Rio de Janeiro is known for its laidback beaches, samba, and its annual carnival. Unfortunately, it is also known for its violence and crime with the druglords and slums or favelas being very old social problems. Other than the famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema, the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and Sugarloaf Mountain are must sees.
We stayed on Ipanema beach at the Fasano Hotel. Even though we were already in a more upscale neighborhood, I still didn’t feel all that safe walking around by myself during the day. We hired a guide to show us around the downtown area filled with colonial architecture and baroque churches. Even the guide had his cellphone hidden in a pocket sewn into the waist of his pants which he then rolls over and tugs underneath his belly. I can’t help but giggle every time his phone rang (which was not infrequent) and he had to dig the phone out. He told us to not to have our cameras or phones or wallets or anything out in plain view. Having said that, I still thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Rio.