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The most magical rio spots

By Guest
Posts: 1

Posted on: October 28, 2008 at 11:56PM

The Parque Lage. It's a jungle, literally, in the middle of the city. Walk into this park full of lush, Atlantic rainforest foliage and trees that form the tip of the Floresta da Tijuca, the largest protected environmental reserve in Rio State (The forest is so big that you can enter it from many sides. Parque Lage is one of them). Parque Lage was the subject of a short story by Clarice Lispector, one of Brazil's best known modernist writers. Before you hike to the secret waterfall (ask the locals where it is, it's their favorite spot), you and your friends must spend an hour lounging at the delicious and cheap cafe that is housed in a nineteenth century mansion that overlooks the entire jungle. The place is open-air and dramatic - the rapper Snoop Dogg shot a video there a few years ago. Then there's Santa Teresa, the artists' neighborhood (For those of you who know Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it is the Williamsburg of Rio). Santa Teresa is the only middle class neighborhood in Rio that sits on a hill and therefore offers that literally breath-taking views that gave this city its nickname Cidade Maravilhosa (marvelous city). The rest of the hillside neighborhoods are shantytowns, but Santa Teresa was where the 19th century gentry of Rio kept their mansions. Today, artists - sometimes 20 at a time - live in this amazing, moss-covered mansions. The cobblestones streets of Santa Teresa wind and wind. You can take them all the way to the top of the mountain, where you will find a helicopter launching pad, a beautiful forest-filled waterall, and a high school located in a castle. A bit farther from the beach and just above busy downtown (Centro), Santa Teresa is Rio's best kept secret. SO those are some of my favorite travel tips! report a problem

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