News1 min ago
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Wikitravel is always a good place to start:
Despite having zero interest in gardening, whenever I've visited a new city to me (whether that be Cambridge, Madrid or anywhere else), I've never failed to be impressed by the botanic garden there. The one in Rio gets very good reviews:
First things first - be safe. A friend of mine walked out of the hotel into Rio on the first day of his holiday, and was mugged immediately!
The most common incidents affecting British nationals in Rio de Janeiro are thefts and pick pocketing around Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach and the areas of Lapa and Santa Theresa.
Tourists in Rio de Janeiro have reported armed robberies on the Corcovado walking trail to the Christ the Redeemer statue. You’re advised not to use the trail at this time.
A helicopter flight around Christ the Redeemer is pretty amazing. Doesn't last long (about 8 minutes). You can hang glide over the city as well (tandem with an expert) It's a good idea to get a guide to take you around for a day - they can drive to all sorts of places and it's safer than making your own way around as you do have to be very careful in Rio. Dress down and keep a bit of mugging cash and the rest hidden away in a body belt.
unlike most of South American they speak Portugese rather than Spanish
not exactly. The Pope (not the current one) divided the continent down the middle between Spain and Portugal, which is still more or less the current situation. But the Brazilian "half" actually has (slightly) more people than the Spanish-speaking half.
There are a few other countries where Portuguese is spoken by a small number living in them but still the majority language is Spanish in South America. Security wise stick to usual rules when abroad and only take with you what you need for the time you are out and don't go showing them that you are a tourist. I always have a security pocket built in to my trousers or shorts. I went there in the early 80s and the pick pockets were there even then.