The Rio de Janeiro Carnival will be in full swing from February 8 to 16. In addition to Copacabana, Ipanema and Christ the Redeemer, the city offers a host of other, lesser-known attractions for tourists to see.
Head west towards Prainha beach to avoid the crowds. "The small beach", a sparsely populated beach resort, is almost deserted and there are 700 m of fine sand to enjoy. This spot, which is just an hour's drive from Rio, is popular with tourists and celebrities who want to get away from it all. However, anyone wishing to sunbathe should remember to get there before the afternoon. Indeed, during the day, the surrounding mountains tend to hide the sun's rays.
The Tijuca Forest waterfalls
This urban forest, which is part of the Tijuca National Park, is home to many breathtaking waterfalls. They are a 20-minute walk away from the Horto neighborhood.
The Dois Irmãos mountains
Those who are feeling brave can scale these two mountains which can be seen from Ipanema beach. Once at the top, tourists will be able to admire Rio and its varied landscapes. The Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers) are just 20 minutes away from the pacified Vidigal favela. To get to the site, tourists can hire one of the many motorcycle taxis in the area.
Pedro do Sal
If you're visiting the city during carnival, why not find out more about the origins of samba? The dance which is synonymous with the yearly Brazilian event was created here, according to tradition. Every Monday from 7pm, this part of Rio attracts hundreds of samba enthusiasts. Difficult to reach otherwise, tourists can get to Pedro do Sal by taxi.
Sao Cristóvão market
Every day a traditional local market takes place in this working neighborhood. Bringing together Brazilian handicrafts and local music, the spot is not widely frequented by tourists. At night, the market turns into a big party where forro, traditional music from northeastern Brazil, can be heard until the early hours of the morning.
Pacified favela Dona Marta
Tourists can now safely visit this favela which came to the world's attention in Michael Jackson's "They Don't Care About Us" video. Rio de Janeiro, together with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, has launched a pacification program in its poor areas to stop trafficking and delinquency in general. In all, there are about 20 favelas that tourists can safely visit.
Discover more ways to explore Rio de Janeiro on Rioguiaoficial.com.br.
This story was posted on Sat, February 9, 2013
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