Although my law school isn’t the best, it did offer an awesome class and the only reason anyone takes it is to go to Brazil. Initially I was skeptical, but my friend convinced me otherwise. After painstaking 6 weeks in class, we embarked on our journey to beautiful Rio, and oh my god was it awesome. Unfortunately, due to our “academic” schedule of going to lectures and doing sight visits (we were studying water law of Brazil), we didn’t get to experience much of Brazilian culture. However, this is definitely the place I would love to come back to.
Dos and don’ts
- Do drink lots of caipirinhas, a Brazilian national drink, made with cachaça (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar and lime. Along with that, drink their coconut juice and acai smoothies
- Do go to Ipanema and Copacabana, regardless of your body type
- Do watch your belongings very carefully. My professor’s t-shirt was stolen, and that’s all he brought with him.
- Do, and this is a big DO, bring a phrase book. Not a whole lot of people speak English and it was very difficult to get around sometimes, especially in taxis
- Don’t be stupid and flash your wealth. Brazil is has its own share of crimes, so be aware of your surroundings
- If you get a chance, do visit other cities. Brazil is a beautiful country, full of natural wonders
Places to see:
- Corcovado (aka the giant Jesus) – I grew up watching Brazilian telenovelas, I know it’s weird, but they always had a beautiful shot of Corcovado mountain. I HAD to go there. Make sure you go on a clear day (we went when it was super super foggy hoping that it would clear up).
- Sugar Loaf Mountain – an awesome cable car will take you from mountain to mountain. If you’re scared of heights, don’t forget your meds and don’t look down.
- Copacabana Palace – you don’t have to stay here to enjoy a nice dinner by the pool. My friend and I just walked in, asked for a table and had a nice girls’ time away from our group.
Places to eat:
- Casa de Feijoada – amazing bean stews
- Churrascaria Carretao - if you love meat, you’ll LOVE this all you can eat meat buffet. In the beginning of the night, you’ll get a little paper medallion. One side is green and say “Yes please”, and the other, red, says “No thank you.” If you have it on green, the waiter will keep coming and offering you an array of different meats. Once you’re full, you can flip the medallion. On top of it all, they have a huge buffet where you can load up on side dishes. For less than $100 per person, we came out stuffed and satisfied.