Trip Tips: Rio's beaches and bars are key to its bohemian ways

Fri Jun 6, 2014 9:02am EDT
 
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By Jeb Blount

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Sao Paulo is bigger and the capital moved to Brasília 54 years ago, but Rio de Janeiro, with its white beaches, blue ocean and jungle-covered mountains, is still the place that comes to mind when people think of Brazil.

Home to samba and Carnival, bossa nova and modern architecture, imperial palaces and shantytowns, notorious drug gangs and world-renowned telenovellas, the 448-year-old harbor city is a microcosm of Latin America's largest country.

Soccer fans coming to Rio for the World Cup will be too late for the city's famed Carnival bash, but they'll also miss the energy-sapping Southern Hemisphere summer heat.

Rio's legendary Maracana stadium will host seven World Cup games: Argentina vs Bosnia and Herzegovina; defending champion Spain vs Chile; Belgium vs Russia; Ecuador vs France, a round of 16 match, a quarter-final and the final on July 13.

Here are tips for getting the most out of a trip to Rio from Reuters, whose 2,600 journalists in all parts of the world offer visitors the best local insights.

BODIES, BEACHES, JUICE BARS

By all means visit tourist favorites such as Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) and the Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado, but here are places that locals enjoy, too.   Continued...

 
A woman is silhouetted against the backdrop of the sugar loaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro June 5, 2014. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes