We love the UK and its fantastic offering of things to do but sometimes I yearn for somewhere a bit sunnier and brighter. I’ve been asked to look at the range of destinations in South America which you can get to with Brazil’s biggest airline TAM and I have to say a trip there is looking very tempting. But where would I go? TAM flies to several destinations from London, including Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, and Lima, all of which would be fantastic to explore. I think I would start with Rio!
You can’t fail to have noticed Rio this year with the football World Cup, and Rio is also to host the next Olympic Games in 2016, being the first South American city to do so. Rio de Janeiro has not been the capital of Brazil for over 50 years but it’s probably its best known city, and most recognisable. From the beaches and famous carnivals, to Monte Cristo with its wonderful views and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, to the cable cars up Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio is famous the world over.
What you need to know for a trip to Rio De Janeiro….
- Unlike most of the rest of South America, Brazilians speak Portuguese, not Spanish, a legacy of its founding by Portuguese explorers in the 16thcentury.
- Rio De Janeiro have their winter when we have our summer, so it’s hottest from November to April, and cooler from May to October. They also have a rainy season from December to March.
- Rio de Janeiro is a hugely popular tourist destination and has the second highest hotel room rate in the world, with only New York City being more expensive. Rio attracts nearly 3 million tourists a year!
- Rio is a popular city for film-making and there is a major annual film festival.
- Brazil’s currency is the Real, which is written as R$. There are currently R$3.8 to £1 GBP.
Top things to do in Rio De Janeiro
- Visit a football stadium and watch a game! Brazil is a top footballing nation – having won the World Cup five times! – and Rio is host to seven football teams, including the high-flying Botafogo. If you like football, Rio de Janeiro is paradise.
- Sit on Copacabana beach. I challenge you to do it without singing THE song.
- Ride a bike around the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas – a lake encircled by a 7km cycle path.
- Take a train to the top of Monte Cristo and look down on Rio next to Christ the Redeemer.
- Visit the Museu Naval, Rio’s museum of naval history.
- Watch a samba show. There are lots of shows available, and you can eat a meal and have a drink while experiencing Brazilian dance culture.
- Visit the Botanical Gardens – a 140 hectare park containing over 6000 species, with monuments of historical significance.
Rio de Janeiro is definitely on my bucket list. If it’s on yours too, then check out the flights from London with TAM and check out this handy guide to Brazil.
Disclosure – this is a sponsored post