Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Name: Cais Do Porto Do Rio De Janeiro
Address: Ave Rodrigues Alves, 10
Phone: Contact Individual Cruise Line
Email: Contact Individual Cruise Line
Rio is located on the east coast of Brazil and was once the nation’s capital, replaced by the city of Brazilia in the 1960s. The port is located is just south of the international airport, Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport, which itself is 13 miles (20km) from downtown.
Rio de Janeiro Airport is served by shuttle buses, taxis and public transport, providing convenient transportation for the passengers traveling to Rio.
Shuttle buses take travelers from the Rio de Janeiro Airport to Santos-Dumont. These buses stop at most major hotels and beaches.
Bus and taxi are the most hassle-free ways to travel into Rio. Taxis are available, although visitors are advised to ignore the RDE taxi desk and go to the Rio de Janeiro State Tourism Authority desk instead and buy prepaid taxi vouchers. Otherwise, passengers should ensure that their taxi’s meter is cleared of the last fare.
There is an airport shuttle bus every hour which stops at major hotels and beaches. Empresa Real has air-conditioned frescao buses that drive into the city as well as along the seafront stopping off at the hotels (journey time: 45 minutes). Public buses run to the city center.
Rio de Janeiro’s lodging scene is diversified, offering options in all price ranges and in all parts of the city. The first thing to do is find the area or neighborhood that attracts you the most and while most will choose a hotel with a beach access, there are properties in the city itself that have character and style.
Among the high-end beach hotels are the Caesar Park on Ipanema Beach; Marina All Suites on Leblon Beach; Copacabana Palace, and the Sofitel Rio Palace on Copacabana Beach; and Le Meridien on Leme Beach.
Few cities in the world offer the glamour and mystery that you’ll find in Rio. From Carnival to spectacular beaches, the city of more than six million people is a magical playground of fun and cultural activity.
Yes, all of the stories you’ve heard about Rio’s beaches being the heart and soul of the city are true. Rio loves the sun and its world famous beaches are free to all, with surfing a popular pastime. The legendary Copacabana beach is lively, with people often playing beach volleyball with the samba playing in the background. The sidewalks are filled with drink stands and peddlers hawking everything imaginable you might need.
Another beach, Ipanema, is known for its attraction to the young and fashionable, with numerous boutiques. Joggers and children of the wealthy hang out here. On Sundays the road that runs along the beach is given to pedestrians so that the entire beach area is a place of human interaction.
But the city isn’t just fun and games. Rio’s museums and privately funded cultural centers are filled with masterpieces and wonderful history. The Museu Historico National boasts a collection of 30,000 items, including ivory toys once owned by the imperial family. At the Mosteiro de Sao Bento is a richly adorned interior with magnificent silver chandeliers and ceiling paintings dedicated to the Virgin. A Franciscan convent is paneled in gilded wood, with painted ceilings depicting the glorification of Saint Francis.
One of the city’s most famous mountains is Sugarloaf, not to be confused with Corcovado, home of Christ The Redeemer. Sugarloaf is a huge granite slab at the entrance of the Guanabara Bay and from the top at 1,295 feet you can see the whole city, the beaches and the Atlantic Ocean. To get there, you catch a two-stage cableway with a length of 4,265 feet for a 20 minute ride.
The museums of Rio are plentiful and contain some of South America’s finest artistic endeavors. The Natonal Museum of Fine Arts is located in an impressive French Renaissance style building across from the Municipal Theater and the permanent collection has more than 10,000 paintings and works of art by Brazilian artists from late XVII century to the present.
And for a museum that’s different, try the Carmen Miranda Museum, located in Flamengo Park, not far from the Museum of Modern Art. Miranda is one of Brazil’s most famous personalities and a movie star whose pictures were popular in the 1940s and ‘50s. She is the only Brazilian ever to leave a print of her feet and hands in Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. After her death in 1955, her husband donated her fabulous collection of clothing and accessories.
The collection has over 3,000 pieces including performance and dress clothes, accessories, shoes, photos, decorative objects, trophies, advertising material, caricatures, videos, contracts, scripts and records.
Eating out in Rio is an inexpensive experience. There’s a wide variety of budget restaurants and snack bars as well as sophisticated high end restaurants that charge what you’d expect in any major city. Some restaurants do not take credit cards so it’s wise to check first.
Restaurants are required by law to have some display with the price list and bills come with an additional 10 per cent tip at the bottom of the bill.
Most restaurants start with a couvert that usually consists of a basket with bread, rolls, and assorted spreads. The couvert is not complimentary, and it’s charged per person. If you’re trying to save, you could try asking for a single couvert and share
Things to do:
Shopping in Rio is very affordable and shops in Rio are sophisticated and full of character. Rio has over 30 shopping centers located throughout the city, most of which contain supermarkets, department stores, fashion boutiques and music outlets. While shopping centers are plentiful you’ll have more fun strolling along streets in the central part of town that are lined with boutiques and beautiful people.
Rio is the place to invest in good-quality beach- and swimwear. Fashion clothes shops are increasingly common and Rio is also recommended for antiques and jewelry. Brazilian soccer shirts make great gifts.
Ipanema, Leblon and Copacabana are perfect for window-shopping or even serious shopping. In Ipanema the main shopping artery is Rua Visconde de Piraja, but the cross-streets are as interesting. Garcia D’Avila is where you go if you’re interested in jewelry. In Leblon in addition to Rua Ataulfo de Paiva, Rua Dias Ferreira and many others are full of interesting surprises. And in Copacabana other than Av. Nossa Senhora de Copacabana and Rua Barata Ribeiro, almost all cross-streets have their own attractions.
Good-quality arts and crafts are available at regular outdoor markets, which are colorful and entertaining places for tourists to visit. Antique fairs occur in various parts of the city every weekend. The Rio Antiques Fair located on the Rua do Lavradio, Centro, is held for two weeks every month. Here’s where you’ll find a variety of treasures on this neo-classical street, which was the home and meeting place for artists, poets, politicians, typographers and writers.
No trip to Rio would be complete without taking the tram up Corcovado (hunchback) mountain, so named because of its shape and home to probably the most memorable and identifying image of Rio – The Christ The Redeemer statue. Arms boldly stretched in welcome, he embraces the city and the magnificent Bay over which he looks.
Situated in the heart of the Tijuca National Park, the statue was created by sculptor Paul Landoviski, and built by the engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, from 1926 to 1931, when it was inaugurated. The Statue of Christ stands 30 meters high (100 feet), covered in a mosaic of soapstone.
The trip by rail is about 20 minutes and leaves the base each half hour. The busiest time to visit is Easter and the Christmas season. From the road or the train terminal Christ the Redeemer statue is reached by 222 steps. If you don’t want to walk reaching the statue is possible by escalators and elevators. Pick a clear day if you can because the view is absolutely spectacular.
— Ray Chatelin
Photos by Toshi Chatelin