I met Jerome in Mexico when we both attended Carnaval in Mazatlan. We hit it off and discussed future travels including a trip to Rio de Janeiro for Carnaval one year and since Jerome is a Carioca at heart I asked him to share a sunset moment from his time in Rio on Sunset Sunday. Thankfully, he agreed:
Rio de Janeiro , Brazil is famous for the beaches that flank the city especially on Rio’s southern rim or Zona Sul. Beaches, with Iconic names: Copacabana, Leme, Leblon and Ipanema, provide the fringe for many of Rio’s popular neighborhoods and a quick escapes from city streets.
One of the best places in Rio to watch the sunset is Arpoador Rock which is located between Copacabana and Ipanema. Arpoador juts out into the ocean giving you an unobstructed view to the west along Ipanema beach.
In the photo above you see a family on a sunset walk near Arpoador (between Posto 7 & 8). It is hard to tell where Arpoador Beach and Ipanema Beach begin. At the far end of Ipanema on the other side of the water outlet for Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is Leblon Beach. Beyond that are the distinctive mountain peaks of Gávea and Dos Irmãos (Two Brothers.) Many of the new venues for Brazil’s 2016 Olympics will be built beyond these mountains in Barra da Tijuca where more space exists for new development. Rio will host the 2014 World Cup Soccer final in Maracanã Stadium which is much closer to central Rio. While Maracanã seats just over 70,000 as many as 200,000 people have been known to attend crucial matches so expect the World Cup Final on July 13th to be a crowded affair.
Rio is one of my favorite cities in the world. Blessed with incredible geographic beauty and very energetic citizenry, Rio is a lively place to live or visit. Night or day there is always something happening in Rio. You can visit the iconic peaks of Corcovado where the Christo Redemptor / Christ the Redeemer statue looks out across Rio or you can take the cable car to the top of Pao de Azucar / Sugarloaf for a tremendous view down Copacabana Beach towards Ipanema and Barra da Tijuca.
For a taste of the Carioca’s nightlife, have a night out in the Lapa district near Rio Centro. Concentrated in a 4-5 block area that comprises Lapa are dozens of nightclubs, bars and restaurants. I suggest visiting Rio Scenarium, Carioca da Gema and Lapa 40º.
Whether you are going to Rio this summer for World Cup or in 2016 for the Olympics or trying to sneak in a visit in between these two monumental events be prepared to have plenty of fun and get precious little sleep.
Jerome Shaw is the editor of Travel Boldly (TravelBoldly.com) and wannabe Carioca. He managed to parlay a photography assignment to cover an eco-tourism conference in Brazil into living in an apartment in Rio and Jerome longs to return to Rio again and again. He is in year three of a three year mission to visit the world’s largest Carnival celebrations. In 2013 he was in Mazatlan Mexico for the world’s third largest Carnival. In 2014 Jerome spent Fat Tuesday in New Orleans (the second largest) and expects to be in Rio in February 2015 to complete the Carnival trifecta.