In case you haven’t seen yesterdays post, in the summer me and my friend Katie went out to Brazil for the Olympics, travelling for two weeks up the cost from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. Check out yesterdays blog on part 1 in brazil here. Today’s post is about Rio de Janeiro itself and Iguazu falls which we managed to squeeze in at the end of our two week trip.
We travelled up to Rio by a little tour bus which we had pre booked- the best thing about it was it dropped us at our hostel door. We stayed here and though in general the hostel was only ok 5/10 (breakfasts were awful!) it was in a fantastic location only 5 minutes walk from Copacabana beach which was particularly ideal as this is where much of the Olympics was centred.
First thing to say is I absolutely love love loved Rio!!! It was such a fun city and had so much going on, not just the Olympics. In fact, disappointingly for us the Brazilians didn’t seem very interested in the Olympics at all, Im sure you know this too as many of the stadiums were half empty which was a massive shame!
We only had five days in Rio and we had tickets to see 3 sports- Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Basketball and then we bought rugby whilst out there as well. So as you can imagine we had a lot to pack in for the days in the city though happily im pleased to say we managed to tick off nearly everything we wanted to do. As well as managing to fit in going to some of the Olympic houses too.
Most amazingly me and Katie actually managed to get tickets to the opening ceremony too which was pretty cool! Being from London both me and Katie managed to catch the 2012 Olympics too, (Katie was actually a volunteer in the awards ceremonies) so I think we had some pretty big expectations from the Brazil games, which if Im completely honest I don’t think they 100% lived up to.
Of the Olympics I have to say I enjoyed the beach volleyball the best being set on Copacabana beach was pretty hard to top! Though Rugby and watching UK play and win was pretty good competition. Of the Olympic houses we enjoyed Holland most of hall.
Here is us beer in hand watching the swimming competitions with a swimming pool in front of us too it was pretty good.
GB house you have a lot to learn, yes you were set in a pretty cool location but being invitation only is not cool! I hope you learn for next time! And to whoever sells Olympic tickets if your stadiums are half empty still by the time the Olympics starts please drop the price of the tickets me and Katie would happily of bought loads more if they were all over £200 a ticket! Sorry for that rant over now.
Aside from the Olympics I have to say Rio completely lived up to my expectations! I loved it all! Lots of people told us to stay in Ipanema but I think in general I liked Copacabana more, it seemed like there was more going on there to me, though yes this could have been the Olympics.
In terms of sightseeing I think we did pretty well, managing to squeeze in nearly everything we wanted to see:
We got up early and squeezed in both Cristo Redentor and Pao de Acucar (Sugarload mountain). I was very very temped to walk up to Cristo Redentor but after getting in the train and seeing how far it was I am so glad we didn’t attempt it. It is a very long and steep way!!
I think everyone probably has a view on which one their favourite is but for me Pao de Acucar won hands down mainly due to the lack of crowds in comparison to Cristo.
The Spanish steps were pretty amazing too!
Finally at the end of the 5 days both me and Katie were very sad to leave! I could happily of stayed longer! Though luckily it wasn’t the end of the trip but onwards to Iguacu falls which is in a word SPECTACULAR!! A complete must do!!! We stayed on the Brazilian side in Foz do Iguacu but crossed over the boarder to view the falls from the Argentinian side. I have read that this journey is easy to do by public bus but we actually hired a taxi and it was amazingly quick and cheap! If you can afford it I would definitely recommend this.
The Argentianian side of the falls is huge, there are so many paths taking you right up to the top and bottom of the waterfalls it took us the whole day to explore. Its also where you can get the boat out to experience and get soaked by the waterfall….of course we did this too.
We popped across to the Brazilian side before our flight on our last day running through it all as we only had about 2 hours spare. I think we did it the right way round though, in my opinion the Argentinian side wins hands down. Except the photo above is taken from the Brazilian side….its tricky- maybe try them both and let me know what you think!
Finally after a whirlwind 2 week trip it came to an end and me and Katie headed back to London. I loved it all and am going to start planning my trip back some time soon…..maybe in the height of their summer when its scorching, or for Rio carnival to see the whole city come to life.
Check out tomorrow for the summary of take away lessons and tips for when you go to Brazil 🙂