By Carolina Vergara @carojournalist
One of my dreams was to spend the New Year in Rio de Janeiro and dreams have to be fulfilled. The opportunity presented itself, I bought the tickets and I went to Rio de Janeiro on December 28th.
The first time I went to Rio was 9 years ago and I fell in love with the city.
But I really wanted to see what the New Year's show "Reveillon" really looks like. It really is a wonderful experience and I recommend it one hundred percent.
After a trip with a stopover in São Paulo, I arrived at a rainy Rio de Janeiro. Of the seven days I was in Rio, I had two days of sun and all the rest cloudy and with rain. One of the things that I had to do was buy an umbrella because I had several intense rains.
One of the most expensive times to visit Rio de Janeiro is for the New Year. It is even more expensive than in Carnival. Therefore, I recommend you to see the subject of accommodation in advance.
Where did I stayed? In the hotel that I stayed was the AC by Marriot in Porto Maravilha. It is a super good hotel but it is far away from the center and the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema.
Within the benefits of the hotel is a swimming pool on the top floor of the building that has a wonderful view, including breakfast buffet, internet and super comfortable rooms.
When you go in a group, as some friends did, it is better to rent an apartment in Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon on Airbnb.
As my hotel was far away every day I had to take the VLT (Veículo Leve sobre Trilhos). To be able to access public transportation in Rio de Janeiro, you have to buy a card at the VLT stations called Rio Card (it costs 3 reais) and you have to carry it with the amount of money you want. The VLT rate is 3.80 reais. If you need to take the metro after the VLT, you have to pay another ticket, either from the metro or the bus. There is no connection system in public transport like in other countries. In the VLT they are super tough with the control, they go up to check the Rio Card, at least twice in each trip.
New Year: the great New Year's party is on Copacabana beach. All dressed in white await the "reveillon" of the New Year. On the beach there is a giant stage, with several screens along the entire beach, to see the different shows that start at around 5 in the afternoon. With my friends we arrived at Copacabana at 10:00 pm and we walked along the main avenue and we waited for 12:00 sitting on the beach. The fireworks show is wonderful. One of the best I've seen in my life, 17 minutes of pure light and magic. Then came the show of the Brazilian artist of the moment, Anitta, who performed a one-hour show. Unforgettable!
There is a theme with security in Rio de Janeiro. You have to be careful. Many people tell you: "do not go to this part of Rio, they can assault you". Well, I witnessed an assault, but nothing happened to me. You will be impressed that there are many homeless people living in the streets, mainly in the center of Rio. My recommendation is not to go downtown at night and if you do, go in a group and always be careful. Do not walk around with lots of money, jewelry, etc. Be careful with cell phones. If you go to the Selarón staircase, go early, around 10 or 11 in the morning. Because apparently at night it gets dangerous.