Of course, there’s more to Rio de Janiero than Carnival, just be prepared to possibly queue to see the sights at this busy time. The Metro can resemble a tropical hothouse with stations sometimes closed due to overcrowding.
For views of the city, hike, tcable car, or even rock climb up Sugar Loaf Mountain. Below the harbour shimmers blue, see the long golden sand stretches of Copacabana Beach and green mountains dotted throughout the city with white skyscrapers nestled between. Situated near the small beach of Praia Vermelha, cable cars run from 8a.m. to 9p.m. Food and drink are available at the summit. You can even buy a pair of Havaianas there!
Christ the Redeemer, 30 metres tall, has overlooked Rio since 1931 and can be seen from much of the city. Official vans leave from three points to transport sightseers - Praca do Lido in Copacabana, next to the metro at Lago do Machado and Città America in Barra da Tijuca. A train, located at Trem do Corcovado station at the base of the Corcovado peak, travels through rainforest to reach the statue.
To learn about the favelas, shanty towns, take a tour led by someone who actually lives in one. Rocinha, one of the most well-known, occupies city hills with spectacular views. A warren of homes built upon homes, narrow twisting body-width alleys and stairs between, tours are educational and give an insight into occupant’s lives.
Ipanema and Copacabana beaches are normally a sea of sun umbrellas during Carnival. It’s difficult to find a patch of sand. There are changing facilities and lockers to keep valuables safe. Beach sellers ply drinks, including cocktails, and food. Both beaches are easily reached by Metro on which locals travel with chiller boxes and beach umbrellas.