(*)It is almost impossible to have a conversation about Rio without mentioning Carnival. On this holiday marking the beginning of Lent, Rio explodes with parades and festivities and the tourists that flock in to see them. Carnival in Rio is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but be prepared.
(*)Catch a futebol game at the stadium of one of Rio?s five Brazilian football clubs: American Football Club, Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense, or Vasco da Gama.
(*)Hit up one of Rio?s famous beaches, where you can look hot laying on the sand in something tiny or participate in tons of beach activities including surfing, sailing, beach volleyball, and ?frescobol,? a type of beach tennis.
(*)Take some classes in capoiera, Brazil?s marshal-art/dance, and look super badass when you get home and show your friends your new moves.
(*)Rock climbs one of the hundreds of routes that can be found all over the town. The most famous is Rio?s granite mountain, the Sugar Loaf, has routes ranging from easy to extremely difficult.
When to go
Rio?s tropical climate make it pleasant year round, and though summer (Dec-Feb) temperatures can often get a bit steamy, its generally warm year round. Near the beaches the temperature and humidity are moderated by the sea-breezes, making these areas particularly pleasant. Summers are the high season and Carnaval is generally the first or second weekend in February, if you want to hit up the big parties. Rio is also a very popular New Years destination. Be sure to make reservations well ahead anytime between December and February. If you?re short on funds, you might want to consider going in the low season, when hostel prices drop and everything becomes much cheaper.
How to get there
(bus) From other countries the most practical route is to fly into the international airport. Within Brazil buses are the main mode of transportation. From Sao Paolo there is a shuttle that runs to the domestic airport, though by far the less expensive option would be to take an overnight bus the 1,100 km on one of the highways running in-between the two cities.
US Citizens require a visa in order to enter Brazil. Citizens of Israel, Great Britain, and most EU countries do not require a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. If you are in doubt about whether you require a visa to enter Brazil, check online with your embassy.
At restaurants a service charge of approximately 10% is generally added to the bill. It is always identified that this charge is not obligatory, and any more than this is certainly not expected. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped, but fares may be rounded up to the nearest Real so no one has to deal with change.