Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Cidade Maravilhosa, absolutely lives up to its name.  The exhilarating mix of modern skylines, lush rain forests, white sand beaches and deep blue ocean all converging in one place is breathtaking.  This beautiful harbor is surrounded by the massive Monoliths of Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado Peak, and the hills of Tijuca and populated by one of the sexiest populations on the planet…It’s no wonder that this place is one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.  Rio is best viewed from above which can be done either by helicopter, or for the more adventurous, by hanglider!  Truth be told, I’ve done neither but absolutely will be hangliding during my next trip and will have pictures to prove it.  This trip however was all about business, beaches, and bars.

We started out with meetings in Ipanema and then made our way back to Copacabana beach for a swim in the afternoon.  The beaches in both Ipanema and Copacabana are incredible, I prefer the beach in Ipanema, it is far less crowded and cleaner.  That being said however, swimming on the beach looking up at the iconic Copacabana Palace can’t be overlooked.  From the beaches we headed back to the hotel to clean up for a night out on the town.

A couple places to hit for nightlife:

Bar do Copa:  This is for those of you looking for a swanky night out.  Located at the Copacabana Palace this is the “place to see and be seen.”  You’ll be rubbing shoulders with the elite, not only Rio’s but the worlds.  Hollywood stars, titans of business, and royalty frequent this place and it shows.  If you make the trip, also make sure you are ready to spend, nothing at Copa Cabana Palace is cheap and Bar do Copa is among the priciest places I’ve been.

Bar Brasil, Lapa

First off, Lapa is a must see in itself, it is Rio.  Bar Brasil offers a snapshot of what the city was like in it’s heyday as the capitol of this massive South American country.  Bar Brasil opened in 1907 and still carries the feel of Rio’s glamorous past.  It’s a great place to eat.  During the day it is filled with business people eating Brazilian and German dishes, while at night it attracts the younger crowd flocking to Lapa for it’s fabulous nightlife.  You also need to check out Rio Scenarium for live music next door.

Shananigans, Ipanema

I can’t write about bars without giving the obligatory shout out to an Irish Pub.  Shenanigan’s has it all…including the cheesy name.  The food is typical bar grub and the drinks are what you’d expect at any Irish pub.  For me this is comfort food.  As much as I love them, when I can’t take anymore samba, caipirinhas, and feijoada this is where I come.