Rio de Janeiro

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Rio did not disappoint! My friend and I traveled during the first week of June, Brazil’s winter season. The temperatures ranged from low 70s to mid 80s; perfect weather besides a few showers (they didn’t last long). Here are some helpful tips:
*Flights were cheaper leaving from Chicago (ORD) to Rio(GIG); $700. Transportation from the airport was $25 one way.
*After researching, we found that the Leblon area was very safe; an upscale neighborhood with lots of bars, restaurants, shops, and beautiful beaches. We booked an AirBnB in the Vidigal favela (now one of Rio’s safest favelas). AirBnBs can range from $65-$200 a night, depending on your location and what you are looking for. It had a balcony and the dopest view(last pic). We could walk anywhere within 10-25 minutes.
*Ipanema beach was way less crowded than Copacabana. $12 will get you two chairs, an umbrella, and 2 caipirinhas (their local drink-so good!)
*Take Uber if you cannot walk to your destination. We heard taking taxis was not a good idea. Our Uber fares ranged from $2-$10; very cheap!
*Our favorite restaurants were Botequim, Alfaia, Bar Veloso, and Viasete. Our meals ranged from $10-$30. The steak is so good and juicy omg! We also cooked some meals which saved us some money.
*The language barrier is real! Learn a little Portuguese before you go.
*Pack light and bring good walking shoes!
*We visited Christ the Redeemer, Parque Lage, the Selaron Steps, and did a sunset cruise(our fav). We also did some shopping at the Ipanema Hippie Market. I wish I bought more…they had everything!! If you have time, it is recommended to take a favela tour if you really want to immerse yourself in the culture.
*Exchange money when you arrive, only inside of a bank! Always use the ATMs inside of the banks as well.
*The locals were very friendly! A friend of our host made us a home cooked meal when we arrived!
*Always be cautious and most importantly, ENJOY YOURSELF! Brazil is absolutely amazing!
*Helpful apps: Culture Trip, Trip Advisor, Google Maps

Amber Mack

Instagram: @wanderingsoul83

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