Rio de Janiero - our entry to South America

We just spend a week on Ilha Grande with hardly any internet but now we are back on the mainland and so we are back to some proper Internet and I can finally post about our time in Rio.

Arriving in South America was easy as visiting an old friend. Border controls in Brazil are one of the fastest and friendliest I have ever seen. We settled in to our cozy hostel in Botafogo which turned out to be the perfect location to explore Rio. First of all we needed to check out the Copacabana of course. An evening walk along 4km long beach left us amazed about how clean it is.  Santa Teresa was on the schedule for the next day. It is most famous for the "Escadaria Selaron" stairs. They are the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as "my tribute to the Brazilian people".  On the weekends it is very crowded and so we decided to go back for a proper photo shoot in the week which worked out just fine. Otherwise Santa Teresa is one of the poorer area's of Rio and walking around with the Nikon didn't always felt super safe - especially when the locals tell you to hide the camera and don't go into certain areas. In the end it was all good though and Santa Teresa is in my memories the most interesting place we saw in Rio. 

Obviously when you are in Rio you have to visit the sugar loaf mountain and the Christ statue. The views from above are certainly worth the trip but bring an extra layer. It does get breezy up there. Over all the people we met in Rio were all super friendly and the city is vibrant and lively (even without the carnival season). The street musicians playing at the beaches are one of the best I have seen and it seems the streets turn into music and art venues during the evenings. 

For the last day in Rio we went back to Santa Teresa and checked out a restaurant recommendation from a friend. Walking up the steep cobble stone roads and passing some rather dodgy neighbourhoods we arrived at the "Aprazivel" restaurant. If it wouldn't be for the amazing food - the view alone would do it! 

We spend all in all a week in Rio and I am sure there would be more to explore and see - but we  wanted more nature and so we were off to Ilha Grande.... more about that in the next update :)

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 Copacabana and the stairs at Santa Teresa

Copacabana and the stairs at Santa Teresa

 the sugarloaf mountain and the top of the Christ statue

the sugarloaf mountain and the top of the Christ statue