charming of Carioca neighborhoods blends
cobblestone streets and Victorian architecture
with a carefree bohemian spirit. Once the home of
the Carioca upper class, it now houses artists,
musicians, writers, and other free souls.
Nossa Senhora da Gloria do
This church's elegant bell tower and carved
ceiling, an excellent example of Brazilian
Baroque completed in 1720, provide a cul-de-sac
of subtlety. Its hilltop situation reveals an
At the beginning of the Avenida Presidente
Vargas, the Igregia Candelaria's white dome and
bell towers rise unperturbed in a jungle of
Rio's version of Hyde Park is as offbeat as one
would expect in the city. Next to a clutch of
movie theaters, an open square serves as the
platform for political and social debate. Rival
groups often speak at the same time--and
sometimes come to blows.
Of all the dozens of islands in the bay,
well-to-do Paqueta is the largest. Its slow way
of life lures visitors the world over; cars are
banned on the island. To get around, one must
bicycle or take a horse-drawn carriage for a very
Jardim Zoologico & Museu
This natural history museum is worth a visit in
itself; coupled with the landscaped pools, parks,
and marble statues of its grounds make it easy to
while a day away.
Rio de Janeiro's crown jewel in a coronet of
mountains, Sugarloaf offers a much-admired view
of the city itself. At the end of a breathtaking
cable-car ride is a panorama of town and country,
or, more correctly, metropolis and jungle.
The lesser-known brother to Sugarloaf might
actually be the better bet: at almost twice
Sugarloaf's height, one has a view not only of
Rio but of Sugarloaf.
Ipanema and the curved beaches of Copacabana and
the immediate environs need no introduction, but
Sao Conrado and Grumari, distant southern
beaches, might be Rio's most well-kept secret.
And perhaps it's better that way; Grumari's two
snack bars do nothing to mask its isolated
magnificence. They are only accessible by car.
Rio's Carnival (14 days before Lent) is nothing,
if not spectacular. The casual wildness of the
city's normal operation unravels into a
hedonistic, fantastically-hued blur as the
wealthy, the foreign, and the beautiful converge
on Rio for a few precious days of abandon.
On Sundays from 2:00-6:00pm, Ipanema's Praca
Feneral Osoria is transformed into a forest
of booths carrying woodcarving, leather goods,
batiks, rag dolls, jewelry, knickknacks of all
descriptions, and well-crafted samba instruments.
An Introduction to Rio de
Janeiro | Brazil
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