Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s second largest city and for me one of the world’s most beautiful. With a population of estimated 13,3 million people in the metropolitan region it belongs to the worlds Megacities. Europeans first encountered the Guanabara Bay on January 1st, 1502 and assumed mistakenly the bay was a river mouth, hence the name: January river. I guess everyone knows the most iconic places like the sugar loaf, the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado or the stairway Escaderia Selarón. However, if you have some time you can discover much more:
Rios famous nostalgic yellow tram goes to Santa Teresa, an art district in a hilly area a bit away from the beaches.
You’´ll find there beautiful old mansions, galleries, fancy shops, bars and restaurants. When I first came to Rio many years ago it was still allowed to hold on to the outside of the tram during the ride even on the bridge “Arcos da lapa” which is up to 17 m high.
While the Copacabana became pretty touristic and commercial during the last years Santa Teresa is still more authentic. We’ve been there on Saturday night and had a wonderful time in a restaurant with live music and dance and many locals.
Looking through the old pics I realized that I captured the same restaurant then and recently. It hasn’t changed much over the years…. Going by this tram you will explore a different side of the city. The station of the Carioca tram is in the centre a bit hidden behind the building of the Bank of Brazil.
While sitting atop the sugar loaf and enjoying the view this little guy passed by. Do you know what it is? At least I didn’´t. Later I realized that it is a marmoset, also known as zari, a primate species native to the Amazonas rain forest, usually living in the upper canopees of the forest trees. Their incisors are similar to those of rodents in order to gnaw the tree bark to get the tree sap.
Special Tip: Since a few years you can discover Rio by bike. There are bicycle lanes on many major roads and many cycle paths, including along Guanabara Bay. There is a bicycle rental in the Avenida Atlantica close to the Museum of History.