I love planning adventurous things to do in new cities. I especially love exploring outside so when I picked up a trip to Rio de Janeiro I was pretty excited to go hiking in the mountains. Once I arrived in Rio I quickly realized that I would be exploring by myself in the rain - not ideal hiking conditions for a girl in another country. It was cloudy so that ruled out Christ The Redeemer and taking the gondola up to Sugar Loaf - which are the two things most people consider the “must do’s of Rio”. Believe me - I will come back to do those things but here is a recap of my 40 hour trip to Rio de Janeiro that didn’t involved the most touristy things around and perfect activities for a rainy day or overcast day.
Eat at Terra Brasilis - This lovely little restaurant sits right on the water at Red Beach with perfect view of Sugar Loaf. Everything is delicious - from their cocktails to the main courses - you simply cannot go wrong at this restaurant. When I was there at night, they even had live music. Take a stroll along Red Beach when you’re finished eating. It’s a small but beautiful beach and not at all crowded.
Walk the Sugar Loaf Trail - This area is completely paved and a beautiful way to get in good scenic views of Rio without the climb. It’s near a military base so it is safe, open, and there are a lot of people around. I saw the cutest little monkeys, walked right along the ocean, and stopped to take in the views. This area right off of Red Beach and the perfect place to explore on a rainy day. Price: FREE.
Royal Portuguese Reading Room - This is something I may have never discovered if it weren’t for the rain. This quaint little library is absolutely breath-taking. With floor to ceiling books and the most ornate architecture you definitely want to add this to your to-do list in Rio - rain or shine. It is free to get in and you don’t need to stay long - but it is a must-see!
Escadaria Selaron - “Selaron Steps” - These are the famous mosaic stairs of Rio. This area is pretty touristy but still a must - if you want to get a photo without everyone else in it - make sure you climb all the way to the top of the stairs. Don’t forget to grab some empanadas from the people selling them from their homes along the way.
Carioca Aqueduct - This is a fascinating structure that I highly recommending driving past on your way from the Reading Room to the Escadaria Selaron - I don’t recommend walking around this area, it isn’t safe.
Copacabana Beach - On a rainy day you will have this place all to yourself. I ran on this beach each morning and it was lovely. Once the clouds cleared, I could see Christ The Redeemer on my run. Remember to take a stroll along the Copacabana mosaic sidewalk and make sure to pick up an acai bowl at some point - they are everywhere - you’re sure to find a good spot.
How do you make the most of your rainy days? How do you make the most of a trip when things don’t go as planned - be it weather or unforeseen circumstances? Let me share with you something I learned on this trip that I will take with me wherever I go. There will be rainy days, canceled events, change of plans, reroutes, diversions, and everything in between but it’s how I handle those moments that make or break the trip. I have even learned to apply this to my every day life. It’s not how I handle the perfectly scheduled day that goes according to plan but it’s how I handle the crazy days that truly determine how I grow. While trips or days or life may come with unexpected and unwanted surprises, my attitude is completely up to me. It may feel like staying inside and being upset is the only option but it most certainly is not. I can tell you my most memorable moments and trips have not always been the ones that went according to the spread sheet but the moments I learned to dance in the rain.