Rio – Where to go Part 2

Continuing with the clichés, today we have Calçadão (walkway) and Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon

Calçadão

Probably the most famous walk way in the world. Walking along the alçadão with a coconut water in your hands is still a must when you travel to Rio. The calçadão stretches from Leme, at the beginning of Copacabana all the way down to Posto 6 (limit with Aropoador), and then from Arpoador, all the way to Posto 12 in Leblon. There is also one at Barra, of which I am not going to talk because I never stayed in Barra. As I said in a previous post, I am a Zona Sul kindda gal 🙂 One interesting thing to note is that the design varies according to the zone, being the most famous the waves of Copacabana.

From sunrise, to sunset, along the day and into the night, you will always find people walking along the calçadão. Some in suits (yes suits), some in shorts, some in sports clothes and some wearing bikinis. Some running, some walking, some standing, some walking their dogs and even cats (yes cats, I have came across 1 or 2 looking as cariocas as their human family). From Leme to Arpoador, you will see all sorts of people from all over Brazil and all over the world. The beach is usually crowded during weekends, when the main road has one way closed for cars to let people enjoy walking along the beach. During the week, the beach is less crowded and its a pleasant walk to take early in the morning or late in the afternoon, feeling the vibe, watching the colours, smells and moods, talking with locals (who are very friendly) and enjoying Rio. At the end of your walk, sit in one of the Kiosks and have a chilled coconut water or a Chope (Brasilian draft beer, light and less bitter), eat a grilled Coalho cheese (very similar to Halloumi) or a portion of calabresa sausage.

Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon

The lagoon is located in the neighborhood of the same name “Lagoa”, one of the most expensive and fanciest of Rio. It is surrounded by other fancy and nice neighborhoods such as Jardim Botânico, Ipanema and Copacabana and  from there you have an amazing view of the Christ statue, making it a perfect place to be specially at sunset. The lagoon is connected to the ocean, allowing sea water to enter by a channel that divides Ipanema from Lebon – on the edge of a park known as Jardim de Alah.

You can walk, run or bike around it, as there is a paved biking path surrounding it, with approximately 7.5km. There are bikes for renting and you can simply enjoy a ride looking at the beauty surrounding you. It is stage of many water sports such as rowing, pedalling, SUP, etc, and you can hire a pedal boat and enjoy a good exercise moving around the lagoon. Its is loaded with kioks and restaurants, some with live music.

It is also at the lagoon that the world’s taller Christmas tree is displayed during the festive season. Seeing the lights turning on after sunset is something that always makes me go there for more. The tree is financed by Bradesco Bank, and sadly this year, due to the economic crisis, for the first time in decades it was not there. Hopefully in 2017 it will be there again to delight us with its beauty and magic.

You can get to the Lagoon by feet, taxi, bus, metro. There are also parking options available. The Lagoon is connected to the road that goes to the International Airport by Rebouças Tunnel.

Tips:

  • Hire a bike in one of the hiring points, take a ride from Copacabana to Leblon and from there to the lagoon
  • Like to run or walk? Take your sneakers, a bottle of water, some cash, a cap and enjoy it
  • Make  sure you do not have valuable belongings like jewelery, smartphones, cameras visible when walking around the lagoon and calçadão, specially if in less busy hours
  • Always behave like a local, do not go to the beach alone during the night or sunrise specially if being a woman or carrying valuables with you
  • Kioks at the beach are quite expensive, and prices increase as you move from Copacabana to Ipanema and Leblon
  • Go to the lagoon for sunset, its beautiful, as it is in Arpoador (no way the lagoon beats it, will dedicate a section just for it), Ipanema and Leblon

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