“Every country a different world, and every world a different culture” I’m not sure who uttered these words, but he was right.

Although Brazil was for many years under Portuguese control, there are differences that characterize Brazilian people and make the country unique.

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My dear Lola,

When visiting Rio de Janeiro there are 20 things every traveler you should know before landing at the “Cidade Maravilhosa”

1. If you decide to use any of its buses to discover the city and you’re lucky enough to find a free seat, do not be surprised if once seated someone makes you hold their belongings while he/she tryes to keep the balance on its pumpy roads. Cariocas are used to volunteer, so if you really want to look like a local and act like them, give yourself to help anyone who is traveling with heavy bags

2. Oh, and before I forgot…. buses stop here as taxis; Raising your hand and often out of the “official” stop. So if at any time you miss the bus and it’s just stopped at a traffic lights or due to a traffic jam, you can approach him and ask the driver to open the door

3. The “Cachaça” spirit can be also drunk alone (not just as a Caipirinha cocktail ingredient)

4. The demonym of Rio de Janeiro inhabitants is “Cariocas”. And the city is internationally known as the “Cidade Maravilhosa”

5. Pay before ordering. In most of fast-food and natural juices stores (usually sustained by “pan de queijo” and “salgados” sales) you will first pay for your order and get the receipt afterwards. The bill must be shown at the counter where the food is delivered to the clients once paid

6. As in some other countries, the week starts on Sunday. In addition schedules are announced numerically. That is, the week is organized “from first to seventh”, starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday “the seventh”

7. You can buy everything on the beach. Literally. Street merchants offer from cold drinks to hats to protect themselves from the sun, crafts, bikinis or typical Brazilian food

8. Brazilians girls have been always known for its lush curves, and they do not hesitate to show them wearing mini dresses, tops and tight extra shorts trousers … on the other hand, they seem to remain restrained in terms of the showing their most intimate parts, so TOP LESS IS STRICTLY (and surprisingly) FORBIDDEN in the country’s beaches

9. If you are a fruit juice lover, this is your country.. an unimaginable amount of exotic flavours. And yes, always natural and squeezed when ordered

10. The best sunset is from the rocky peninsula that separates Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. An amazing spot to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets on earth

11. The beach is organized into “postos”, and unless you do not mind being surrounded by volleyball players, families or gay couples, it is advisable to find out about what kind of teammates would you like to be surrounded with before you get to the most famous beaches on earth

12. When visiting Brazil, the first thing that comes to everyone minds are its beaches, but Rio offers much more than this … The world’s largest intercity National Park of Tijuca is located in the Carioca city and it offers a variety of routes to get lost in

13. And yes, Rio also offers loads of free activities to do like Santa Teresa “bonde” which leaves from the station located close to the Metropolitan Cathedral. Once on the last stop you can discover Santa Teresa picturesque neighbourhood and walk back to the city centre between its narrowed streets, or get lost around and take the “bonde” back to the same station

14. Omnipresent Calatrava. The Spanish architect has also developed his art at the Brazilian city designing the recently opened “Museu de Mananha”

15. What was once the world’s largest stadium; Maracana, houses now matches from up to 3 football teams … Flamengo, Fluminense and the Brazilian national team

16. For the more adventurous (and thrifty ones), they can get up to the statue of Christ the Redeemer for free after a 1.5 / 2 hours steep walk and save 38R$ (the entrance fee is 24R$, and 68R$ if the ascent is done with the legendary Corcovado train)

17. It may be the only city where you can have breakfast / lunch inside a Roman-style building currently occupied by the School of Arts of the country

18. When in the club, drinks are never paid instantly. They are added into a personal card that must be paid before leaving the local

19. Carnival does not only take place at the Sambodromo. During Carnival week, groups and batteries from the different Samba schools and unbelievable different kind of associations organize “blocos” (Carnival street parties) open to the public with full of color and dressed in carnival costumes

20. For the traditionalists and those who wish to participate actively in Carnival, Rio-carnival makes it possible by selling a big range of carnival costumes from each Samba school to parade and participate in the world’s largest Carnival

Are you now ready for a brazilian trip?

Love,

Marina

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