LUXE City Guides - Rio de Janeiro - - Front Page -

The post­card-pretty Mar­vel­lous City daz­zles with year­round sun, sand, samba and sex ap­peal, but don’t judge this Betty solely by her teeny bikini – not con­tent with some 80km of beaches, Rio de Janeiro also boasts awe­some ar­chi­tec­ture, an up n’ com­ing culi­nary scene and hot home­grown de­sign, not to men­tion the Olympics on her radar...


Ipanema Beach and neigh­bour­ing Le­blon kiss the At­lantic Ocean on the city’s south­ern shores, with Jardim Botânico and Lagoa ly­ing to the north, and Copaca­bana to the east. Fur­ther north still find hip Botafogo and Fla­mengo, with the hilly in­clines of boho Santa Teresa, nightlife hub Lapa, and his­tor­i­cal fi­nan­cial district Cen­tro perched above.

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Car­i­o­cas don their itsy-bit­sies and wet­suits when­ever the sun’s out, even in win­ter (Jul-Sep). Hot n’ hu­mid trop­i­cal sum­mers (Dec-Feb) mark high sea­son – whip ‘em off and pre­pare to peo­ple-OGLE, not peo­ple-watch Galeão Int’l Air­port (GIG) to Ipanema: 45min / R$100 by cab; and do­mes­tic air­port Santos Du­mont (SDU) ap­prox 20min / R$40; al­low ex­tra time for traf­fic to/from both Events. Car­naval: Feb/Mar, heav­ing month-long street party like spring break but with nip tas­sels, at­tend at your own peril; New Year’s Eve: Reveil­lon, fire­works on Copaca­bana beach and tid­dly rev­ellers wear­ing white Taxis are abun­dant, but don’t ex­pect a lick of English – bring ad­dresses in Por­tuguese, make sure your car has GPS, and keep your concierge on speed-dial There is a poorly-signed metro and bus net­work that ser­vices far­ther nabes, but with­out a na­tive speaker you may end up lost near the Ama­zon – take a taxi Safety. Rio gets a bad rap for crime, and not for noth­ing. Be savvy – don’t wave your DSLR about, leave the Rolex at home, no beaches af­ter dark, and avoid Cen­tro on w/ends. If the worst hap­pens, stay calm and co­op­er­ate Beach. Ab­so­lutely do NOT bring a towel – it would be bet­ter to plas­ter a gi­ant ‘tourist’ sign to your head Lo­cals wear can­gas (sarongs) and rent beach chairs Caipir­in­has. Na­tional cock­tail with a lib­er­ally poured cachaça (rocket fuel) base – sip it slowly or ask for a caipiroska (subbed with vodka), or ready your am­bu­lance Most shops open around 10am-7pm Mon-Fri, un­til 4pm Sat, and close Sun; all mu­se­ums are closed Mon Cur­rency is the real, ATMs are ev­ery­where but close af­ter 10pm; cash up at Ban­co24Ho­ras in petrol sta­tions Smok­ing is banned in­doors and in cov­ered out­door ar­eas Int’l di­alling code is +55, land­lines start with 21, nei­ther need be di­alled lo­cally. Mo­biles start with 9 In emer­gen­cies dial 193 for am­bu­lance, 190 for po­lice, and 2332 2924 for tourist po­lice

The fol­low­ing phrases will charm the pants off Car­i­o­cas...

Oi / Tchau tchau : Hiya / Laters E aí, gat­inha? : What’s go­ing on, kitty cat? Isso deve ser sil­i­cone : Check out the faux baps on that!­mos à praia

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