By Scarlet Bringuenti Bennett, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL- Rio de Janeiro is known for spectacles such as Carnival, Sugar Loaf mountain and Christ the Redeemer. However, while these are all cost-worthy ventures, there are many free options to take advantage of in Rio this summer, which are just as impressive.
A perhaps obvious option to do when visiting Rio is to get to the beach straight away. As summer commences the beach is the best place to be when the weather is close to 40 degrees.
Copacabana and Ipanema are the primary choices and the most popular areas for travelers to visit, and these are the names people think about when talking about Rio. However, Leme and Leblon are great as well, and even Barra da Tijuca has an incredible stretch of beach which is normally much less crowded due to its shear size.
Another great thing about Carioca beaches is the ability to not actually have to leave. Everything from Mate (iced tea), pastel pastries, açai, caipirinhas and beach chairs and umbrellas are all available to be purchased or rented.
The rainforest is the one of the largest urban rainforests in the world and its only competition is perhaps the rainforest in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Tijuca forest has such a dense vegetation and collection of nature including, waterfalls, various animals, colorful fruits and plants. As well as this the forest has incredible man-made buildings such as, China Vista, Mayrink Chapel and The Emperor’s Table.
This park is famously located in Jardim Botânico (Botanic Garden) and is a fantastic free activity to experience while in Rio. Founded in 1811, it has been a big land mark for Rio ever since.
There is something to do for everyone, including a child’s playground, hiking paths, which lead to Christ the Redeemer, fountains, aquariums and picnic areas. The park is a beautiful mix of architecture, history and nature, which makes this spot a treat to visit.
The colorful staircase is located between the Joaquim Silva Street in Lapa and Pinto Martins Street, in the Santa Teresa neighborhood. These steps were created by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón – hence the name of the stairs – which consist of an eclectic and impressive array of tiles.
Pedra do Sal
For anyone that wants to experience authentic samba, the place to go is ‘roda de samba’ in Saúde, which is a neighborhood near Centro. It is held every Monday and Friday and like all street parties in Rio is completely free for everybody.
It is best to get there at 9PM. Everything can be used as an instrument, from knives and plates to the more obvious pieces such as, tambourines and flutes. Carioca’s can truly make a beat out of anything given to them.