By Scarlet Bringuenti Bennett, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Recreio dos Bandeirantes (or ‘Recreio’ as it is known by locals) sits to the west of Barra da Tijuca, and 35 km from the Rio’s city center – or about an 1.5 hour drive. It is known for the lack of skyscrapers that line Barra’s beach, as well as great surfing, a relaxed pace and a generally less expensive cost of living.
Development in the area began in 1959, and the name Recreio dos Bandeirantes, (“Bandeirantes’ Leisure”) is homage to the Bandeiras, who were 17th-century Portuguese settlers in Brazil and fortune hunters.
Some say the are took the name from a real estate agent that was hired to develop the area. Others attribute the name to migrants from São Paulo, the city from which the Bandeiras departed in colonial times.
The neighborhood is mainly residential but has had an increase in eateries and recreation activities, especially since the Olympics we brought to Barra. The 2.8 km long cove located at the end of Lucio Costa Avenue is considered some of the most stunning landscape, and has the cleanest waters of Rio.
Carioca’s (natives of the Rio) who are looking to live a healthy and active lifestyle, Recreio has one of the best surf beaches in Rio and is also great for other sports including, walking on the waterfront and cycling on the bike path.
Recreio is a much less expensive alternative to living in Barra and has all the same attractions. There is amazing restaurants, Chopperia Barril 8000 Recreio and Natural do Recreio. You can also visit Recreio Shopping Mall, which has movie theaters, restaurants and a supermarket.
Local Carioca Adriana Barreto says, “I go to Recreio quite a lot to get away from the crowds of Barra. However, it is easy for me because I have a car and it still takes me a long time to get there, but I think it is worth it.”
It is about a thirty minute drive from Barra’s Metro station, Jardim Oceânico depending on traffic. To get there by bus from Jardim it will take you a good 45 minutes to an hour depending on the traffic.
For people who don’t mind the long commute, as it is very far from Jardim Oceânico let alone the rest of Rio, Recreio is a hot place to invest in and develop.
For a humble two or three bedroom apartment, prices can vary from R$315,000 all the way up to R$640,000. These prices are a lot more humble than next door neighbor, Barra Da Tijuca in which it will cost just over R$1 million for two-bedroom apartment.
In terms of rent, you can find a three bedroom as low as R$1,700 per month, which compared to Barra, will cost a lot more for a lot less at around R$2,600 per month to secure a two-bedroom apartment.
Barreto continues, “The development in Recreio really helped bring affordable housing in the Zona Oeste of Rio. Barra is so expensive, Recreio was a great addition to Rio after the Olympics and I have some friends who’s families have moved there because of these prices and lack of violence in the area.”