Exploring Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, From a Local Point of View

“Então, você é do Rio de Janeiro?” asked the tan, freckled girl next to me on my flight from Miami,Florida, to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I stared at her, unsure of what she’d said. “Inglés?”

“You speak English?” she asked, her eyes widening with excitement. “My mother is an English teacher. You have to meet her! What do you have planned for your time in Rio?”

I confided in her that I didn’t have much of anything planned. And this is how I got to experience Rio de Janeiro from a local point of view with my new best friend Clarissa leading the way.

What is so unique about the city of Rio de Janeiro is its beautiful beaches, cosmopolitan architecture, lush forests and unique mountains that can all be seen from any one vantage point. It’s also home to very friendly people, as Clarissa explained to me that the locals excitedly showing strangers around the city for no reason is “so Rio.”

I noticed the locals I met were very proud of Rio’s beauty, culture and heritage, and with good reason. While the other big Brazilian city of São Paulo is well known for its over-the-top work ethic and fast-paced style, Rio de Janeiro is more relaxed with a natural attractiveness…

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