Brazil
Morro da Babilônia

Here you’ll find travel reports about Morro da Babilônia. Discover travel destinations in Brazil of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

6 travelers at this place:

  • Day47

    Exploring Rio

    January 2 in Brazil

    It's the second day of January. New years eve in Rio was unbelievable in every sense of the word. I have never seen so many fireworks. Copacabana beach itself had 10 of the Wellington-size barges alone. The pushing crowds trying to get on the beach after 11pm were fun to begin with but soon got grating. Louis and I lost Eyob at about 11:45 (he's fine, don't worry).

    Louis and Eyob spent all of new years day recovering so I decided to walk to Botafogo, the suburb directly above Cobacabana. I think this is what they call an 'up-market' district (ie no slums/favelas). Leafy paths, expensive restaurants and great views. I'd live there.

    To be honest, we haven't done much sightseeing, but I don't mind. The heat is oppressive and I like just walking around. I could write about some interesting things. The guy next door to us walks around with a glock in his waistband, but you'd all prefer to hear about the tourist sights, right?

    Pics: (1) Fireworks; (2) View from Botafogo of Sugarloaf Rock; (3) Leblon beach.
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  • Day49

    O Cristo Redentor

    January 4 in Brazil

    Every great city has an iconic central monument. New York has the Statue of Liberty, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Wellington has nothing in particular. The Bucket Fountain maybe. Rio, of course, has its statue of Christ redeeming us.

    The statute sits atop a 700m hill, which Eyob and I wanted to climb. Louis decided that, between that and the NZ $20 entrance fee, he'd rather go to the gym. Ok then.

    The climb itself takes about 1.5 hours. The trail is known for its armed robberies (you are trekking through deserted jungle) so we had to sign a liability waiver at the gate. Eyob insisted I take point and walk in front.

    There was the usual gaggle of tourists at the top (they took buses up), all speaking different languages. More like we'd climbed the Tower of Babel than anything. Long queues for tickets but they were only NZ $12, a pleasant surprise. Quite often the information others give us here is somewhat awry.

    Statue was impressive, awe-inspiring etc. etc. but I really enjoyed the climb more. A good challenge in the heat. There is a hill you can climb for free right across ('Dos Imanos' - Two Brothers) which has views just as nice without the crowds.

    ALSO: As commented, we (I, that is) had some stuff stolen on NYE. I was left looking after our stuff as the others went for a midnight swim. The thief's accomplice comes up and taps me on the shoulder asking for a 'fuego' (cigarette light). 'No tengo' I respond (I don't have one). She persists, forcing me to turn around and repeat more forcefully. She gives up after a few goes and disappears into the crowds. I look down and $80 NZ worth of our stuff (mostly cash) is gone. The only consolation to my stupidity is that no phones were lost.

    Pics: (1) The man himself; (2) We were warned; (3) The view of Rio as we climbed; (4) Atop.
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  • Day51

    The Last Leg

    January 6 in Brazil

    We have finalised the end of our trip.

    - Leave Rio 10th Jan for Buenos Aires
    - Leave BA 15th Jan for Bariloche. At this point, Eyob will split from Louis and I and fly home (he starts work earlier). The two of us will spend the last 13 days in Patagonia (southern South America).
    - Take bus across border to Chile's Puerto Montt.
    - Fly down next day to Punta Arenas.
    - Journey up to Fitz Roy Mountain in Argentina.
    - Back to Punta Arenas and onto Santiago to fly home. Will arrive in Wellington 8:30 29th Jan (NZ time).

    Pics: (1) Our route; (2) Morning visitor; (3) A poster; (4) An old car for Sophie.
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  • Day25

    Rio De Janiero

    February 27, 2017 in Brazil

    It's finally time for CARNAVAL! This has been an amazing experience, dancing in the streets for days. Seriously everyone goes really hard here from 8am all day everyday and it's difficult to keep up.

    I've been staying in a favela called Chapeu Mangueira and it's been such a unique experience. I've been to a favela before but actually living here is quite different and I have to admit that when I first arrived on around 3 hours sleep from Salvador, that I was a little bit culture shocked. However, I'm glad I stayed here as there is a really good sense of community and our view from the balcony to Copacabana is stunning and we get to feed the monkeys every morning. It's even got one of the best restaurants in Rio in it! When I got here I met so many people and even met some of my friends from São Paulo and Pipa.

    Because I've done a lot of the touristy things before and they get expensive I've decided to miss out doing them again so it just has been party party party. I am now ready for my liver to have a rest because I'm 75% Skol Beats and the other 25% water.

    The street parties are called 'blocos' and we went to a few in Copacabana, Lapa, Gloria, Santa Teresa and Flamengo (I think). I also went to this DJ night called RioMe with Jackmaster headlining which was fun.

    It's been difficult to take photos as we've been warned not to take our phones out in case we get robbed but I managed to take a few. Next stop is Iguazu Falls, got a 24 hour bus ride to get there 😖 and I was so so hungover and probably the sweatiest mess I have ever been because its 36 degrees but I'm so excited to be in the outdoors again and have a good detox.
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  • Day5

    Ipanema

    May 11, 2015 in Brazil

    Lazy morning sorting out travel and hostel for Ilha Grande.
    Walked to Ipanema beach via shops searching for adaptor, bank and money exchange. On our way we found the greatest place on earth - a pay by weight ice cream parlour with over 50 flavours of ice cream, toppings and sauces that you helped yourself to. Needless to say we put in a good effort!!! Yum!
    Ipanema is a quieter, smaller beach. We sat in the shade reading due to Anna's sunburn but then it clouded over anyway. We wandered to the rocks which separate Copacabana and Ipanema beaches which is apparently the place to watch the sunset...however there was little sun to be seen and then it chucked it down so everyone ran - first outing of the ponchos!
    Walked back and finally found the right adaptor, plus a delicious orange and strawberry juice - juice bars are everywhere here.
    Ended up at same restaurant again...didn't find any others as cheap or nice. Francisco, the old waiter was pleased to see us, a tramp came and ate our left over falofa, and as fitness boot camp set up in front of us in the beach so we watched poor souls doing circuits in the rain.
    Got home and Julio said he had leftover dinner for us...I was stuffed but piggy Anna tucked into another plate of lentils, marine algae and rice.

    As we are leaving tomorrow, my impressions of Rio (in no kind of order):
    Rio is an amazing city, much larger than expected. Brazilians are lovely, friendly, smiley people... a lady stopped us in the supermarket & welcomed us to Rio...people stopped to help us on the tube, told us where to get off buses and how to find places. Few people speak English & our Portuguese is terrible but it wasn't an issue even though Julio complained Anna kept trying to speak to him in a mix of French & Spanish!!! Even the hawkers just give you a smile and walk away when you turn down their Christs / crazy zip bags. Family is clearly important - Julio lived above his ex-wife & kid and gave our extra rent to his mum on mother's day.
    There was always something to see...beach volleyball / bat & ball / football - (strangers would just start kicking the ball to each other on the beach)...impromptu dancing outside a restaurant...bingo in the favella. Everyone loves a party, there is music everywhere... good & bad...there is an undescribable beat to the city.
    Graffiti is everywhere...but it's art, streets are a mix of modern & shanty. Police (& cats) were everywhere, few homeless people were seen. There are a zillion buses everywhere - no timetables as they seem to run every few minutes. Yellow taxis are also ubiquitous. Outside gym areas are commonplace, as are health shops and juice bars. We saw more mincing than proper running, fewer body beautifuls than expected, however our bikini bottoms are far too big in comparison to most of those here!!!
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  • Day3

    Sugar loaf mountain

    May 9, 2015 in Brazil

    Awoke to a beautiful day. Feeling tired after yesterdays walking but Julio said was the perfect day to do sugar loaf.
    Walked to Urca (25 mins) and got tickets (R62), went up first cable car and the views were stunning! Without doubt the most beautiful city I've ever visited... the combination of beaches and mountains is breathtaking.
    Suddenly we were surrounded by tons of little monkeys who were quite happy to pose for photos...think Anna wants a new pet.
    Took the second cable car to the top and wandered around the paths through the trees. Had a pay by weight fruit salad which was lush to revive us in the heat.
    Contrary to many guidebooks, we both rated sugar loaf as far better than Christ Redeemer - helped by the sunshine no doubt but also there is more space to wander so it doesn't feel so touristy and just another place to tick off the list.
    Took a bus to Centro as Julio was doing a Capoeira performance. Took a while but eventually found them under a pretty archway doing their thing. Didn't see Juilio though.
    Took metro (4R) back and wandered to start of Ipanema beach (4km) and back.
    Chose a place to eat on the beach near the end of Copacabana but they didn't have the first two things we tried to order. So walked to next one about 100 yards away which was across the invisible border to Leme and prices were a third cheaper for exactly the same food! Crazy. Poty Leme soon became our fave place to eat. Rice, beans, farofa (toasted flour mix) and tomato & onion vinaigrette cost R16 and was enough to share (the waiter actually told us to share whereas the previous place laughed at us for wanting to share food). About £3! Plus a further £1 each for the obligatory coconut :) And Brazil is supposed to be the most expensive county on our list...bodes well.
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  • Day1

    Babilonia favella

    May 7, 2015 in Brazil

    NB 5R = £1 (ish).

    After 17 hours on 2 planes (via Madrid) with no inflight entertainment but plenty of empty seats, we arrived in Rio. The landing flight path is stunning, skimming across the lit up city, then descends across water and just when you think you're going to crash a runway appears.
    Shuttle Rio met us and we battled through rush hour to get to Leme beach (R25). From the raised roads you can literally see through some of the poorer houses.
    We were dropped off at the bottom of Babilonia favella and then it was a 10 min hike up a steep hill, lots of steps, several stops to ask for directions, some more steps (190 in total) to the top of the favella & our airbnb room (R70 per rm per night).
    Our host Julio Cesar met us with a cold beer (Anna was instantly happy) and showed us around. Wifi yes, windows and hot water no. Using a mixture of our limited Portuguese / Julio's pidgin English we settled in.
    Julio left us bread, honey and cheese, a flask full of super strong coffee and a toasty maker - he was now Anna's new best friend.
    The favella seems completely safe...there is a police station at the bottom with ~10 policemen standing outside in the mornings (in fact a huge police presence everywhere in the city) and the residents are all very friendly. There is constant noise from dogs barking to neighbour's music to concerts but its completely charming rather than annoying.
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  • Day4

    Copacabana / Leme beach

    May 10, 2015 in Brazil

    Spent the morning at Leme beach, perfect temperature. Played in the surf, really strong crashing waves which sent me into somersaults when I tried to bodysurf. Awesome :)
    Then Anna got sunstroke so we cooled off under an umbrella with a coconut (me) whilst Anna opted for a cheeseburger. Hiked back up to the favella for Anna to have a cold shower & lie down, which did the trick.
    Headed back out to walk along Copacabana beach (4k) to Ipanema and back for dinner at same place as previous night...very chirpy (/drunk?!) tramp came and had the dregs of Anna's beer and took the can away to be paid for recycling.
    Anna zonked out by 9!
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  • Day2

    Day one of our big adventure

    May 8, 2015 in Brazil

    Jet lag helped us with an early start - up at 7, taxi to Cosme Velho (R20, metered) to get the little red train that goes up the mountain (R51???). It takes 20 mins through the rainforest & strangely makes several stops along the way in deserted places.
    At the top you get 2 short escalators (presumably introduced for Americans?!) to the statue of Christ...fairly underwhelming as with most top tourist spots. Despite getting the first train up there were too many people, not much room and the weather was a bit murky so the views weren't too mesmerising. After the obligatory photos it started to rain so we headed back down, missing a torrential downpour on the train.
    It was still drizzling when we got back down so we headed to a small Naif art museum next door (R6) which was surprisingly good and had a great section showing the history of Rio.
    Then we hopped on a bus (R3, turnstile-operated) to Parque Lago which is an impressive building with a pool in the middle surrounded by lush grounds including a small stone grotto with an aquarium inside plus a large neon sign??
    A short walk down the road took us to the Jardim Botanico (R9???) which were beautiful... trees, ponds, waterfalls and 2 types of monkeys.
    Anna was flagging & wanted to get the bus home by 2pm. Knowing my wife well I sussed she needed fuel so we went in search of lunch. We came across a pay by kilo place which is very popular and R18 bought us a plate of various local food which was delicious. A can of coke later and she was raring to go!
    So we walked back home via the big 7.5k lake to Copacabana, stopping for a coconut en route. About 3 hours later we struggled up the hill and were home.
    We had a cheese toasty for starter and reheated the main dish of Brazil which Julio had made for us... Feijoa = beans with chunks of salted pork & sausages - delicious.
    Julio then took us to watch his Capoeira class which was great...2 people pair off & fight / dance with no contact whilst the others sit in a ring around them and play instruments and sing before swapping. Our favourite bits were when they went wrong and whacked each other!! It was lovely to watch but after an hour or so I couldn't keep my eyes open. Eventually we went home and had a long sleep.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Morro da Babilônia, Morro da Babilonia

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