Our holiday in South America was amazing, our first and last stop was the city of Rio – and here are our top things to do:
1. Don’t do anything, don’t go anywhere until you have had about a dozen of Pao de Queijo for breakfast, these little cheese balls are everything.
2. Spend the mornings on the beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema – and beat the heat with some coconut water, straight from the source.
3. Tour the city visiting landmarks like the Sao Bento Monastery, the Museum of Tomorrow, Arcos de Lapa, the Cathedral of Saint Sebastian and the stadium of Maracana.
4. Be sure to make a stop at the Sambodrome, try on an outfit and test out some samba moves.
5. Scale the world-famous steps Escadaria Selaron, the work of Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón who claimed it as “my tribute to the Brazilian people”.
6. Stand in awe of the World’s Largest Street Mural, titled Las Etnias (The Ethnicities), it stands a staggering 15 metres tall and can be found in Rio’s port district and features five faces from five different cultures.
7. Eat until you burst at one of the Churrascarias – a Brazilian Steakhouse where they serve a variety of meat rodizeo style.
8. Take a stroll through the Tijuca National Park and feel like you are really in the jungle.
9. Spend an afternoon pedaloing in the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, on a swan!
10. Take the cable car up Sugar Loaf Mountain for the most amazing view of the Harbour of Rio de Janerio – a natural Wonder of the World.
11. And of course: climb aboard the Corcovado Train and head for the summit and the statue of Christ the Redeemer – a modern wonder of the world.
12. For souvenir shopping you will want to go for the coffee, chocolate, a canga – but I thought our best buy were new Havaianas.