Rio de Janeiro is home to some of the most iconic sites, celebrations, and biodiversity in the world.
What to Expect
Official language: Portuguese
Currency: Brazilian Real
Safety: In general, Rio is relatively safe for travelers. The biggest issue is pick-pocketing and mugging. Avoid walking around alone at night and don't flash your valuables. I went to Rio alone and never felt unsafe, but a few people from my hostel had their phones stolen out of their pockets when they went out at night. My dorky little fanny pack I wore on the front was a nice touch and it made sure I kept an eye on my belongings at all times.
Brazil, overall, is one of the most expensive countries in South America. By USA standards, Brazil is very affordable. However, if you have been traveling around South America, expect to pay more than you would in Colombia. A nice meal in Rio will cost around 15 USD, but there are cheaper restaurants offering meals for around 5 USD.
Flying into Rio from the USA can be more expensive than some of its neighboring countries. Currently February and March are considered the cheapest months to fly.
Best Time to Visit
Brazil's summer is December-March. I went in January and it was very hot and humid. With summer comes heavy rain on occasion too. September-October is considered the best time to go to avoid the summer heat, rain, and larger crowds.
Where to Stay
Many people flock to Rio de Janeiro every year to see some of the most iconic sites in the world. It's a massive city with so much to offer. You can find anything from budget friendly hostels to luxury hotels along the beach. Lapa District is a cool trendy area to stay. It is walking distance from exciting nightlife and parties, beaches, and the financial district. Uber is very easy, common, and cheap to use in Rio. I took an Uber about 30 minutes up a mountain and it only cost 5 USD. No matter what area you stay in, it will be very easy to get around with Uber.