade bread  and its delicious cakes (chocolate cake, walnut cake, the pain au chocolat… hummm). It’s inside the Botanical Garden area, but you do not need to pay the entrance of the park if you want only to eat there.  They have French and English menu.

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SERVICE

Time >>> From  8am to 5pm, Mon-Sun.

Rates >>> Adults – BRL 6.00; Children under 7 years of age – Free; Seniors living in Brazil or in Mercosul countries – Free, with ID.

Payment >>> Cash payment R$(real) only.

Main Entrance >>> Rua Jardim Botânico 920, Jardim Botânico.

Website >>> Poor service… Information on web is available only in Portuguese. http://www.jbrj.gov.br

Next post: the Botanical Garden

On my next post I will talk about the lungs of Rio de Janeiro, the beautiful Botanical Garden, our green area inside de city, more especifically at the Jardim Botânico neighborhood.

Friar Leandro Lake is known for...

Friar Leandro Lake is known for…

Camera 360

… the Victoria Regias!

Rio 360 Panoramic View

The incredible view of this 360 photo was made from the top of Corcovado Mountain, where is the Christ the Redeemer Statue.

This amazing job (click on the picture below to see*) was done by Ayrton in order to be part of the Olympic Games bid material and here is his website where you can check other 360 photos: http://ayrton.com/360/

* The author of the pic above  is Xavier Donat. I posted it only to illustrate and make a link to Ayton’s work.

Soundtrack: Chega de Saudade, by Tom Jobim.

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!

WEBSITE

To get more information about the history, tour hours, prices and services, go to http://www.bondinho.com.br/en/.

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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ABOUT URCA

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.

TO EAT

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.

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SERVICE

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 >>> http://goo.gl/maps/J7Zcu (Av. Pasteur, 520 – Urca)

Zozô Restaurant >>> http://www.zozorio.com.br