Travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Episode 394

categories: south america travel

Hear about travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the Amateur Traveler talks to Kay from who is a University student in Rio.

“Rio is often seen as a very tropical paradise kind of city, naturally beautiful but also crazy and hectic like the average city. When I came here, I was awestruck by how beautiful the towering rocks are, the white sand beaches, and the people, but like any other city, it is a city where people live, and they work. There is lots of traffic, lots of movement. In many respects, I think people forget about the average life of somebody who lives in a city as grandiose as Rio may seem on television.”

“Rio has a culture and an aura that is completely different from anywhere I have seen before. There are a lot of events that occur here. The pope just came last July. They have big music festivals and of course, the World Cup and the Olympics will be help here within the next couple of years.”

Kay says that seeing the Christ the Redeemer statue is an absolute must. Not only is the statue itself amazing, but the view from the mountain on which it stands is breathtaking. She also recommends her favorite street markets and street food, as well as unusual sites like the Hippie Fair.

No visit to Rio would be complete without a visit to the beach. While Ipanema Beach is a must-see, Kay also likes the lesser-known Red Beach. She covers the beaches much more than a bathing suit covers the people you will see on Rio’s beaches.

Kay volunteers in one of Rio’s famous and infamous favelas, its colorful slums that climb the nearby hills. She recommends a visit to some of the favelas using a locally run tour company.

Instead of the expensive Churrascarias, which are overrun with tourists, Key tells us of some smaller, lesser-known, and more local restaurants.

We also discuss the open markets at Feria de San Cristobal, the art museum, and activities in the Centro district, as well as all the different ways that people kiss each other in Rio.

right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

The Kay Days
Rio de Janeiro
Christ the Redeemer tour
Rio Hiking
Hippie Fair
Ipanema Beach
Red Beach
Favela Tourism
Favela Adventures
Feria de San Cristobal
Va de Onibus
National Museum of Fine Arts
Águia dos Andes
Beijos in Brazil



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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

5 Responses to “Travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Episode 394”

Lisa Kellenberger


I went to Rio about a year ago and I completely agree with your take on the city. I visited the statue as well, but I think my favorite days were spent on the beach drinking fresh coconut water and people watching. I truly felt that the people and culture there was beautiful, everyone seemed happy and fit! Thanks for sharing a great article!




I’m Brazilian and live in Rio de Janeiro since 2003. I’d like to practice my English listening, so I’m downloading the program.

I really liked this episode. It’s nice to listen to foreigner’s vision of Brazil.

I’m not a big fan of beaches, but Praia Vermelha (Red Beach in Portuguese) is really beautiful and calm. As Kay said, it’s a tiny and calm beach, that not much Cariocas go. Leme and Arpoador beaches are nice… Better than the overrated Copacabana.

If you like parks, you should visit Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden). One of largest parks in Brazil, it was founded around 1808, when the Royal Family of Portugal came to Brazil, running away from Napoleon’s troops. Lage Park and Quinta da Boa Vista are other two nice parks in Rio.

I’ve been living in Botafogo neiborhood for 10 years and I’ve never seen the Eagle of Andes restaurant. I’ll look for it.

Rio is a really nice city, but it’s TOO EXPENSIVE. You know the prices that tourists pay? That’s what Cariocas also always pay… If the city was a little bit cheaper, it’d be even nicer.

Congrats for the program! I’ll listen more episodes!

Greetings from Brazil!

Lucas Conrado
24 years
Rio de Janeiro – Brazil

Orlando Braga Jr.


Hello Chris! Listening to your podcast was a very good experience for me as a Brazilian and as a neutral listener. It was the first time I did it, and now I’m gonna follow all your steps (at least virtually) because I enjoyed your approach in the interview and your genuine curiosity! Congrats for that!! Another good thing that deserve a comment is the choice of Kay as a participant! She seems like an amazing person and I’m really happy to know she’s enjoying her time in Rio!! I was also an exchange student at the US, so I know how impacting this experience is, so I put myself available if she ever needs some kind of assistance outside of Rio! São Paulo is awaiting for you with open arms Kay! =)
Well, I guess that’s more than enough for a comment, but to summarize: congrats both of you for your work!
PS: Chris, if possible, come to Brazil and experience our culture yourself. If you do so, it would be amazing to meet you! You’re officially invited!



thanks Orlando!

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