Virtual Vacation: How to Spend the Perfect Day in Rio de Janeiro at Home
Rio de Janeiro is one of Brazil’s most marvelous cities. It’s a buzzing metropolis full of mixed cultures, including Portuguese, African, European and South American. More than 2 million visitors travel there to experience all the great things Rio has to offer each year, such as its famous beaches, rich nightlife and lush mountains.
Sadly, all travel to Rio has paused due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The city’s favelas — poor, shanty-like neighborhoods — have been hit the hardest.
Although many of us are under shelter-in-place orders, we can still escape on a grand virtual adventure from inside our homes. Come along with us to Rio as we roam through vibrant destinations, devour traditional food, watch great movies and read thrilling books.
Virtually Wander Through Rio’s Most Breathtaking Places
First stop: the iconic Ipanema beach. It’s easy to see why Cariocas (residents of Rio) and tourists flock here. With jaw-dropping views of blue waters and mountains, Ipanema beach offers the picture-perfect backdrop. It’s also the best place to meet friendly Cariocas and watch athletes play football and volleyball in the sand during the day. At night, the beach turns into a huge party, where people socialize and dance all night long.
Get in a Good Mood with Good Food
There’s nothing like getting to know a city through its food. It’s time to check out traditional Brazilian specialties. The popular coxinha (croquette) is made of shredded chicken meat covered in dough. It’s then deep-fried to golden perfection. Coxinha is a street food that’s easy to eat on the go, and, thankfully, they are also easy to make.
See Life in Rio Through Movies
Watching a movie that takes place in a famous city often gives us the travel bug. There’s no doubt that Central Station makes us more curious about Rio. Even better, it gives us a closer look into the lives of Cariocas. The film follows the heartwarming friendship between a young boy, who is searching for his father, and a middle-aged woman, whose life is full of bad luck. Rio landscapes are featured in the 1998 drama film, but, most importantly, it shows the real interactions of Brazilians.
Create an Epic Playlist Filled with Brazil’s World-Famous Music
Brazil is widely known for its samba and bossa nova. These styles will easily transport you to a romantic, tropical night. For samba, listen to the legendary Chico Buarque. One of his most popular songs is "A Banda." Another famous samba singer to check out is Clara Nunes, a.k.a. the "Queen of Samba."
Get Cozy with a Book
Warning: You may accidentally stay up all night reading these addictive books. David Goldblatt’s Futebol Nation depicts how important football — a.k.a. soccer — is in Brazil. The sport is all fun and games, but the story also reveals its dark side, which involves both corruption and money. Many readers say it’s impossible to put this book down.
Important Charities to Support
We’ve traveled to Rio’s legendary destinations, tried the city’s most mouthwatering dishes and discovered captivating movies and books. The virtual trip is almost over, but there are some worthy organizations to know and support. The Favela Foundation creates educational projects in Brazil's favelas, providing tools and resources to residents to help them reach their goals.