By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio de Janeiro is a dream destination for every tourist with attractions from sandy beaches to lush mountains and postcard perfect views from Christ the Redeemer to Sugarloaf Mountain. With the ‘Carioquinha’ program, natives and residents of the city are encouraged to enjoy the city’s sights as well and are offered a discount to do so in the month of August.
Everyone born in Rio de Janeiro or currently living in the city or its surrounding areas (including Niterói) can benefit from discounts at over 200 attractions upon presentation of an ID and a ‘comprovante de residencia’ (residence proof, usually a gas, electricity or phone bill).
The discounts offered by the Carioquinha program range from thirty percent off on the bondinho (cable car) to Sugarloaf Mountain from Monday to Thursday, twenty percent off the entrance to the Botanical Garden and fifty percent off on the tours through Maracanã stadium.
They also include discounts on hotels for those who live outside the city or want to enjoy a special night at a high-class hotel, such as the Belmond Copacabana Palace (exclusively for residents) or the new Hilton hotel in Barra. A few hotels also offer stays outside the city for trips in Rio de Janeiro state.
Furthermore, the program includes entrances to museums; shows and music presentations, such as the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra; guided tours (e.g. in Niterói, Paraty or Vidigal) and activities like kayaking, hang-gliding or boat trips. For a full list of all discounts, visit the Carioquinha website.
The idea of the program is to facilitate access to touristic attractions for Rio residents, as well as turning the people who live here into ambassadors of the beauty and accessibility of the city and its sights.
“To give the Cariocas a chance to be a tourist in their own home is to increase their self-esteem, gives them the opportunity to access new things and empowers them to be promoters of the city. We will have the Olympics in a year, it is important that Cariocas wear the shirt and feel proud to live in the city where everyone in the world would like to be,” Rio’s Secretary for Tourism, Antonio Figueira De Mello, explained.
The 2015 edition of Carioquinha is the fifteenth edition of the program and has some special features thanks to the 450th anniversary of the city. The last Carioquinha had taken place in 2012.