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Cheap Flights to Rio De Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, popularly referred to as just Rio, is the second biggest city in Brazil. Its warm sunny climate and lively atmosphere makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in South America.Rio de Janeiro’s primary airport is RIOgaleão–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. The airport handles all international arrivals as well as most domestic arrivals. It is conveniently located 20 km from downtown Rio and connected via buses (e.g. TransCarioca which is integrated with the subway) or taxis. Taxis in Brazil are generally affordable and travellers can choose from prepaid taxis which will usually charge R$99 (approximately HK$200) or a metered taxi outside which will cost less than half. There are currently no direct flights from Hong Kong to Rio, however major airlines such as Emirates, Air France, and British Airways operate connecting flights. Cathay Pacific also operates a connecting flight with its code share partners.A visa is not required for Hong Kong citizens to visit the Brazil for 90 days or less.

Getting around

Rio’s metro is made up of 2 lines and is an easy and economical way to get around the city.  Trains are efficient, air conditioned, clean, and safe. A single trip ticket or a multi trip card can be purchased from stations, with a single trip costing R$3.20 (approximately HK$6).

Metered taxis are affordable and easily available everywhere – depending on the distance and traffic, fares are usually around R$10 to R$25 (approximately HK$20 to HK$50). The meters run on 2 rates; Bandeira 1 is a daytime rate, while Bandeira 2 starts after 9 pm and is more expensive. Do be cautious of drivers refusing to use the meter or using the wrong rate.

Attractions

Rio de Janeiro is synonymous with beaches and the Rio Carnival parade with good reason. Beaches such as Ipanema and Copacabana are a must-visit when in Rio. Ipanema (of the bossa nova song “The Girl from Ipanema”) boasts white sandy beaches and rolling waves. It has a glitzier laidback vibe with shops, cafes, and art galleries bordering the beach. Copacabana has a more active vibe and locals can often be seen having a game of soccer or volleyball.

The Rio Carnival parade is a festival that allows everyone to let loose and overdose on fun before the sober days of Lent, when abstinence of bodily pleasure is expected. This is the time when colourful floats and dancers from the many Samba schools in Rio parade through the streets of Rio to the beat of the drum. If you do miss Carnival, do not fret as samba is a way of life to the people of Rio, and the Lapa neighbourhood (also known as Centro) is well known for its many samba and choro bars. The perfect drink to accompany the festivities is the national cocktail of Brazil, the caipirinha, while enjoying the music and dancing. While there, do remember to check out the architecture of the neighbourhood (much of which dates back to the 1800s), especially the colourful Selaron Steps that straddles the Lapa and Santa Teresa neighbourhoods. If you are in need of some greenery and calm after all the excesses of partying, Rio’s Tiguca National Park (where you can enjoy expansive views of the city below as well as the Cascatinha Waterfall), Sugarloaf mountain, and of course the Corcovado Peak with Christ the Redeemer atop, will be a welcome respite.

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