Rio baby! How we cracked it on a budget

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

So we started our travels in Rio, the home of Samba, sexy football, the thong and white sandy beaches.

Spending 5 nights here in El Mistio Rio Copacabana, where the staff have been super friendly and helpful.

Day 1 was just arrive at Hostel after a 13hour journey, drink Caiprinhas and enjoy our upgraded room to a private ensuite - thanks El Misti!

So we'll start at Day 2 - well when in Rio, where better to start our travels with a well earned rest on the infamous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. We managed to find a spot looking over the rough Atlantic sea, in amongst the volleyball, beach football, bbqs and bottoms! After an exhausting day - we then caught up with one of Stu's old schools friends for more Caiprinhas (maybe one too many Sarah ;)).

Chilling on the infamous Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro

Day 3 (Friday) started slowly (due to the copious caiprinhias!) but we eventually made it down to Leblon beach. Voted by JCs as our favourite beach in Rio, quieter and filled with more locals, it was much more relaxing but still with incredible views. We then racked up 30,000 steps walking around the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (a giant lake in the heart of Rio) where the rowing and sprint games for Rio 2016 Olympics took place. If you are vising Rio, this is a must, especially over sunset!

Afternoon stroll around Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (it's about 10km)

On Saturday we booked our first excursion through the hostel. You can do this all separate and on your own, but for time saving, ease and less stress we chose the tour. The cost was good at £45 pp for a small group of us and a great tour guide Franscesco. The tour started at Christ the Redeemer, then to the Metropolitan Cathedral, Maracana Stadium (where we'd later visit properly), The SambaDrome, Escadaria Selaron steps, designed by Chilean artist Jorge Selaron. The cherry on top, was the Sugar Loaf Mountain at sunset, with incredible panoramic views over Rio, just made us realise how unique this City really is and I think is when we fell in love with it!

Our Visit to Christ the Redeemer

Metropolitan Cathedral of San Sebastian, design inspired by a Mayan Temple

The Escadaria Selaron steps Not sure why Kazakhstan?! Seen this after this picture!

Sunset over Rio from the Sugar Loaf Mountain

Our final day was a big tick off the list for Stu. We started the day being healthy, exercising with the locals at Copacabana and then having a splash in the Atlantic. The real experience was when our guide picked us up at 2pm and took us to the world famous Maracana Stadium, home of Brazilian football. This stadium is not just famous for some of Brazil's iconic sporting moments but the world's including 2 world cup finals, Bolt's 3rd 100m final gold medal, so it was real privilege to be able to see it and experience football with the locals. Sitting in the 'Ultra' end, Sarah certainly got a flavour of football in Brazil - thankfully the home team, Flamengo, were eventual winners 3-0. Whole experience £50 each!

Flamengo vs Palmeiras in the iconic Maracana Stadium

off to Ilha Grande now, small paradise island just 2hours south of Rio, where we're promised Thunderstorms!

Thanks Rio - you've been amazing!

Total cost in Rio = £360

Transfer to Ilha Grande = £30 each

Enjoy reading about our time in Rio? See how we got on in Sao Paulo and our hand tips to get the most out of your time.

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