The Marvelous City, as they call it, was all of that and more. We stayed in a nice hotel on the end of Copacabana, every day we explored new beaches and every night we discovered new restaurants. This was my third trip to Rio so I’m starting to get to know the lay of the land now, which is very challenging because of the position of the mountains that rise directly out of the Atlantic like giant pointed knobs, often rock faced on the steep sides or otherwise covered in jungle-like vegetation.
The beaches are broad and curved with a cool Atlantic swell pounding in to relieve the masses of sun worshipers who flock here to enjoy the summer heat from all parts of the globe.
The first time I stayed in Rio was between Christmas and New Years, on Barra da Tijuca in a condo across from the beach. All along the beach there are kiosks called Baraccas, and every morning before the sun comes up, the nightlife comes to the beach to watch the sun come up and finish off the party. Many people swim in the sea, take a shower, then have breakfast and go home to sleep off the alcohol. It’s a cool way to close the night and washes the soul with a most magical sunrise to start the next day.
Planning to return to Rio de Janeiro very soon and most likely to stay in Barra da Tijuca, to once again enjoy the Rio de Janeiro sunrise ritual.
Barra da Tijuca or simply known as Barra is the youngest neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro which was developed around 30 years ago. This neighborhood is famous for its Barra Shopping Mall which houses over 700 stores and restaurants and its 17 km long sandy beach. Barra is home to many luxury condominiums and large office complexes, making it an emerging spot for the rich and affluent. The neighborhood is also known for its American influenced lifestyle.
Surfing, kite surfing and body surfing are popular sports here. It is one of the richest neighborhoods and is known for its public and private safety largely due to the lack of ghettos in the area. The name Barra da Tijuca roughly translates as “Swamp Sandbank”. The value of property in this region has steadily grown for the past 20 years as the neighborhood grew in stature. This region also is well frequented by business travelers as it is close to several convention centers.
Many of the events for the 2016 Summer Olympics will be held at Macumba Beach, which is just down the road from Barra da Tijuca.