Brazil is the largest country in South America, traveling takes time, so try not to be too ambitious in terms of how much you aim to explore on your trip. It can take a whole day to travel from one part to another. On this trip we decided to stay near the beaches and avoid Zika infested mosquitos, not visiting anything near the amazon river. We drove an hour and a half from the airport to the Windsor Marapendi Hotel in Rio de Janeiro’s lively Barra da Tijuca district. This beautiful 5 star beach front hotel houses the most amazing rooftop pool I have ever seen. The view from this rooftop is just breath taking.
The shoreline in this area has far too many high rise hotels and apartments, which gave it a Miami type feel. Barra da Tijuca is a great choice for travelers interested in Restaurants, Shopping (nearby just 10 mins downtown to the Barra shopping Malls) and beautiful sandy beaches. Peddlers constantly roam along the beaches selling everything from food to drinks (you can order caprinihas all day long) to bikinis, scarves and trinkets. All the beaches are gorgeous with really soft, clean sand and wonderful views of the mountains in the distance.
The famous Ipanema Beach is just a 30 minute drive up the coast line where beach performers troll and a younger hipper crowd hang. The area around this beach is considered the “little Paris” of Rio, it’s renowned for its avant-garde galleries, bookstores, brand name stores and movie theatres.
Ipanema beach is especially beautiful during the evening when you can see the lights of the hills. My daughter, Mila adored the alluring lights from the hills. The scenic view is so lovely and surreal just like a post card.
So what’s next ?…Road Trip, six hour drive to Sao Paulo.