“The Marvelous City”

One of the most seductive places on the planet, Rio’s sensual culture is hard not to notice. It’s in the way women habitually run their fingers through their hair, the way lovers touch each other’s faces. It is the very sensation of the environment — the hot sun on your skin, the scent of the ocean mixing with fresh seafood, and how the lush, tropical backdrop softens the hard geometry of the city.

Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s biggest playground, offering every conceivable delight a man could want: sprawling beaches full of bronzed bodies, jaw-dropping landscapes, extreme sports, termas, and amazing food and drinks any time of day. But the people are the main draw.

Brazilians work hard, but the beach is a funda- mental part of life, and locals abide by various codes of conduct, like playing competitive-yet-friendly games of beach volleyball before heading to the office. Rio’s layout is pretty straightforward. It is divided into north and south zones, with a mountain range serving as a barrier. Day and nightlife mainly revolves around the Ipanema area, and staying as close to the ocean as possible is critical.

After the heat and hustle of the city, take a short trip down the emerald coastline. Amid sandy coves and jungle backdrops are two perfectly charming towns: the colonial port of Paraty and the always energetic Búzios. Both are stunning and tranquil but offer different approaches to serenity. Búzios overflows with cafes, galleries, snorkeling, and surfing. Paraty is more secluded, with whole forests, waterfalls, and islands practically to oneself.

No matter where you are, Rio is all about meeting locals who will guide you in the right direction. Sensual energy mixed with living life at full tilt is what makes this Brazilian city so intoxicating.


247A Rua Dias Ferreira - Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
Photos courtesy of BRIGITE’S
The latest restaurant from the crack team behind Sushi Leblon and Zuka, this two-story bistro serves organic dishes in a clean, bright space on the trendy (and foody) Rua Dias Ferreira. Stop by on a late Saturday afternoon to watch the beautiful people.
199 Rua Dias Ferreira - Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
For those wanting a change from the formidable fare along Rua Dias Ferreira, Celeiro is the place. Specializing in organic salads via buffet style, pay-by-weight ordering, this casual eatery is full of healthy choices. And their mint lemonade is damn good on a hot day.
Sushi Leblon
Sushi Leblon
256 Rua Dias Ferreira – Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
Photos courtesy of SUSHI LEBLON
Rio’s answer to Nobu. A clear favorite of the chic and celebrated, this upscale Japanese restaurant offers great sushi, sashimi, and specialties like grilled namorado and sea urchin ceviche. Book in advance or prepare to queue up.
1166 Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva – Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
Finding an ice cold beer in Rio is harder than you’d expect, so remember this address. Jobi has been Leblon’s go-to botequim since the ’50s. The bar itself isn’t much to look at, but there are plenty of pretty patrons crowding the place, especially on weekends. Great bar snacks (the empanadas are outstanding) and memorable nights are Jobi hallmarks. It’s a local spot but you won’t be a stranger for long.
Black Bar
1219 Avenida General San Martin – Leblon, Rio de Janeiro
Photo courtesy of BLACK BAR
After a dinner in Leblon, walk over to Black Bar. There’s a DJ, dancing, and an easy vibe in the outdoor lounge. It’s a perfect place to go with a friend, but chill enough to go alone.


La Bicyclette
1008 Rua Jardim Botânico – Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Just outside of the Botanical Gardens, La Bicyclette is a French café favored by locals for its excellent sandwiches and freshly baked pain au chocolat.
Jojö Café Bistrô
812 Rua Pacheco Leão – Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Jojö brings true French flare into the heart of Jardim Botânico. This beloved neighborhood spot only has a few tables and they often stay full past midnight. Its always charming atmosphere is perfect for a laid-back evening.
Gabinete Duilio Sartori
87 Rua Lopes Quintas – Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro
Nestled on a quiet side street, this shop is hidden behind a bold cement facade. Inside is a welcoming concept store that carries everything from desk accessories to signed sculptures in a stylish, minimalist environment perfectly complemented by warm lighting. Duilio Sartori is a fresh (and much needed) addition to the Rio design/décor market.


Azumi Japanese
127 Rua Ministro Viveiros de Castro – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
This lighthearted Japanese restaurant takes its sushi seriously. Headband-clad chefs masterfully prepare delectable dishes using traditional Japanese techniques.


62 Rua Aprazível – Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro
Photos courtesy of APRAZÍVEL
Perched in the mountains above Rio, this open air, tree house-style restaurant will have you repeating one phrase: pass the pao de queijo! Aprazível’s combination of fresh food, panoramic views, and quality service is worth the trek.


85 Rua Maria Quitéria – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Osklen is Brazil’s most famous fashion label (after Havaiana, of course). Founder Oskar Metsavaht, the first Brazilian to scale Mont Blanc, conceptualized the brand as a harmonization of opposites. His luxury athletic wear is simple, effortlessly cool, and well made.
147 Rua Garcia d’Ávila – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Dedicated to small portions and superior cocktails, Venga is consistently packed with young locals at dinnertime. It was the first tapas restaurant to arrive in Rio, and many consider it the best.
Zazá Bistrô
40 Rua Joana Angélica – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Zazá Bistrô serves Thai and Brazilian fusion dishes in an art-filled converted house. There are three quirky dining areas: an outside terrace, inside on the ground floor, and (our personal favorite) upstairs where guests dine on Moroccan pillows by flickering candlelight.
Alessandro & Frederico
175 Rua Redentor – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
The food, service, and scene never disappoint the lunch crowd. Scope out Ipanema socialites from an outdoor terrace while filling up on enormous salads, pastas, and other bistro fare.
157 Rua Aníbal de Mendonça – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Photo courtesy of GERO FASANO
The Fasano group owns it but this Italian restaurant is one-of-a-kind in Rio. The menu benefits from four generations worth of experience. The excellent service is hard not to notice. Our recommendation: the tiramisu.
Bar Astor
110 Avenida Vieira Souto – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Photo courtesy of BAR ASTOR
This one’s an overachiever: corner resident of a prestigious crossroads, 130-year-old bar from a Tennessee saloon, and overlooks Arpoador Beach. Plus, the food is as good as the people-watching.
Fasano Rio
Fasano Rio
80 Avenida Vieira Souto – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Photos courtesy of THE FASANO HOTEL
When in Rio, stay near the beach. You can’t get any closer than the Fasano Hotel, which rises along the eastern end of Ipanema. The level of luxury and quality of service in Rio is surprisingly quaint, so the Philippe Starck-designed hotel stands out for its upmarket hospitality. Mr. Starck’s fingerprints are everywhere, from the bossa nova-chic lobby to the sexy rooftop infinity pool.
80 Avenida Vieira Souto – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Photos courtesy of THE FASANO HOTEL
Inside the Fasano Hotel, Londra is a mix of British punk and Italian chic. This is a legitimate A-lister scene and one of the few places in the city that requires dressing up. Only go Thursday through Saturday, and only after 11pm, which is still on the early side for Rio.
Casa Mosquito
222 Rua Saint Roman - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Photo courtesy of CASA MOSQUITO
“A terrace bar. A caipirinha. An ocean view. Rio.” Their slogan pretty much says it all. When the crowds of Ipanema become overwhelming, Casa Mosquito is just a quick walk from the beach. The ten-room hilltop guesthouse overlooks the heights around Ipanema beach and one of the world’s most picturesque cities.
Clubhouse Rio
Rua Saint Roman – Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro
Opening August 2014
Housed in a tasteful 1940s Tudor-style building, this private members club features an indoor lounge/bar/library, 13 guest rooms, an outdoor bar, and a back garden with a pool that will hold the best parties in town.


Nirvana Spa
31 Praça Santos Dumont — Gávea, Rio de Janeiro
Nirvana is the biggest yoga studio in Rio. Situated inside the Jockey Club, it offers saunas, a day spa, an organic restaurant, and a variety of yoga classes, including hatha and ashtanga — the yin to Rio’s capoeira and Jiu-Jitsu yang.
Hang Gliding
Tijuca National Park – Rio de Janeiro
Flying tandem with two-time Brazilian distance-gliding champ and Ted Talk alumn Ruy Marra might be the best way to hang in Brazil. Rio Superfly launches out of the world’s largest urban rain forest. Marra calls his meditative approach to hang gliding “yoga in the sky.” You’ll never see Rio the same way again.
Arpoador Beach
Rio de Janeiro
A peninsula wedged between Ipanema and Copacabana, Arpoador Beach is the best spot to catch a sunset and a wave. Even surfers take a moment to sit on their boards and let the waves roll by as they take in the painted sky. The perfect place to end a perfect Rio day.
Rua Armando de Almeida – Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro
Photo courtesy of MICHAEL HEFFERNAN
Once controlled by gangs, and so dodgy the police wouldn’t even patrol the streets, this large favela has become one of Rio’s most exciting nightlife areas, famous for its party spots, like Casa Alto Vidigal. They host weekly events that last until the early morning hours.


Photos courtesy of CASSIO VASCONCELLOS
Along the route between Rio and São Paulo lies the costa verde of Angra dos Reis, with hundreds of islands, small towns, and pris- tine beaches. Especially worth mentioning is Praia Dentista (Dentist Beach), where boaters tie up for the day to socialize.


Paraty (Par-a-chee) is a tasteful colonial hideaway, and its charming solitude is enough to entice anyone. At high tide the large cobblestone streets are covered by the sea, presenting a magical mirror image of a floating town. Paraty is a bohemian respite in a delightfully un-touristy sort of way, a sanctuary between the mountains and sea.
Banana Da Terra
198 Rua Dr Samuel Costa – Paraty, Rio de Janeiro
Photos courtesy of BANANA DA TERRA
Chef Ana Bueno packs serious flavor into every dish, bringing contemporary and upscale caiçara cuisine to Rio’s historic district. Try the casadinho de camarão.
Punto Divino
129 Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca – Paraty, Rio de Janeiro
Photo courtesy of PUNTO DIVINO
Punto Divino serves the best thin-crust pizza in town. Sit inside for the live-music performances or outside to watch the action in the town square.
Casa Turquesa
Casa Turquesa
50 Rua Doutour Pereira – Paraty, Rio de Janeiro
Photos courtesy of CASA TURQUESA
A beautifully decorated nine-room guesthouse in a restored 18th-century historical home. Owner Tetê Etrusco is a perfect host and embraces all travelers as soon as they arrive, setting the “Mi casa es su casa” tone.


Ilha Grande is an island off the coast of Angra, accessible only by boat. Known as “the Caribbean of Brazil,” it’s famous for its 106 white sand beaches and over 100 miles of trails through rain forest. Recommended stop: Lopes Mendes, the ultimate surfing spot.
Photos courtesy of LULIIA TIMOFEEVA


A sophisticated and fashionable fishing village only a hundred miles from bustling Rio, perfect for a quick escape. It was Brigitte Bardot and Mick Jagger who brought the glamour to Búzios in the ’60s. Sugar-sand beaches, posh nightlife (the infamous Privilege and Pacha clubs are located in town), and a lively string of shops and restaurants make this seaside village the Hamptons of Brazil.
Photo courtesy of OSTILL
Rua E1, Condomínio Atlântico – Búzios, Rio de Janeiro
Photos courtesy of INSÓLITO
A low-key hotel at the edge of one the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, Ferradura. Its twenty Brazilian culture-themed rooms are filled with artwork, and sunsets are visible from nearly every one. Two pools (sweetwater and saltwater), saunas, and ofuro will help you recover after a couple nights of Carnival. Que lindo.
Casas Brancas
10 Morro Do Humaitá - Búzios, Rio de Janeiro
Photo courtesy of DANIEL PINHEIRO
A 32-room respite in the “St. Tropez of South America” where the smart set finds solace. The gentle style mixed with sounds flowing from the bar makes for a chic and carefree atmosphere. Set overlooking the blue waters of the bay, the property is walking distance to the center of town.
Rocka Beach Lounge & Restaurant
13 Praia Brava – Búzios, Rio de Janeiro
Photos courtesy of DANIEL PINHEIRO
This place was a true highlight. The food is top-shelf, prepared by an acclaimed chef who traded his suit for an apron and a pair of board shorts. Linger after lunch on the white leather daybeds spread across a hill overlooking a white sand beach. During summer months, Rocka morphs into an all-night party spot.