It's not just the beach in Rio de Janeiro! The city which owes its name 'January River' to the Portuguese explorer Gaspar de Lemos – he believed that the bay was a river – is also full of places to visit and charming districts.
Our proposed activity: Day trip from Rio by day
Center and Lapa
On weekdays, venture with a guide or local to the Centro and Lapa neighborhoods.
You will discover the municipal theater – which strangely resembles the Paris Opera – and the Metropolitana cathedral, an enormous cone decorated with four stained glass windows 60 meters high! A bit of culture and history?
Take a detour to the Museu historico nacional or the Centro cultural do banco do Brasil, which has become one of the best cultural centers in the country.
At night during the weekend, the Lapa district around the aqueduct turns into a great street party!
One of the most popular clubs is the atypical Rio de Senarium, where dancers rub shoulders with antiques. But the queue can stretch for several kilometres!
Don't be put off by the favelas that surround Santa Teresa, this hill at the foot of Corcovado is a dip in the Bohemian Rio.
Colonial facades, paintings, small alleys, Santa Teresa is reminiscent of a Brazilian Montmartre.
Go back down to the center by taking the 'bonde', the last tram still in operation in Rio.
Lagoa and the Botanical Garden
Rio definitely offers a complete geography – mountains, beaches, forest… and Lagoa.
This lake, surrounded by friendly restaurants and bars with bamboo chairs, is a real breath of fresh air in the middle of the city.
It is connected to the sea by the canal of the Garden of Alah, built to salinize the lake and prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes.
You can rent bikes there to go around it, then venture to the Botanical Garden north of the lake, which contains no less than 5000 varieties of plants. Ideal for a quiet Sunday in Rio.