By Nicole Eberhard, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The city of Rio de Janeiro may conjure up images of sexy samba, the world’s most famous Carnival, all night partying, and lazy beach days. However, it is surprisingly also a child-friendly destination and perfect for a family vacation.
Brazilians are extremely family oriented and take their kids everywhere, which makes it a childfriendly environment for a family vacation. A range of spaces from tourist attractions, to museums and restaurants, that might not be kid-friendly in many cities around the world, gladly receive children in Rio. Many also find that the already friendly Cariocas are even more welcoming when they see children in tow.
Thanks to this openness to families with children young and old, the main tourist attractions and routes are open to families. An unmissable and iconic adventure is a visit to Sugarloaf Mountain.
Two cable car rides to the top of the mountain, and the possibility of spotting wildlife such as marmoset monkeys will be sure to entertain the kids, and give parents that opportunity to take in some of the most breathtaking views of Rio de Janeiro.
The other big must-do activity for travelers in Rio is Corcovado. This tourist attraction is also family friendly. Opt for the Cosme Velho Train, rather than the bus, and give the kids a chance to enjoy the electric train winding its way up the Atlantic Forest to the top of the mountain where Christ the Redeemer awaits.
For those with excess energy, Rio has enough active resources to keep kids occupied, while also allowing parents to enjoy sightseeing. Explore the extensive Tijuca Forest, with its waterfalls and wildlife, on a Tijuca Rainforest Jeep Tour.The opentop jeep makes this tour a lot more interesting for limited attention spans.
Rio’s Botanical Garden is another top spot for families to explore. The extensive collection of plants, birds and rainforest wildlife, large spaces and magical lily pads and hidden nooks are also supplemented by a special area designed for children.
Close to the gardens is the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. Here there are many playgrounds and the option to rent bikes or swanshaped pedal boats. Another option for older children is a bike tour of Rio’s parks and beaches.
The beaches are also an endless source of entertainment for the whole family. While there are families on most stretches of beach in Rio de Janeiro, Leblon beach is a good choice for families with young children as there is a cordoned off play area, Baixo Bêbê.
Another popular choice for families if Vermelha beach, next to Sugarloaf Mountain, a small beach with calm water. Active kids (and their parents) can enjoy surfing or paddle-boarding lessons on Rio’s beaches on certain beaches, such as Posto 6 on Copacabana.
For cultural activities, Rio de Janeiro has a number of great kid-friendly museums. The CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil) is a large cultural centre in the downtown area. The centre has everything from a great collection of art, to special exhibits, theatre, music and cinema.
There is also a CCBB Educativo program with special educational activities for children. Another kidfriendly museum is the Museo do Indio in Botafogo. Besides learning about the indigenous people of Brazil, kids can do body painting to decorate themselves as native warriors.
Another fun activity for families is the Rio de Janeiro Planetariumin in Gávea.The Planetário houses a museum, telescopes and a couple of projection domes, which project thousands of stars onto their walls. There are also exhibitions and shows with plenty to keep both kids and adults entertained.
Rio de Janeiro is a city that will captivate the imagination of kids (and adults) of all ages. With its exotic nature, endless activities, and family-friendly locals, a trip to Rio is sure to be a family vacation that no one will forget.
* This is a Sponsored Article written by Nicole Eberhard, English Content Editor for Rdj4u.com.