Once it was confirmed that we’d be going to Brazil this month, we had to cancel a trip to Wrightsville Beach we’d planned for our first wedding anniversary. We were scheduled to get back less than a week prior to that trip, and we just couldn’t afford to do both. Not a huge sacrifice. A six-hour drive to the beach can happen anytime. A trip to Brazil is harder to come by, so we set about reorganizing our travel plans and decided to tack on a long weekend in Sao Paulo, four hours away from Bauru, for an early anniversary celebration.
Then, everyone in Bauru told us we would long regret spending a weekend in SP over a weekend in Rio. People were emphatic on this point. I actually didn’t think going to Rio was feasible at all, having not a lot of knowledge about domestic travel in Brazil, but all it took was some hotel rearranging and an hour flight and BAM.
This place, man. So gorgeous.
The trip felt like a gift. I’ve never really done any last minute travel, but it’s invigorating. One day you think “I’d really love to go to Rio someday”, and the next you’re there.
We only had two short days, so we didn’t really do much but bum on the beach, eat and drink – pretty much all of my favorite things.
Speaking of eating, this was possibly the best dish I had in Brazil – lamb and sweet potato ravioli at ZaZa Bistro Tropical in Ipanema.
We stayed at the affordable Windsor Copa, one block from Copacabana beach, a solid hotel with great service, clean rooms and better than average breakfast included.
Many people warned us about the crime and “grit” of Rio, but the urban feel of the city really appealed to me. Although there were a lot of tourists, because it was winter, the beaches were never that crowded and there were a lot of locals out and about.
That said, we didn’t stay up past midnight either night we were there, because we really don’t know how to party anymore. Or actually, we do. I think vacation partying should be done hard and before 11 p.m. Especially in a city where you can walk down the street with booze in hand during the day. That only happens in Vegas and on college football campuses back in the states. Take advantage of what you got.