Ins and outs

Getting there

Rio is served by two airports.
Aeroporto Internacional Tom Jobim
(formerly Galeão and often still called by this name)
 15 km north of the city centre
, receives international and domestic flights. There are
Riotur
information booths in the domestic arrivals hall of Terminal 1, and in the international arrivals hall in Terminal
2 (T021- 3398 2245, daily 0600-2400), which provide maps and can book accommodation.
Santos Dumont Airport
, is used for Rio-São Paulo shuttle flights, a handful of other domestic routes, private planes or air taxis.

Taxis can be booked from within the airports or picked up at the stands outside the terminals.

Bus

International and interstate buses arrive at the
Rodoviária Novo Rio
, www.novorio.com.br
. There is a
Riotur information centre
, which can help with orientation and accommodation. There are
câmbios
(cash only) and ATMs. From the
rodoviária
it is best to take a taxi to your hotel or to the nearest metrô station (Metrô Estácio); taxis can be booked at the booth on the ground floor. The metrô runs south as far as Copacabana (Metrô Cantagalo); for Ipanema and Leblon head to Metrô Siqueira Campos and take a taxi from there, or take bus marked 'Metrô-Gávea'.

The
local bus terminal
is just outside the
rodoviária
: turn right as you leave and run the gauntlet of taxi drivers. The bus station attracts thieves, so
exercise caution. The air-conditioned
Real
bus (opposite the exit) goes along the beach to São Conrado and will secure luggage. If you need a taxi collect a ticket from the office inside the entrance as this protects against over-charging.

Getting around

The city is made up of separate districts connected by urban highways and tunnels heavy with traffic, so it's best to use public transport or taxis to get around. An underground railway, the
Metrô
, www.metrorio.com.br, runs from the outer suburbs of the Zona Norte (not of tourist interest), through the city centre, Glória, Flamengo, Botafogo and as far south as Copacabana. The Metrô-Gávea and Metrô-Barra buses connect at the penultimate station - Siqueira Campos - for Ipanema, Leblon and Barra.


Buses
run to all parts, but should be treated with caution at night, when taxis are a better bet. Buses are usually marked with the destination and any going south of the centre will call at Copacabana and generally Ipanema/Leblon.
Minivans
run from Avenida Rio Branco in the centre as far south as Barra da Tijuca and have the destination written on the window. Taxis
should always be booked through a hostel or hotel, or caught from a designated taxi
posto
; the name of the
posto
should be written in navy blue on the side of the taxi. Avoid freelance taxis hailed in the street or those without a taxi rank inscription. Santa Teresa is reached by
tram
which leaves from the Largo da Carioca, near the metrô station and the cathedral, passing over the Lapa viaduct and running along all the main streets in Santa Teresa and eventually reaching either Dois Irmãos or Paula Mattos at the far end of Santa Teresa .

Best time to visit

Rio has one of the healthiest climates in the tropics, with trade winds keeping the air fresh. June, July and August are the coolest months, with temperatures ranging from 22°C (18°C in a cold spell) to 32°C on a sunny day at noon. December to March is hot and humid, with temperatures of 32-42°C. October to March is the rainy season; the annual rainfall is about 1120 mm.
Carnaval
is a movable feast, running for five riotous days from the Friday afternoon before Shrove Tuesday to the morning hangover of Ash Wednesday.

Tourist information

Riotur
, www.riodejaneiro-turismo.com.br and www.rio.rj.gov.br/riotur
, is the city's government tourist office. There are also booths
or offices in
Copacabana
, and
Copacabana Posto Seis
. The helpful staff speak English, French and German and can provide good city maps and a very useful free brochure. There are further information stands at
Corcovado
, and at the international airport and Novo Rio bus station.

The state tourism organization is
Turisrio
, www.turisrio.rj.gov.br. The private sector
Rio Convention and Visitors Bureau
, www.rio conventionbureau.com.br
, also offers information and assistance in English.
Embratur
, www.braziltour.com
, provides information on the whole country.


This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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