If you’re heading to Rio in the next few days, be prepared to encounter lots of lovestruck couples with that faraway look in their eyes. The Brazilian version of Valentine’s Day, Dia dos Namorados (which roughly translates as Lovers’ Day is fast approaching, and loved up cariocas are busily preparing to treat their wives/girlfriends/husbands/boyfriends on the big day.
Perhaps luckily, this most romantic of days falls on June 12th, a few days before Brazil’s first World Cup match. Should the two have fallen on the same day, it might have been an interesting sight to see locals trying to look lovingly into each others’ eyes while simultaneously following the game against North Korea.
Visitors who will be in Rio on June 12th can expect to find many of the city’s plushest hotels and restaurants booked up, as couples mark the big day in style. If you’re looking for an occasion to splurge, this might not be the occasion, as many venues will be full to bursting.
On the other hand, couples heading to Rio for a romantic break might want to take the opportunity to celebrate a ‘second’ Valentine’s Day. And there’s no need to break the bank, either. With so many breathtaking natural beauty spots, it’s possible to create your own romantic occasion without blowing the travel budget. For a really romantic day, take a morning stroll around the beautiful Lagoa, perhaps taking to the water on a swan boat if you feel like doing the full cheesy romantic thing.
Later, those with a few spare R$ can head down to the beautiful Botanical Gardens, while couples who are really strapped for cash can take a stroll around the impressive Parque Lage, next door, free of charge.
Stock up on goodies at one of the many local supermarkets, and grab a bus to Arpoador, where a giant rock juts out into the ocean – providing a perfect spot for a picnic as the sun sets.
After dark, those without the budget for a five star hotel can make like the locals and head to one of Rio’s many ‘love motels’ – these secluded spots are designed with romantic rendevous in mind, and range from simple rooms to suites with suanas, mirrored ceilings and even dance floors. There’s a strip of these motels located close to Leblon, at the base of the Vidigal favela (with none-too-subtle names such as Sinless). Ask a taxi driver to take you straight there, but get there early or they may well all be full.