Copacabana Beach

how we spent 24 hours in rio

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The sweet smell of warm air and the clear blue sky letting the glorious sun shine down on us – Rio, we love you already! This marks officially our second summer for 2014 (even though it was June and technically still winter in Brazil).

With only 24 hours in Rio, we had to be prepared. Glad to be in our shorts, despite shivering when we left Curitiba in the early hours, we threw off our jackets, pulled out our Havianas from the backpack and slapped those to our feet.

Our two weeks in Brazil was predominantly made up of football so on the day we were flying out, we had a full day in Rio to be “tourists”.

Other than probably waiting in queues for about 3-4 of those hours AND sitting in traffic, gondolas and furniculars for another 2 hours or so. This is how we spent, it actually seeing a few main sights of Rio de Janeiro.

Sugarloaf Mountain

It got its name from a direct Portuguese translation. The mountain looked like a sugarloaf mould…. To get atop Sugarloaf, it requires two cable cars. From the ticket booth, we could get a clear view of the mountain. Great to look at but it is the view from the top that is worth waiting for!

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Copacabana Beach

A beach of that size is just begging to be enjoyed. There was samba music playing, there was people cheering, there was people blowing horns and whistles. Everything is happening – you name it, we saw it! There are vendors selling hats, bags, souvenirs and food (sandwiches from cooler bags, coconut drinks and prawns on skewers). There are bodies littering the beach, sunbathing or building sandcastles, swimming, playing beach soccer or beach volleyball. Everyone wearing not much, we were possibly the two most overdressed on the beach. We are not big on beaches but Copacabana alone has made us want to come back to Rio!

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Christ the Redeemer

We were at Corcovado in the late afternoon. Our tickets for the furnicular were to be at the top by sunset. But thanks to the crowd numbers, we were delayed and so missed seeing Rio during the day and at night which is what we had hoped for. Oh well, we will just have to come back again and see it for ourselves during the day. Not that the views at night was a problem. Far from it…..

A furnicular ride, an elevator ride and 2 escalator rides later, we see the ONE thing that we wanted to see in Rio: the statue of Christ, illuminated at night. What hits us first is the size of it…. Our eyes start at the base of the statue and work up and up and up. Craning our necks, we finally see his outstretched arms. And yes, it does bring a tear to our eyes.


What a magnificent way to end our time in Brazil; standing above Rio at the feet of Jesus! The place is teeming with tourists but we take the time to look out into the city’s lights below and just reflect on how lucky we are to have made it here, to experience one of David’s biggest dreams ever and to see one of the world’s most renowned monuments.



Admittedly, the three things we saw were touristy but all three provided an experience that was unique and memorable to us in their own way! The added World Cup football fever may have also contributed to the atmosphere and the vibe of the city. And we know one thing is for certain, Brazil, you will be seeing us again!

Have you been to Rio de Janeiro? 

Share your experiences.