Heading to Rio in the next couple of months and need help with planning? We know just the people. Evaneos Travel connects travellers wanting original, and tailor-made holidays with local travel agents based in the country they would like to visit. Forget your tourist traps and ‘secret spots’ that aren’t so secret, Evaneos teams up with local partners giving you the best spots in town.  And don’t forget how important it is to get travel insurance when heading off on these trips! Because local insight is much better than a generic guide book, right?

For Brazil, Evaneos Travel’s local partner is Vanessa. With 11 years of experience in tourism, she is keen to share her knowledge and create an unforgettable trip for travellers looking to explore Brazil. Here are some of her recommendations for Rio, all available to be incorporated into a customised tour offered through Evaneos Travel . Here’s where to go:

Best Breakfast Spot: Parque Lage

What: For a memorable breakfast in Rio, it has to be Parque Lage. Away from Rio’s main attractions, this grand park offers a delicious breakfast surrounded by a mix of romantic-style gardens and the Mata Atlântica forest. After breakfast, head to the stately mansion in the centre of the park, home to Rio de Janeiro’s School of Visual Arts, which is open to the public.

Where: Rua Jardim Botânico, 414 Parque Lage 22461000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Photo Credit: Christian Vinces

Best Lunch Spot: The Aprazível Restaurant

What: The Aprazível Restaurant is located in the gorgeous Santa Teresa area. Enjoy typical Brazilian food on the terrace with stunning views over the city and bay area.

Where: R. Aprazível, 62 – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20241-270, Brazil

Best Dinner Spot: Churrascaria Fogo de Chão

What: The Churrascaria Fogo de Chão is a traditional Brazilian steakhouse, cooking the best barbecue the city has to offer. Seriously great kebabs.

Where: Av. Reporter Nestor Moreira, s/n – Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22290-210, Brazil

Photo Credit: Treindade

Best Brunch Spot: Confeitaria Colombo

What: Enjoy a feast of traditional sweets, pastries and waffles for brunch at Confeitaria Colombo. The Confectionery Cafe is located at the Copacabana Fortress, with unique views of the Copacabana beach – it’s a must for any Rio newbie.

Where: R. Gonçalves Dias, 32 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20021-340, Brazil

Best Bar: Rio Scenarium

What: The Rio Scenarium offers a taste of Carioca’s culture (local to Rio). With a mix of samba dancing, authentic food and lively locals, it makes for a very memorable evening. Be sure to check out their website, as they have a daily changing programme featuring live Brazilian music for every night of the week.

Where: R. do Lavradio, 20 – Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 20230-070, Brazil

Best Street Food Vendor: Globo Biscuit or Açaí Bowl

What: Our travellers love to explore the colourful back alleys of Rio, bursting with vibrant vendors selling typical Brazilian cuisine. Try the renowned Globo Biscuit, a sweet snack that is sold on Rio’s beaches, or for a healthier option, the Açaí bowl, a thick smoothie of red fruits, topped with oatmeal and peanut butter.

Photo Credit: Signe Leth

Where to Stay: The Atlantis Copacabana Hotel or Belmond Copacabana Palace

What: The Atlantis Copacabana Hotel offers the best value for money with a roof terrace looking out onto the city. Ideal for big groups, or for those on a budget.

Where: Bulhões de Carvalho 61 – Copacabana – RJ – Brasil – CEP 22081-000

What: Belmond Copacabana Palace is perfect for luxury travel. Since its art deco doors swung open in 1923, Belmond Copacabana Palace has been welcoming the high-end traveller. It oozes serious style appeal. And the rooftop bar is simply stunning.

Where: Avenida Atlântica 1702, Rio de Janeiro, CEP 22021 001, Brazil

Photo Credit: Rocha Riberio

Five Must Dos in Rio: 

  • Hike up the Morro da Urca Trail for beautiful views of the region, take a cable car on the way down!
  • Visit the Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) and enjoy the Kobra’s graffiti in MAR, next door.
  • Take a Favela Tour.
  • Rent a bike and ride along the edge of Zona Sul.
  • For an early morning activity, try stand-up paddle boarding at Posto 6 in Copacabana.