I landed in Rio de Janeiro end of October to spend a few days in the city I fell in love with whilst watching the Olympics during the summer. Here’s a quick summary of my 5 days in Rio and Ihla Grande.
3 days in Rio
I stayed in a rather standard hostel perfectly located in Ipanema: El Misti hostel. In 3 days I had time to:
- Discover Rio thanks to a free tour from downtown Rio to the Selaron steps in Lapa (with Free Walkers tour). Price = whatever you like!
- Stroll along Ipanema and Copacabana beaches admiring the surfers fighting the cold winds and the cariocas showing off while exercising
- Take two cable cars to the Sugar Loaf to enjoy the beautiful view on the bay (and the airport!). Price = R$ 76
- Take pictures of 30-meters-tall Jesus Christ lying down on the floor. Price = R$ 56
But also expose my white skin during one afternoon on the Ipanema beach, have a nice dinner in a fancy restaurant (Via Sete) in Leblon, drink too many caipirinhas de maracuja and eat too many pastels di quejo (so greasy but so good!)
Tip: Use Uber to move from one place to the other. It’s cheap, you will meet locals and friends of mine that leave there said it was safer than actual cabs!
2 days in Ihla Grande
Bumpy shuttle and ferry rides (booked from our hostel) took me to paradise: the stunning car and road-free island of Ihla Grande! My first afternoon in paradise was spent on the beautiful beach of Praia de Lopes Mendes where a taxi-boat took me in a ride I will never forget. (Price = R$ 150) To reach the beach, I first had to walk for about 15 minutes in the tropical forest where I met cute little monkeys!
After a very nice meal on the beach and a very good night and breakfast at Pousada Casablanca, I walked to the small beach of Praia da Julia where I sunbathed and swam nearly alone! Unfortunately it rained in the afternoon and the day after it was already time to leave 😦 I wish I could have stayed longer!