You have one day in Rio de Janeiro. You could go to the Christ Statue, or Sugar Loaf mountain, or to a samba school, but I wouldn’t. I would go to Ipanema to discover the beauty of Bossa Nova music and poetry, such as the song, The Girl From Ipanema.
IT’S A SUNNY SATURDAY. Forget the breakfast at your hotel in Ipanema and instead grab a typical Brazillian fruit such as a manga and head to Copacabana. Dress lightly and don’t forget to bring swimming trunks, sunblock, towel, camera, water and a map.
Go to Copacabana beach to enjoy the sunrise. To get there, take a bus on Ipanema’s main street Visconde de Piraja to the Forte de Copacabana, it’s easy and fast. Later from there you can stroll back. In Copacabana beach, walk the sidewalk for about 1 mile from the Forte, watching people passing by as well as taking nice backlit pictures. Maybe you’ll find someone dancing in the sun after a night out.
Walk back to the Forte de Copabacana and turn right in the direction of Ipanema. After a while, you’ll see on your left side the Girl From Ipanema’s Park. Walk throught it to reach Arpoador beach, then take a rest at Arpoador’s Stone. Sunbathe and admire the view of the beach, ocean and Dois Irmãos Mountains. Don’t forget to take a dip!
Take a short walk for breakfast to the corner of Joana Angelica and Visconde de Piraja street in Ipanema, where Polis Sucos juice bar is located. Don’t miss the chance to taste açai, a fruit from the Amazon forest served as a delicious black juice, as well as a ‘misto quente’ sandwich, a mix of cheese and ham prepared in the carioca way.
Make your way to Vinicius de Moraes street where you will find a cultural center called Toca do Vinicius (named after the famous composer), with everything relating to Bossa Nova. It’s an interesting walk getting there where you can observe the fashionable people from Ipanema. Certainly, you’ll see some girls from Ipanema.
At Toca do Vinicius you can listen to music, read books in English, look at photos and visit the museum upstairs at your leisure, where you can see furniture and all the things related to the sixties in Rio de Janeiro when bossa nova was created.
Walking along Vinicius de Moraes street towards the beach, you will pass the bar, Girl from Ipanema, where the singers Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes wrote the famous song. You can drink “chopp” (draught beer) as they once did, talk to other people interested in Bossa Nova and have lunch.
Across the road is a Bossa Nova night club where you may consider finishing your day listening to live music.
Before however, walk one block to the beach to appreciate the sunset with a ‘caipirinha’, Brazil´s tradicional cocktail. Don’t be surprised if everybody claps as the sun sets in spectacular fashion.
Watch my video about Ipanema and leave a comment in my blog.