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SHERATON RIO HOTEL AND TOWERS
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I made the pilgrimage to Corcovado Mountain (513 Rua Cosme
Velho, tel: 558-1329), Rio's most famous landmark. A Swiss-made funicular,
a mountain train that runs every 30 minutes, took me to the crest and close
up to the omnipresent Christ the Redeemer statue, known simply as Corcovado.
A 92-foot tunnel runs through the outstretched arms of the 125 foot statue,
built in 1931. From atop this magnificent butte the view of
Rio, Guanabara Bay, the Botanical Gardens and the equally famed Sugar Loaf
Sugar Loaf Mountain (520 Av. Pasteur, tel.: 541-3737), a
huge granite rock, rises like a guardian, 1,300 feet above Guanabara Bay.
To reach its summit, I rode a bubble-like, panoramic 75-passenger cable car
up Urca Mountain, a smaller peak, which has a children's playground, an outdoor theater, a
restaurant and discotheque. From Urca I ascended to Sugar Loaf for a
spectacular view of Copacabana and Leblon beaches.
The 130,000-seat Maracană Stadium, the world's largest
sports arena, comes alive Saturdays (9p.m.) and Sundays (5p.m.) during
futebol games (pronounced foo-tchee-ball, which is soccer in the U.S.). To chill
out, I enjoyed tranquil Praia (beach) Da Joatinga. Adrenalin-loving
surfers flock to beaches like Pepe, Praia Do Diabo and Grumari, where the
film Wild Orchid was shot.
The Carmen Miranda Museum (Av. Rua Barbosa, tel.: 551-2597)
is filled with that legendary Brazilian actress's costumes -- from her
favorite turban to the sequined dress she donned in "Nancy Goes To Rio."
The costumes aren't for sale, but everything at the massive, popular Rio Sul
shopping center is. I bought a sports watch at a great price at and the
mall is also known for leather goods and clothes.
If you're looking for a hotel that offers the amenities of a
resort and close proximity to the culture and excitement only a city can
provide, the Sheraton Rio Hotel and Towers is the ticket. It provides a
calm refuge -- beach, pool, massage, tennis, spectacular view -- and puts
you at the doorstep of one of the world's most bewitching cities, Rio de
Entry requirements for U.S. Travelers: A valid passport and a tourist visa (valid for five years) are
required. Check with your travel agent for details or contact the Brazilian
Consulate in one of these U.S. cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston,
Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C.
Currency: For the best exchange rate on the Brazilian real, change your
travelers checks and dollars in Brazil.
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Unless otherwise noted, all photos ©Dwight Brown.
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