Yesterday, I wrote about my visit to Colonia del Sacramento, and I mentioned that on the tour there were some strange stops. Organized tours usually need to tout the number of places they visit to compete with other vendors and to show the overall value of their package. I always check to see if the other places seem interesting enough to spend time in or if they add enough value to be worth the time. Sometimes these places end up being fantastic, other times they just distract you from getting to spend more time at the main event. For example, in Rio de Janeiro, a lot of tours combine visiting Corcovado to see the Cristo Redentor statue (Christ the Redeemer) and Sugar Loaf, which visiting independently would take much more time and organization. Since both are must-sees, this can be a great benefit. However, some tours add on stopping at Tijuca National Park. This is great for people who want to see the rainforest. But some want to skip this, and some want much more time. Always check out all the stops listed on a tour and decide if that’s the best way to go before getting started.
I love the way that UNESCO names their sites. Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and Sea–the phrase might as well be the description of a movie with flying birds and lapping waves while the camera pans from the top of Corcovado down to the sea. The natural landscape in Rio is breathtaking, so much so … Read more