Reading Time: 3 minutes Thing to do in Rio

Rio de Janeiro. Is it a city? Beach? Jungle? … Luxury? Poverty?

This cultural and geographical fusion is a headlining destination. If there was a destination based Hollywood “A” List, Rio would be on it.

Rio de Janeiro is an undisputed favorite amongst travelers because it makes your spirit dance. It takes you by the hips or collar and keeps you up all day and night. It sways your heart and challenges everything you thought you knew about people and places. Before you know it, your spirit is dancing.

It’s the people. It’s the activities. The landscape. The blatant socioeconomic segregation that we often ignore in our own cities. The music. The food. The nightlife.  The richness in art.

It’s Rio.

I recently collaborated with Brazilian photographer and personality Paulo del Valle on an article “No World Cup? Why You Should Still Visit Brazil.” He is a local expert of things to do in Rio whose taste I trust. Check out Paulo’s suggestions:

Best Bars in Rio:

Bar Urca:  The most popular bar in Urca. Join friends for some beers and a sunset backdrop to the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Bar do Mineiro: Feast up on Brazil’s traditional “Feijoada” (black beans and pork meat). Located in the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, stroll further into the city for some tasty  “Pastéis”.

Bar dos Descasados: Situated at the luxurious Hotel Santa Teresa, the bar is “the perfect place for couples.”

Deck Bar: Located on the top of the Pestana Hotel at the Copacabana Beach, it’s fantastic for nightly fun, striking views of the Copacabana Beach, and dancing to DJ beats on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Lord Jim Pub: “One of the best Pubs in the city, located in Ipanema. Great place to listen to some great songs and watch games.”

Palaphita Kitch: While the sun settles into the Lagoon, savor typical Brazilian cuisine from the North region. Book ahead for Thursday and Friday nights. Thing to do in Rio

Memorable Restaurants in Rio:

Gula Gula (Lagoon Gourmet): Linger for lunch on the shores of the lagoon or opt for a balcony view. Select one of their many popular dishes or build your own.

Guacamole: “The best Mexican restaurant in the city located in the neighborhood of Jardim Botânico. The food is delicious!” Because mariachis and “tequileiros” are something everyone can appreciate every once in a while.

PorcãoRio’s: You can’t leave Brazil without trying “churrasco” (Brazilian barbecue). Be ready to eat all kinds of meat in traditional “rodizio de churrasco.” Jus sit and wait for the waiters to bring you rounds of endless meat. With sights of “Pão de Açucar” (Sugarloaf), Porcão Rio’s is famed for having one of the greatest views of the city.

Bibi Sucos: If you didn’t catch the craze in L.A. or Sydney, “açai” is the Brazilian equivalent to paradise in your mouth. Paulo says “If you have tried it before outside of Brazil, I can guarantee you it’s not the same thing.” I 100% agree. “This place is one of the best juice places in Rio with many locations in the city. Have a delicious Açai after a day on the beach.”

Zazá Bistrô: For a taste of contemporary cuisine and an ambiance of romance, book this Ipanema bistro with your significant other.

A warm obrigado to the very talented Mr. Paulo del Valle for the pictures and list of hot spots! Check him out on Instagram and Facebook.

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