Located on Brazil’s Atlantic southern coast, Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant place that remains an abiding favorite amongst travelers and backpackers. From the famous Rio Carnival to the spectacular beaches and the breathtaking landscapes, Rio is a time-honored destination for backpackers looking to let their hair down and have a bit of fun.
Things to Do in Rio
The incoming visitor is simply spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do in Rio. There are some things, however, that you definitely should not miss out when planning your trip here. These include:
1. Days spent lazing around on the city’s sun kissed beaches. The Copacabana and the Urca, for example, are famous beaches that have become an attraction in their own right for backpackers locals alike. Spending time here is simply a must while staying in Rio.
2. The Rio Carnival. If you happen to be in town during the week of the Rio Carnival, you’re in for a treat. One of the most famous carnivals of the world, Rio’s become awash with a riot of colors during the festival, and you will find people dancing, singing and drinking into the wee hours of the morning. Simply not to be missed.
3. Paragliding. With high hills and great winds throughout the year, Rio has emerged as one of the ideal places for paragliding and hang gliding. If you are an adventurous traveler, this is an experience not to be missed.
4. A helicopter tour. Ok, so it might be a bit on the expensive side, but, with its spectacular landscapes and bustling urbanity, a bird’s eye view of the city Rio is a memorable sight.
Stay safe in Rio:
While Rio as dangerous as some make out, the backpacker nonetheless needs to keep their wits about them in order to ensure they do not fall prey to criminals who consider tourists to be soft targets for mugging or robbing.
The most important tip here is probably to avoid downtown Rio after dark, especially if you are alone or accompanied by just one or two friends. As ever when traveling, carrying as little cash as possible and not wearing expensive jewelry are advisable while exploring Rio.
While traveling around Rio, sticking to the subway when possible is a good maxim, as it proves significantly safer than the buses, where pickpockets tend to ply their dubious trade.
Where to stay in Rio?
Thankfully, there are many good hostels in Rio de Janeiro that the backpacker can choose from, and they all provide a safe haven should you feel the outside get a little too ‘edgy’ for your liking.
The Brazil Hostel, for example, located in Santa Teresa, is a safe place to stay that offers great facilities. Also in Santa Teresa is the Terra Brasilis Hostel, which is a top Rio de Janeiro hostel that you can stay in. As these hostels are close to Rio’s nightclub district, they prove popular with travelers who want to go out at night and retain the safety net of ‘home’ being close by.