With Obama’s upcoming visit to Rio this weekend, Dehouche have come up with some quintessential ‘off-the-beaten’ track activities that we think he may enjoy.
Beach Fit for a President
Rio’s beaches are not known for being secluded, in fact there aren’t many beaches in the world which are more crowded than the likes of Ipanema and Copacabana. Whilst this may make it easier for Obama to go unnoticed, it certainly won’t provide any privacy for the First Family. Luckily there is one beach in Rio where you can escape the crowds and even take a military guard with you: Praia do Forte de Sao Joao is situated under the iconic sugar loaf moutain (Pao de Acucar) in Urca. Not only are the views unparalleled, but because it is part of the Fort, it is only accessible to current or previous members of the Brazilian navy and thereby guarantees utmost exclusivity. Luckily Dehouche’s guide Vitor fits the criteria and so is able to take Dehouche clients to this gorgeous beach. Famous for his basketball prowess, let’s see if Obama will turn his hand to a bit of futevolei on Rio’s beaches.
Now I’m the King of the Swingers, the Jungle VIP
Life in the spotlight is tough and while he may not be on holiday, the President may still have the odd nagging urge to escape it all. Only ten minutes away from Rio’s bustling centre lies the Tijuca Forest, the world’s largest urban forest. Stepping into the forest is akin to stepping into another world- the hustle and bustle of Rio’s city streets become nothing more than a whisper in the trees, the car horns fade away and shouts of acai sellers are drowned out by the call of monkeys and the rush of water cascading down the multitude of waterfalls. If the President is feeling particualarly energetic, there is nothing like scaling up the cliff face of the famous Corcovado moutain, not only are the views from the top sensational, but they may also give him a head start on those pesky paparazzi.
Salvation from Above
Arms streched out wide over the city, the ever present Christ the Redeemer accompanies us through life’s daily dramas. A constant, reassuring figure that cannot fail to prompt emotion amongst even the least religious among us. A clear reminder of the city’s Portuguese heritage, the city abounds with churches- from the hard-to-miss conical Cathedral de Sao Sebastiao, to the more traditional Old Cathedral. Dehouche’s favourite is off the tourist trail, making it the perfect place for Obama to visit for some spiritual downtime. The Igreja da Gloria do Outeiro is in the neighbourhood of Gloria, which is considerably less touristy than its zona sul neighbours, contribuiting to the resounding aura of peace that emanates from a church long considered one of Rio’s colonial gems.
To escape the tourist hoards storming Christ and Sugarloaf, we recommend for the First Family to take a trip to Niteroi. Start with a visit to the Contemporary Art Museum, which was designed by the famous Brazilian architect, Oscar Nieymer, who is still living in Rio at the ripe old age of 103. The building is a work of art in itself and seems to almost hover over the 817 square metre reflection pool, bearing more than a passing resemblence to a flying saucer, hovering above the waves. Explore Niteroi and take a trip to the Parque da Cidade. The park is a haven of green in a city oft-dominated by the beach, with the crowning jewel a fabulous view point at the top of the park, from which the First Family can gaze out for miles across Rio’s moutains and islands. Head there for sunset and watch as the sun begins to sink behind the peeks and the whole city is illuminated, making for a truly spectacular sunset and the ultimate spot for some serious contemplation.
Located at the foot of Corcovado, Parque Lage’s impressive settings stand stong against the backdrop of the Tijuca forest. Although the history of the mansion dates back to 1811, it really came into its own when Henrique Lage, the grandson of the previous owner, comissioned Italian architect Mario Vodret to restore it. Much of the design was done to please Henrique’s Italian Opera singer wife, which explains why its character is so unique and diverse from the rest of Rio’s architecture. Today the mansion and its gardens are open to the public and there is an art school inside the mansion itself with special classes teaching art to children, perfect for the First daughters whilst their parents relax by the poolside cafe. Adding some street cred to the mansion is Snoop Dogg who filmed part of one of his music videos here.