A city well worth taking the time to explore
Rio lives up to its expectation, there is so much to do in this city and such a variety of places to visit, stay and eat. To truly appreciate and get to know the real Rio you need to visit different areas, and if possible stay in different areas, make sure you go to the buzzing bars in Lapa, explore the shops and streets of Santa Theresa, go to Ipanema beach as well as Copacobana for a nicer beach and nicer drinking and eating options. Loved my time in Rio, will return for sure!
Insider Tip:Ask your hostel or look online for the directions to the most amazing view in Rio. Atop the mountain above the Vidigal favela, which you can see from Ipanema beach. Despite what people think, this is a safe, pacified favela, you take an exhilerating moto taxi to the top and then follow a trail to the top of the mountain where you have a view down one side over Rio's biggest favela, and the other side looking over rio with only a handful of other independent travelers.