Rio de Janeiro
has long been an iconic destination for sizzling hot beaches, an even spicier Samba scene, and a tourist tickers’ dream come true! If you peel back the layers, Rio has a bit more to offer than sun, sand, and might I say, bangin beach bodies to boot! In fact, I would go as far to say, locals, called ‘Cariocas’ are some of the fittest (and finest) folks I have seen collectively! Apart from the upcoming FIFA World Cup being held in Rio, what keeps them so active and having fun?
Well for starters Cariocas CHOOSE to get out and take advantage of their perfect weather, varying terrains and completely free outdoor training grounds ensuring beach ready bodies year round. Any given morning you will find thousands of locals running, cycling, blading, playing volleyball or footvolley, swimming, bootcamping and more…and that’s just on the main beachfront drag from Copacabana to Leblon!
Others take to the surf bright and early to the local favourite beaches (and best in my books) and get their surf and body boarding on! Check out Praia
Be a Tourist…Like a Local
Typically tourist attractions are chalk full of exactly that, tourists. But in Rio, the locals get out there and show their appreciation of the world famous landmarks, in their own…healthy, active way. A few of the favourites:
Pao de Azucar (Sugar Loaf)
Instead of forking over a hard days earnings for a cable car ride up to the top of this MUST DO attraction, you’ll find many Cariocas grab a day pack and hike their way to the top of Sugar Loaf!
(NOTE: This is NOT for the faint hearted and you will need a guide or local to navigate) Others split the journey, hiking part way up and enjoy a shorter cable car ride . Either way, you are sure to get your heart pumping and to take in a FANTASTIC view!
Pedra de Gavea
For a completely different view, and a road certainly less travelled, take on the incredible Pedra de Gavea, a 3 + hour bum kicking climb that will leave you drenched in sweat, legs like jelly and with some of the most incredible views I have laid my peepers on!
TOP CARIOCA TIP: Plan your arrival for sunset and spend the night under the stars until the magic of a new day arrives like an orange ball of fire rising out of the Atlantic Ocean and then make your decent!
Beat the heat and the hustle ‘n’ bustle of city life in the magical Tijuca forest for the perfect combination of shade, serenity and sweat bursting adventure! Here you can choose from a number of ever-changing trails from waterfalls to wildlife accommodating all fitness levels.
Nightlife Sweat Sessions
Even after a hard day of hiking and sun baking the Cariocas don’t stop! In fact, the nightlife is one of the most vibrant (and sweaty) scenes Rio has to offer! Unlike many Aussie’s, Alcohol is NOT the focus of the evening…dancing is!
The Samba Scene
Any given evening you can find locals sweating their bootylicious booties into fine form at a Samba club, an outdoor Samba concert, or even in Samba classes around the city (as if they’re not good enough!) Men, women and children alike, Rhythm is in their blood and dancing is a part of their lives. See how quickly you can move your feet at any number of Samba clubs in Lapa, (Carioca da Gema or Bar da Boa, local favourites) or Monday nights in Pedra do Sal for a more relaxed vibe and sweat out those delicious caipirnhas!
Jess Jones combines her love of travel and passion for health/fitness with beautiful photography to inspire people around the world to begin their own journey through her website Journey with Jess Jones. Follow along with her wild adventures one laugh, story and photo at a time and become inspired today at www.journeywithjessjones.com …because life is a journey, not a destination.