Rio is known for having the most famous party in the world, the Carnival every February. Over 90,000 travel to Rio to party the days and nights away. Famous in the area is the Sambódrom a permanent grandstand-lined parade avenue which is used during Carnival. Samba is the dance of Brazil which usually combines with large heavy costumes. Some can weigh up to 60 pounds! You cannot come to Rio and at least try stepping to the hip shaking rhythms.
If you go to Rio in another time of year, the nightlife is still ample; head down to the downtown area” Lapa” and make sure to try a caipirinha drink while you are there. Made from limes and sagatbalura (a sugar cane alcohol similar to rum) the caipirinha is a tasty beverage for adult drinkers. The Lapa area of Rio also contains famous work completed by a Chilean artist named Escadaria Selarón. Selarón began covering a steep 215-step staircase Santa Teresa area with a bright mosaic of ceramic tiles (many sent to him from all around the world). I loved looking at the colorful examples sent from over 130 countries.
Brazilian food is very fresh and enjoyable. I had a great meal at the Aprazivel restaurant which has a treehouse as part of the dining experience. I was able to sample traditional dishes including hearts of palm, a delicate appetizer and the rodizio, a fixed price meal with a variety of meat served off the spit by a parade of waiters.