Rio Tips

The Zika Carnival

Zika Virus, how are we dealing with it?


Poster warning about Mosquito Aedes aegypt in São Paulo


It is already Carnival in Brazil, and in Rio.The city is already crowded with tourists but I keep wondering how many people gave up the idea of coming to Rio after WHO (World Health Organization)  had declared Zika a global health emergency. Continue reading

Feira Hippie de Ipanema, Ipanema Hippie Fair

Every time someone is visiting Quiqui, my big sister who lives in New York, she “places a little order” with us. A little list of Brazilian items, things that she can’t find there in New York and that we gently take her whenever visiting her.

This time, my Mom is the lucky one who will be spending some days in New York with her, but I was the one responsible for buying some items of her little list that can only be found in Feira Hippie de Ipanema.  Thank you Quiqui!!It was a great excuse to escape on a Sunday morning from my two boys (husband and kid) and go to this place full of beautiful and creative things!!

Feira  Hippie de Ipanema is a popular street market  between tourists and locals in Rio, where you can find different types of Brazilian crafts. Good quality leather goods, silver bijou  or crafts bijou, “Capim dourado” goods (Gold grass, a typical grass from the center part of Brazil), clothes, wood goods, paintings, children’s clothes, and so many things that I am not able to remember everything you can find there. The best part is that most of things sold there are of good quality and the prices are much more attractive and fair than from any other shop in the south zone of Rio. It is a great place to buy some typical carioca souveniers for friends, family or a little treat for yourself.

But if you wanna adventure yourself walking around and browsing through the stalls, be ware that the Hippie Fair only happens on Sundays, and you better plan your days considering spending a Sunday in Ipanema neighborhood.

Location: The hippie fair takes place at Praça General Osório, a square between Rua Prudente de Morais and Rua Visconde de Pirajá, the first and second streets parallel with beachfront Vieira Souto.  You can easily reach Praça General Osório by subway, as the Ipanema subway station, General Osório Station, takes you right to Praça General Osório.

Special tips:

  • Take cash! Although most of the stalls already accepts credit card,  some of them only accepts cash.
  • Don’t arrive too early in the morning!  Although the fair is supposed to work from 7am to 7 pm every Sunday, many of the vendors arrive later! To see all the stalls working you better go after 2pm.
  • The Hippie Fair is a street fair,  so don’t forget to take care of you personal belongings and follow all the safety tips I have already talked about here.
  • Enjoy your time!!!






Still time to talk about “Festas Juninas” RioRio

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We’re already in July, but it is still time to talk about “Festas Juninas” (June Parties or June Festivals), a traditional festival held originally in the month of June all over Brazil, and now that keeps going on through the beginning of August.

Somewhere in the past of this blog, I wrote a post about “Festas Juninas” and how much I love them, I dare to say they are my favourite popular brazilian party! But with so many Festas Juninas or “Arraiás” (a local way to call them) happening this weekend and with so many others already planned for all the July weekends, I feel more than tempted to mention this brazilian tradition once more.

Do you know those typical country fairs or carnivals that take place in North America? In a way, they remind me a little bit of our  “Festas Juninas”. Traditionally, the Festas Juninas happens in the month of June and in this kind of festival you will find plenty of tents selling regional food, tents of games (like fishing game or big mouth toss games) and people dancing “quadrilha”, something similar to a square dance.

But nowadays the “Festas Juninas” got a modern touch and now the parties hold  music concerts and food truck festivals, which are the new fever in Rio lately.

So here I share with you two festivals I would like to attend this weekend , but unfortunately I won’t be able to go, as I’ve been knocked out  by a terrible flu this weekend.

Arraiá do Planetário – Feira Planetária  – Well, this one is not really a “Festa Junina” but more like a gastronomy and foodtruck festival held in the gardens of “Planetário da Gávea” (Rio Planetarium)
Dates: July 4th and July 5Th, 2015
Hours: Saturday (12h to 23h) / Sunday (12h to 21h)
Planetário da Gávea -Rua Vice-Governador Rubens Berardo, 100 – Gávea
Free Admission

Festa Julina do Parque da Bola – Maracanã Stadium – Parque da Bola is a kind of soccer themed festival held in the Maracanã Stadium  Complex (entrance by Gate 4A). There you will enjoy music shows, cultural and sports activities and gastronomy.
Date: July 4th, 2015
Hours: 15h to 21h
Admission: R$ 30,00

So if anyone in Rio this weekend willing to experience some of brazilian traditional festival, those are my suggestions for this Saturday night. Enjoy yourselves!!!!

Why You Need to Visit the Islands of Angra dos Reis (Guest Post by Rdj4u)

We love Rio de Janeiro for its exuberance, lively people and fun but chaotic city life, but, let’s face it, it’s not always relaxing. Luckily the perfect escape lies just a few hours south of Rio: Angra dos Reis and its 365 islands.

This is the ultimate beach escape if you’re looking for quiet tropical islands and undeveloped coastlines. Here are 5 reasons why you need to visit the islands of Angra dos Reis.

  1. Close to Rio

Angra dos Reis, meaning the Bay of Kings, is just 168 km from Rio, along the very scenic BR 101 road which runs along the Costa Verde. The distance makes it doable for a day trip, or a weekend getaway – although you may be tempted to stay longer! To get there, you can book a transfer from Rio to Angra.

  1. Island Paradise

Did we mention it has 365 islands? That’s right, one for every day of the year. Plus, there are around 2,000 beaches. That means a lot of beach time on idyllic stretches of sand that are significantly less crowded than Copacabana on a sunny Saturday.

  1. Ilha Grande

The largest island in the bay is Ilha Grande. The island was once a pirate’s lair, before being used as a quarantine for sailors with cholera, then it was turned into a penitentiary for Rio’s most dangerous criminals. These days, its main business is tourism and the preservation of its diverse section of the Atlantic Forest.

Ilha Grande has an incredibly laid-back vibe: there are no roads, and no cars. To get around, you can make use of the endless hiking trails. The last few years have also seen a boom in accommodation. You can now extend your stay on paradise in your choice of hotel, hostel B&B or pousada.

  1. Outdoor activities

While you have plenty of opportunities to simply laze on one of the many beaches and soak up some sun, there is more to offer if you’re willing to get a bit more active. Ilha Grande offers prime hiking and diving spots off its coast. For snorkelling, head to the second biggest island: Gipóia. Gipóia also has some great beaches for surfing.

  1. One of the best beaches in the world

Lopes Mendes beach on Ilha Grande frequently makes it onto lists of the best beaches in the world. One look at the fine white sand and aquamarine water will tell you why. You can reach it by hiking from Ilha Grande’s main town Abraão, or hopping on a boat, which will leave you at Praia do Pouso, another beach a short walk away. A tip: take snacks and refreshments with you, because there is only the occasional vendor at this remote spot.

If you don’t have enough time to spend a few days here, don’t leave it off your itinerary! Book a day tour to Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande and spend your day on a classic schooner boat exploring the clear waters and beaches of this beautiful bay.

All photos in this post by Daytours4u

Written by Nicole Eberhard, English Content Editor for Rdj4u.
Rdj4u is a  friendly and professional network for tours & activities in Rio de Janeiro! It is the “carioca”side of Daytours4u . To learn more about RDj4u click here.

4 Places where I still feel safe in Rio

Everyone who has been reading my blog for the last year has been following how my concerns about personal safety had increased and how that has affected my life style.

I definitely stopped doing certain things, as carrying my DSLR camera, in certain places or certain hours and being alert all the time is something that I can’t avoid even if I’m just going to the bakery.

But there are still some few places where I feel a little safer,where I can relax a little bit, where I can turn my “Alert-mode” to “Stand by” . Well, that doens’t mean that those places are immune to violence, but I would say that in those places the chance of living a violent event is a little lower or even improbable comparing to other places. So I found relevant to share them with you.

1. Forte de Copacabana –  The Historical Museum of the Army and Copacabana Fort

In the very right side of Copacabana beach, the location called Posto 6 by locals  lays Forte de Copacabana, a military base, once a fort to protect Guanabara Bay, now a Military Museum and an open Fort to visitors. The Fort constructed in the piece of land that limits Copacabana and Ipanema beach provides a breathtaking view of all Copacabana beach, from Posto 6 to Leme, at the other side of the shore. The two café/restaurants located at Forte are great options for taking a coffee or a whole meal, while feeling the breeze of the sea and enjoying the beautiful view.

When to go? If you can choose, visit it during the week, as during weekends the restaurantsare usually crowded and with long waitings line. I personally like to go for a complete breakfast at Confeitaria Colombo.

Praça Coronel Eugênio Franco, nº 1 – Posto 6 of Copacabana Beach                                           Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: Adults – R$ 6,00/ Over 60 years old – R$ 3,00 /Students with Student ID – R$ 3,00

Sugar Loaf View from Forte de Copacabana

Sugar Loaf View from Forte de Copacabana

2. Barra da Tijuca Beach

It doesn’t matter how many beaches I visit , Barra da Tijuca will always be on my top list places to relax in Rio. The beach is quiet, even during weekends (well, I’m mean besides from summer time it is also crowded, but not as much as Copacabana or Ipanema), a totally family friendly atmosphere, cleaner water and sand than in any Zona Sul beaches and less or I would say almost “none” cases of “arrastões” during summer time or along the year. There I lay down my “canga” and can relax under the sun while watching my boy playing, or while my husband surf without being paranoid that my things are gone be stolen, as I would be in beaches like Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon.

Although reaching it can be a little difficult (Barra is around 15 km far from Zona Sul), and getting there by bus can be quite an unconfortable trip and going by taxi or booking a transfer can be very expensive, it is something that you should definitely consider if your looking for a little bit of relaxing moments while visiting Rio.

The distance from other neighborhoods is exactly what makes Barra da Tijuca beach less busy and less touristy than the South Zone beaches, like Ipanema and Copacana, which can easily be reached by anyone by bus or subway.

With the expansion of the Subway lines to reach Barra da Tijuca, that is said to be ready before the Olympic Games next year, Barra da Tijuca Beach will be a neighborhood that must be considered by tourists looking for relaxing moments in Rio.

When to go? Anyday will be a good day to go to Barra da Tijuca beach, but if you plan to do during the week avoid the rush hours ( 7-10am and 4 to 8 pm) or otherwise you can hit a lot of traffic. Go to spend the day at the beach or to watch the sunset on a beautiful sunny day.

Barra da Tijuca Beach, Barra da Tijuca

Barra da Tijuca Beach

Barra da Tijuca Beach

3- Praia Vermelha

A small beach with a short strecht of sand, quiet sea,  located between two mountains, Morro da Urca (the first mountain to the Sugar Loaf) and Morro da Babilonia, and surrounded by Military buildings, which makes it a safe place to visit, that’s Praia Vermelha  (Red Beach, translating to English).

It is a perfect place to go with kids,practice Stand up Paddle, Kayaking, or just walk by the short sidewalk and have a coconut water while watching the view. I like to enjoy a little of the beach and go to walk along Pista Claudio Coutinho trail for some exercising.

From Praia Vermelha sidewalk you will be able to take a great photo of Sugar Loaf mountain, like this one I already shared here.

When to go? Everyday is perfect to visit Praia Vermelha, but keep in mind that on weekends Praia Vermelha tends to be busier.

Praia Vermelha view from Pista Claudio Coutinho

Praia Vermelha view from Pista Claudio Coutinho

4.Jardim Botânico

I never get tired of writing or talking about Jardim Botânico (The Botanical Garden), I’ve written about it before, as you can see here, but it is one of my favourite places in Rio, not only for being a safe place, specially if you like photography like me, and the only worries you want to have is with the perfect shot, but also because the place is clean, well preserved and with a great variety of botanical species. When planning your trip to Rio, don’t forget to schedule a day for visiting Jardim Botanico. You won’t regret it!

When to go? Only check the working hours and plan the best day for you.

Rua Jardim Botânico, 1008 – Jardim Botânico – Monday – from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m /Tuesday to Sunday – from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Admissions: R$ 9,00 (cash only) (Gratuity: Children and seniors over 60 years old)


The Fountain at Jardim Botânico