A whistle-stop tour of Rio State

I had the chance recently to join some friends working and travelling in Brazil, and I jumped at it. I wondered what we'd fit into a 10 day trip, and the answer was a bit of everything, and I felt I came away with a good flavour of what the country has to offer.

Rio de Janeiro certainly has a reputation and arriving alone in the city at night, I admit I was a little nervous. However, I found that the area we were staying in, the southern area of Copacabana, is very safe. The media does a good job of scaremongering, and like anywhere there are undesirable areas, but the majority of the city is very safe, if you exercise some common sense.

Copacabana and Ipanema are the famous beaches; Ipanema attracting the more upmarket, trendy crowd. Copacabana has a grungy edge which is just as appealing. Both are beautiful in equal measure. Looking over at Sugar Loaf Mountain from Copacabana whilst the sun sets is unforgettable. Rio has a really unique landscape and Guanabara Bay with its huge jutting rocks isn'ttoodissimilar to those you'd see somewhere like Thailand. Take a look at it from Corcovado mountain (home of Christ the Redeemer) and the contrast with the white sandy beaches and skyscrapers is like nowhere else.

Rio also has a thriving cultural scene; the national gallery and theatre aren't too far away from the famous Lapa area of the city which is great for spotting lovely architecture and multi-coloured quirky and historical buildings.

The city is really easy to get around, either using local buses or taxis which are very reasonable or the concierge service in your hotel, where you should also be able to arrange daytrips.

Sad to leave Rio, we travelled 6 hours along the coast to Paraty, a beautifully lush, green landscape with cobbled streets and pretty colonial architecture. If you want to escape the crowds, take a local boat to the nearby islands and swim or snorkel in the beautiful emerald green water. It's also a great spot to do some treks in the forest, and we were rewarded with glimpses of huge electric blue butterflies and tropical birds and the odd spider.

Coming to the end of my trip, I wanted to see somewhere else along the coast; Trindade. A great spot for surfing, the white sandy beaches are out of this world, and connected by rainforest trails. Not yet a big spot for international tourists, yet we found it busy with lots of Brazilians on their holidays - a sure sign that it's a good place. Lots of fresh seafood and watching my first ever 'moon-rise' on the beach was a great end to the trip.

I have unfinished business with Brazil - 10 days was not enough and I will definitely be back to see more!

Author: Kerry Cook

We often have offers we would like to share with you. In order to receive these offers from us please register your details here to receive our offers-led mailings.

Click here to request a call back travel quote from our travel specialists. We look forward to creating your perfect holiday.
Click here to read our Travel Blog to find out our views on all things travel.

Did You Know?

Book your family holiday with Deva Travel and receive a Lonely Planet Kids Travel Guide Book for the younger traveller to enjoy. Terms & Conditions apply.
For holidays booked and departing in 2017