Day N°1 - Copacabana I Am Coming!
On our first day in Rio de Janeiro, we actually wanted to go through all tourist attractions. However, the weather wasn't optimal so we decided to go shopping and chill at the Copacabana later on.
We stayed at the JW Mariott that is situated right in front of the Copacabana. However, I wouldn't suggest booking that hotel since there are no windows looking outside. The rooms are set-up in a way where one can only look into the inner courtyard. In effect, the rooms are really dark (there is no sunlight coming in) and have a depressed feeling to them.
We enjoyed a nice breakfast at the Cafeina. The service is a little bit slow and two of our friends had to re-order their acai bowels but all in all it was nice. When you get the chance to visit Rio de Janeiro you should absolutely try an acai bowl. The fruits are native to Brasil and are deemed to be powerful antioxidants. What's funny though, is that you can't find the fruits on their own in any grocery stores. They are only available as a frozen paste.
Next, we went on a hunt for Hawaiiana's, which are crazy expensive here in Switzerland but really cheap in Brasil. After walking down the streets for a while we finally found a bigger Hawaiiana's shop. I got myself and my mother a nice pair. While shopping in the streets of Rio I noticed that there are no big commercial stores (unless you visit the mall) but small native stores. You'll definitely find some gems if you look closely and have some patience.
After our shopping experience, we got beach ready and rented a sunshade from one of the dealers at the beach.
Slurping on coconut water, eating another acai bowel and enjoying the nice summer breeze on our bodies - life was great! Well, until one beach dealer after the other approached us trying to sell something.
In the evening we were invited to an aperitif in a loft in Ipanema. Their loft was absolutely beautiful, a real dream with beach view.
For dinner, we visited the infamous CT Boucherie. The restaurant offers different kinds of meat as the main dish. Once they served you your meat they make rounds with different side dishes and ask you if you want some. Their quinoa risotto is a delight. I don't eat meat so I don't know if their meat is good. What I do know is that their salmon is delicious. If you're in Rio, CT Boucherie is a must visit.
Day N°2 - Tourist Program
On day two we were full-blown tourists. In the morning we ate breakfast in the photogenic café, Parque Lage. The food is good there and the location is stunning. From the entrance, you can see the Cristo and the little pool in the middle of the café gives an antique vibe. I advise everyone who's interested to visit the café to go on weekdays early in the morning because it can get quite crowded there. For some reason, the location enjoys cult status among pregnant Brazilian women.
Like mentioned above, the famous Cristo is closely located to Parque Lage. So, we decided to take an Uber up there. Some technical difficulties and a data package later, we finally arrived at the Cristo. The Cristo isn't just a tourist attraction but rather a spiritual monument for Christian Brazilians. The day we got up there it was a holiday so, they had a service with a priest.
I've been to Rio before so I wanted to show my friends the Escadaria Selaron, the famous stairs that were featured in Snoop Dogg and Pharell Williams - Beautiful music video.
To end the day on the right note we enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the Sugarloaf mountain.
Day N°3 - Botanical Garden
The third day sadly was our departure day. Nevertheless, we still got the whole day for us. So we decided to eat breakfast in a French-inspired café called La Bicyclette. The bread is really good and they serve it with a homemade fig jam with fig chunks in the jam. I recommend it, even though it's a little pricier than Parque Lage.
After a breakfast, a friend and I decided to visit the adjacent botanical garden. The garden is huge and absolutely stunning. Perfect for a little get away from the tourist masses in the city and totally Instagram worthy. FYI if you visit the botanical garden just make sure you get out where you came from or have an offline map downloaded on your phone. My friend and I got lost because we got in from one end of the garden and got out from the another end.
That was my adventure in Rio. I hope you found some helpful tips for your own Rio trip and enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed the city. Comment down below, what country in South America would you like to visit? Sign up for my newsletter and get free printables from my resource library and share this post with a friend or two.