When you think of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, does samba, Bossa Nova, or caipirinhas come to mind? That was definitely the case for me. I imagined it to be a great city for a couple’s getaway or a girls’ trip where adults could relax on the beach before heading out to the bars for a cocktail and dancing.
I never thought to add it to my list of cities to visit with my children. That all changed after experiencing the city and seeing all Rio has to offer families.
This big city is home to natural playgrounds, like verdant forests and sprawling beaches. The Carioca people, or people from Rio who embody the spirit of the city, are some of the kindest and warmest you’ll meet. I observed families with young children almost everywhere we went being welcomed with open arms.
Here are the reasons I’m bringing my kids with me next time I visit Rio de Janeiro:
It’s Easier than Ever to Get There
With the introduction of the e-visa, visitors can go online and apply for their visa instead of traveling to the Brazilian consulate. It only takes a few days, costs just $40 and is good for two years. This streamlined process makes travel to Rio more accessible to families than ever before.
With amenities like free Wi-Fi, power outlets, passport scanners that passengers can use to speed up the check-in process and multiple restaurants unique to Rio, the newly-renovated RIOgaleao International Airport makes coming and going a pleasant experience. Don’t forget the duty-free shopping featuring local brands, or the 7 VIP areas where you can wait for your flight in luxury.
Rio is known for its world-famous beaches, like Copacabana and Ipanema, but there are a few hidden gems which are preferable for families. Try Leme Beach for a family-friendly atmosphere where your kids can play in the long stretch of sand, and snacks and beverages are available for purchase right on the beach.
In between Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches is Arpoador Beach—which is a quieter spot with a huge rock formation. This is a great place to have a picnic or utilize the walking trails while you watch the sunset.
Right outside the Museum of Tomorrow is Porto Maravilha, which was recently redone for the 2016 Olympic Games. Olympic Boulevard boasts some massive murals which promote diversity and peace.
Beautiful and Safe Hotels
Naturally, you’ll be looking for a hotel that’s comfortable, safe and near tourist attractions. Hilton Copacabana fits that criteria. To top it off, the view of Copacabana Beach is second-to-none. If you need a break from exploring, the kids will enjoy the two outdoor pools as well as the fabulous breakfast provided each morning.
Staying at the Hilton Barra will take you away from the heart of the city, but in exchange, you’ll find some great shopping and a free shuttle to the beach. The Abelardo restaurant in the lobby has incredible food in case you and your family don’t feel like heading out into the city for meals.
Now that Rio de Janeiro is more accessible to the average traveler, it’s time to get out and explore the Marvelous City. What are you waiting for? Check out the Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau for more trip-planning ideas.
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