Image via Sam Valadi
One of the most geographically beautiful cities in the world and a perennial favourite on “must-travel” lists, Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is perfect for a post-wedding getaway. With the summer Olympics just wrapped up, the city is in top shape to receive millions of visitors. Immerse yourself in the vibrant and friendly culture, breathtaking natural geography and the unbeatable caipirinhas. The aptly named, Cidadde Maravilhosa (Marvellous City) is the ideal honeymoon destination.
5 Places to Stay
1. La Suite by Dussol
Located in the exclusive hilltop neighbourhood of Joatinga, La Suite by Dussol is a modern cliff-side retreat with a world-class ocean view. The rooms are light and spacious and there are two outdoor pools set in tropical gardens and a private beach within walking distance.
Image via La Suite by Dussol
2. Fasano Rio
This Starck-styled boutique hotel is operated by a hospitality family who’ve been in the restaurant and hotel business for more than 100 years. With a glass exterior, a white marble pool on the roof and a section of private beach, Fasano Rio is all about the Tropicana glitz and glam. For lots of space and a room with a view, the Deluxe room is a sure delight with ocean views and wooden chairs out on the prime balcony spots.
Image via Fasano Rio
3. Pousada Bromélias
Brazil’s tropical climate and beautiful landscapes make it a distinctly magical country for a romantic escape, but there is also a paradise to be found off the beaten track at Pousada Bromélias: a rustic luxury accommodation in the hills and the lush rainforest of Rio de Janeiro. Opt for the Luxury Bungalows for spectacular mountain views, private Jacuzzi and ultimate privacy.
Image via Pousada Bromélias
4. Hotel Santa Teresa
A historical coffee plantation mansion located in Santa Teresa, the cultural and historical heart of Rio de Janeiro, the boutique hotel was restored with the charm and sophistication of Brazilian Tropicana. The Deluxe Room with Balcony is low-key luxury inspired by the golden ages of coffee and cocoa – think Bordeaux or golden slate, red and dark tropical woods. Wind up an idyllic afternoon with delicious aperitifs at the hotel’s romantic Bar dos Descasados.
Image via Hotel Santa Teresa
5. Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel
Located across the street from the popular Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, the 117-room Porto Bay Rio hotel is a solid option for couples looking to experience some South American sizzle. Featuring sleek décor with blonde wood floors, modern bathrooms and all-white colour palette, couples will definitely enjoy the stunning vistas and stylish ambience.
Image via Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel
5 Places to Visit
1. Ipanema Beach
The destination that inspired a world-wide hit, “Girl From Ipanema”, has the world riveted with images of a care-free, swim-suit clad lifestyle. With fewer high rise hotels than Copacabana, Ipanema is the ideal place to while away the hours working on that tan and watching the beautiful people glide by. The towering twin peaks of Dois Irmaos mountains frame the beach scene, making it the perfect spot for enviable honeymoon happy snaps.
Image via TravelMoodz
2. Sugar Loaf (Pao de Acucar)
One of the most famous mountain peaks in the world, Sugar Loaf (Pao de Acucar in Portugese) is a familiar sight in tourist images. Take a cable car up to the top of the mountain and be prepared for spectacular views and true splendour of Rio’s cityscape. Sugar Loaf juts right out of the Atlantic ocean, and the sweeping vistas of white sand beaches, lush rainforest mountains and crashing waves will take your breath away.
Image via Get Your Guide
3. Christ The Redeemer and Corcovado Mountain
No trip to Rio would be complete without paying homage to “the Big Buy,” and the views from the feet of this most iconic of statues are truly breathtaking. One of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, the “Christo Redentor” stands tall atop Corcovado, or “hunchback” mountain. While the iconic Rio landmark needs no introduction, the best way to make the ascent is to ride the funicular railway. It is not uncommon for live samba bands to entertain passengers onboard the little red train.
4. Tijuca National Park
For lovers of outdoor activities, follow up the trip to Christ the Redeemer with a detour through the Tijuca National Park. Home to the Corcovado mountain and the Christ statue, Tijuca National Park is the largest stretch of urban jungle in the world. Natural pools and waterfalls provide an opportunity to cool down after wading through the sea of tourists at the Christ statue, but bring plenty of drinking water as the weather can get seriously humid in the dense jungle.
5. Arcos da Lapa
Along with the beaches, the Christ statue and Sugar Loaf mountain, another postcard-perfect image of Rio is the mammoth white arches that stand in the city centre. Visit at night to soak in Rio’s party spirit where revellers gather below the arches as a huge street party unfurls. The area around the arches is taken over by hundreds of stalls selling all manners of tempting treats – from freshly-baked pizzas to Northeasten acaraje and fruity-but-potent cocktails.
Image via Rio Forest Hostel
5 Things to Do
1. Climb the Escadaria Selarón
This colourful attraction was created in the 1990’s as a gift from the late Chilean artist, Jorge Selarón to the Brazilian people. Made from broken mosaic tiles taken from construction sites and painted with love, the 250 steps of the Escadaria Selarón are the iconic landmark of a new age Brazil, representing the colourful, youthful and joyful culture of the country.
Image via Boris G
2. Take a Samba Class in Santa Teresa
Set your heart racing with a samba class in the neighbourhood of Santa Teresa, a once opulent neighbourhood atop a hill that is now a mix of classes. Built in the eighteenth century, the winding cobblestone streets and old world architecture give it a Southern European feel. Visit the Mercado Das Pulgas, a crumbling mansion that now hosts a flea market during the week and capoeira and samba on the weekends. The crowd is mostly local twenty-somethings coming to dance with friends and sing along to songs that were written centuries ago.
Image via Rio Forest Hostel
3. Stroll along Copacabana Beach
By day, the famous beach and warm seas of Copacabana beckons to couples to frolic in frothy sea. But when the sun sets, there’s nothing more romantic than taking a stroll along the sand and cooling off with ocean breeze. There are many outdoor cafes in the area and kiosks selling drinks and snacks dot the beach, making it perfect for an impromptu picnic under the stars.
4. Relax in the seaside village of Parati
Parati, a charming town built in the 1600’s and today a UNESCO international monument, is a four-hour drive from Rio. Its cobblestone streets are lined with shops, restaurants, galleries and churches. But the village is also a centre for expeditions on the sea and into the rainforest. A Jeep ride can lead couples to breathtaking natural wonders such as pristine waterfalls. Seafarers can have lunch on a small island that’s occupied solely by Eh-Laho bar and restaurant, and open-air eatery with thatched roofs and an Indiana Jones-type bridge.
5. Go for the Gold at H. Stern
A very Brazilian experience is a stop at jewellery mecca H. Stern, where visitors can take a tour that shows how gems are made into jewellery. Although H. Stern has branches all over the world, Rio is the chain’s headquarters. Get ready to be dazzled during your visit as the location features 50,000 pieces of jewellery ready for display. Purchase pieces made with gemstones mined in Brazil, such as blue topaz and amethyst as a keepsake from your romantic honeymoon trip.
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Samba until dawn at Copacabana Beach and watch the stunning sunrise; pure honeymoon bliss!
Want more? Check out these posts from the archives: