By Laura Siqueira, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Perfect weather, stunning landscapes and friendly people are just some of the reasons to visit Rio de Janeiro at least once in a lifetime, and perhaps there is no better time than for a honeymoon. Like many other cosmopolitan cities, Rio has a wide range of attractions to offer, but it’s the combination of options from luxury accommodations and dinning, exciting days and nights, as well as intimate and romantic getaways.
Ten days should be enough time for a pleasant honeymoon, without rushing around and also a low risk of a total rain out. If it’s the first time in the city, some essential not-to-miss activities are visiting the main tourist attractions, sure to make memorable moments.
One examples is a visit the Corcovado Mountain and taking photos at the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue (Cristo Redentor). Another stunning activity is to ride a cable car to Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf); both are unforgettable experiences and can become more romantic if planned to be done during the sunset.
When traveling on one’s honeymoon it is necessary to take extra care in choosing the perfect accommodation. Stay away from crowded places and get to know Hotel Santa Teresa, situated in the Santa Teresa neighborhood, which is less than ten minutes from downtown.
This Relais & Châteaux hotel is a refuge of privacy, charm and sophistication. After relaxing in the spa, a great night starts with delicious drinks at Bar dos Descasados and can be followed by a romantic dinner at Térèze restaurant, headed by chef Phillipe Moulin.
Or to be more in the action of Rio’s Zona Sul (South Zone) there are a host of other equally romantic and charming restaurants in the area. In Ipanema, Gero offers the best of Italian cuisine with an equally fantastic wine list. Not far from there, situated in a picturesque house, Zazá Bistrô provides a different option with an interesting selection of contemporary food.
Visiting Rio and not going to Copacabana Beach would be akin to visiting New York and missing Times Square. However on honeymoon consider going directly to Forte de Copacabana, on the very right corner of the beach, and experience an amazing view of the old-style buildings, sand and ocean. To make this moment even more memorable, a delicious breakfast can be enjoyed at the traditional Confeitaria Colombo.
For a swim or some sunbathing, the more distant beaches are the perfect choice for more intimate setting, avoiding the crowds and noise of the Zona Sul beaches. By car it is only 45 minutes to Zona Oeste (West Zone), and Prainha e Grumari are almost deserted during the week and amaze their visitors with their beauty, clean water and superb landscapes.
For those who wish to enjoy not only Rio attractions, but also have a romantic time in neighboring cities, take at least three days to escape to Búzios or Paraty. The peninsula of Armação de Búzios is located 180km northwest of the city of Rio and has more than 20 beaches.
Rua das Pedras, the main street of the city center, has a large number of intimate restaurants and famous stores, but in terms of accommodation, opt for the romantic and luxurious resorts on the beachfront. At Ferradura Beach couples will find great hotel options, such as Insólito Boutique Hotel; a French-run hotel integrated with the nature and decorated with references to Brazilian arts and cultures.
To the south of Rio, Paraty is the most interesting city on the Costa Verde (Green Coast). The architecture dates from the XVII century and the city now lays claim to an impressive mix of gastronomy, culture and accommodation. The exclusive Pousada Casa Turquesa, which comprises of just nine suites, offers its clientele a mixture of refinement and style perfect for Newlyweds.