B&B overlooking the beach

The Dawning of Brazil’s B&B Age

Many B&Bs are located in the charming, hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Many of the villas built along steep winding streets in the 19th century have recently been renovated into boutique hotel, intimate guesthouses and B&Bs.

Rio de Janeiro scenic view

Rio’s Alternative Points of View

Unknown to many tourists, there are happily many other Carioca summits that offer alternatively impressive views far from the crowds that flock to Sugarloaf and Corcovado. Michael Sommers points you towards some off the beaten path alternatives.

Santa Teresa rooftop view

Taxi Trouble in Santa Teresa

Michael Sommers had a tough time arranging a taxi to Rio’s Santa Teresa neighborhood. Here’s how to talk reluctant taxi drivers into taking you to one of Rio’s most centrally located, historically rich, and downright charming areas.

Hostel sign

Rio’s Fresh Crop of Hostels

Within the last year or so, a fresh crop of hostels have opened their doors, bringing the total number to 65. By the end of the year, another 10 hostels are slated to be up and running.

Rio’s Carnaval Goes Full Tilt

For those who missed this year’s Carnaval in Rio or who just plain miss Rio, the 5-minute film, “The City of Samba,” will either kill your longings or inflame your Rio yearnings all the more.

View of a multi-story Norman-style palace with a neatly trimmed lawn sloping down towards a reflecting pool.

Day Trip from Rio: Petrópolis

Only an hour’s drive north from Rio, the summer getaway of the Brazilian emperor and his family still provides a welcome refuge. Aside from imperial trappings. Petrópolis offers a cool respite, fine food, and mountain scenery.

Elaborate gold designs accent bright white walls inside a light-filled church.

What to See in Rio de Janeiro’s Centro District

Narrow cobblestoned alleys, grand baroque churches, turn-of-the-20th-century Parisian-inspired avenues and architecture, and the ubiquitous high-rises and urban chaos of a 21st-century megalopolis make up Rio’s Centro district. Here’s what to see when you’re visiting Centro.

Invading Rio’s Rocinha

This week, everybody in Brazil – and especially in Rio de Janeiro – was talking about the “peaceful” police invasion of Rocinha, the largest – and most (in)famous – favela in the Americas.