Our arrival in Rio de Janeiro was far from comfortable. After 2cancelled and 2 delayed flights, which made us spend 30 hours between Brussels International airport and “Aeropuerto Galião”, we finally arrived in Rio de Janeiro, unfortunately our luggage didn’t.
Piratas de Ipanema Guesthouse, certainly the cheapest deal in Rio de Janeiro (8€ / pp/ night). We were sharing our dorm with some of Copacabana’s beach vendors. This hostel has all the party information you’ll need, from street parties to favella parties. Other positive aspects of this hostel are its location, the pool and pool table, the free internet / WIFI and the friendly and trustable staff. On the other hand, the hostel has a dark atmosphere. I believe, some parts of the hostel have never been cleaned and the 20 persons’ dorm has mosquito net-free windows, which are open 24 hours a day. Eviva dengue ! After 6 hours of struggling with heat and mosquitoes, we flee to a hotel. Which was understandable given the events of the past 30 hours.
The Real Palace Hotel is situated 500m’s from Copacabana’s beach.
Copacabana beach is 4,5km’s long. During the day the beach is packed with people and vendors. Though the waves were huge, I didn’t see any surfers. For some people this is a dream, for us a nightmare. Tourists camping on the beach. It was 45°C, we had no air. You could smell the pollution. Everything was expensive. After 2 days we were sick of it. Damn British airways and TAM airlines! At night people often get hoarest on the beach, as did we, luckily Nico is big and the police was close. The streets next to the beach are packed with hookers.
Our highlight in Rio de Janeiro was definitely, when we had some beers at sunset on Copacabana beach. Followed by a great live concert in Lapa, the singer was a big Brazilian guy, singing sunny music in a Hawaiian flowery T-shirt. Just wonderful!
For us Rio de Janeiro was not such a good experience, we were hungry for nature and got stuck in a city. Luckily we met Ludo and Mary on the beach. Ludo is Belgian, from Willebroek, Antwerp. He invited us on his boat in Costa Verde, a real paradise!
The islands Itacuruça and Retendor de Jaguanum are close to Isla Grande, south of Rio de Janeiro. A lot of small islands, beaches where you can find food and drink for reasonable prices. Absolutely wonderful!
As for our luggage we got those 5 days later, we were told every day that we would get them the next morning. A nightmare!
Watch out! The entry paper you’ll receive at the airport will be asked from you to get out of Brazil. You’ll have to pay about 100 U$ if you don’t have the exit paper.