Escaping the Crowds – Rio de Janeiro

By Guest Contributor LIONEL BEEHNER of the New York Times

WHY NOW Caipirinha and samba keep the party going in Rio de Janeiro, no matter the season. Despite pounding rains that devastated certain Rio neighborhoods, the city’s famed beaches are relatively unharmed and attract plenty of bronzing Cariocas through May. Meanwhile, because the months between Easter and July are Rio’s low season, hotels slash prices by as much as half, and flights from New York City drop to about $700, which shaves another $300 or so from high-season prices.

 

WHAT TO DO Be sure to see Maracanã Stadium before the temple of Brazilian soccer, which was opened in 1950, receives a $280 million primping this year for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. A new subway stop in Ipanema makes the Hippie Fair — an open-air arts and crafts market held every Sunday in General Osório Square — that much more convenient. That leaves you just a few blocks from the beach, which should be empty come June as the whole city fixates on the World Cup in South Africa. 

 

WHERE TO STAY Off-season deals exist all along Copacabana Beach. The new Arena Copacabana Hotel, with the requisite rooftop pool, is offering low-season rates from $156 for a double. For a less touristy area, the hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa has a swarm of boutique hotels, with some of the best views of the city’s skyline and rock formations. The recently opened Hotel Santa Teresa  has 44 rooms starting at around 750 reais (about $440 at 1.7 reais to the dollar).

 

TO EAT Good luck getting a table at Aprazível (Rua Aprazível 62; 21-2508-9174; aprazivel.com.br) during the high season. But this Santa Teresa favorite, known for its sweet views, outdoor garden and inventive Brazilian cuisine, frees up in May. For something more casual, head to Chico e Alaíde (Rua Dias Ferreira 679, 21-2512-0028;chicoealaide.com.br), a recent addition to Leblon’s botequim scene. Its appetizers of shrimp and jerked meat may taste familiar to patrons of Bracarense (Rua José Linhares 85; 21-2294-3549); the two bars share the same chef.

 

 

DON’T MISS So you think you can dance? Before hitting Lapa 40 Graus (Rua do Riachuelo 97; 55-21-3970-1338; lapa40graus.com.br), a steamy samba lounge spread across three floors, learn a few steps. Carlinhos de Jesus Dance House (Rua Álvaro Ramos 11, Botafogo; 21-2541-6186; carlinhosdejesus.com.br) offers classes for beginners starting at 45 reais a person.

About Travel to Brazil Blog - BrazilnutsTours

Brazil Nuts Tours was started in 1985 on the proposition that travelers needed a travel company that combined the highest level of customer service, unmatched product expertise and competitive rates. Over the years, we have succeeded in our mission, and have developed a reputation as the experts in travel to Brazil and South America. Our dedicated and knowledgeable staff has helped thousands of travelers discover the Brazil they really wanted to see, from Rio’s beaches and samba clubs through the pristine wilderness of the Amazon to the sun-drenched shores of Bahia and everywhere in between. Customer Service Our knowledgeable staff will customize your perfect itinerary free of charge; simply fill out our Trip Planning Sheet, send it to us and you’ll have an answer, generally within 24 hours Innovative Programs We were the first travel company in North America to develop and promote Pantanal programs. We were also the first to design culture tours focusing on African-Brazilian culture. And, our "Rio Like A Native", "Salvador Like A Native" and "Manaus Like A Native" programs are unequalled for the inside look they provide into the Brazilian experience. Nobody offers more interesting programs to more of Brazil than us. Support & Price We have our own office in Brazil responsible for negotiating the very best hotel and service rates possible, and then handling all our clients' needs once they arrive in Brazil. Proven Success We are the company of choice for any kind of travel needs to Brazil: Leisure Travel: Guide books and articles in travel publications consistently rank Brazil Nuts as the experts.: Guide books and articles in travel publications consistently rank Brazil Nuts as the experts. Corporate Meetings & Incentives: We handle more corporate events in Brazil than any other US travel company. From seminars for top management in Sao Paulo to an incentive program for 250 salespeople in the Amazon, we do it right.: We handle more corporate events in Brazil than any other US travel company. From seminars for top management in Sao Paulo to an incentive program for 250 salespeople in the Amazon, we do it right. Congresses & Trade Shows: Brazil Nuts has been a part of many major congresses or events in Brazil over the last three years, responsible for arranging rooms blocks, social events and PCO functions for thousands of demanding clients from around the world.: Brazil Nuts has been a part of many major congresses or events in Brazil over the last three years, responsible for arranging rooms blocks, social events and PCO functions for thousands of demanding clients from around the world. Products We pride ourselves in providing the most authentic and innovated programs to our clients. Although we specialize in travel to every corner of Brazil, our most popular destinations are: Rio De Janeiro Salvador da Bahia Amazon Iguassu Falls Pantanal Fortaleza
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