Travel Spotlight – Another Reason to travel to Rio
5/31/2011 (RTTNews) – Rio De Janeiro is one of the great cities of the world, and one of the biggest travel destinations in South America. While it is only the second largest city in Brazil – the city of SÃo Paulo, with 11 million people, is the biggest – Rio is probably the best known spot in country. Known for its garish Carnival celebration, the city is also famous for its beaches – one of which was made famous in the 1960s hit “The Girl From Ipanema” – and for the iconic statue of Christ The Redeemer, 130-foot sculpture of the Christian savior that looks out over the city from the peak of the Corcovado mountain. However, there are some draws that have not gotten as much attention. Jonathan Santos, from Tours Gone Wild, suggests that New Year’s is a relatively unknown time to take advantage of the city. Though it gets less press than the Carnival parades that lead into the Christian season of Lent, New Year’s is another special holiday for the citizens of Rio. “People typically dress in white and go to the beach on New Year’s Eve,” Santos says. “[The beach of] Copacabana has one of the best fireworks shows in the world.” And while temperatures in the Northeastern U.S. are below freezing, Rio’s average temp in January is in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit. Santos also raves about the food in Rio. He suggests people try Feijoada, a Portuguese dish (Brazil was a Portuguese colony – the language spoken there is Portuguese, not the Spanish typical in the rest of Latin America), a stew made of beans, beef and pork. And while there, people have to try a rodizio restaurant. This style of service, which has gotten some traction in parts of the U.S., involves waiters continually bringing food to the table until the customers signifies that they are done.