A rare occasion has us begging to borrow our friend’s kids on a Saturday afternoon and it must mean only one thing- The latest animated film, Rio: The Movie, has recently hit our screens, introducing into our lives a lovable Macaw named Blu as he weaves his way around Rio trying to escape the clutches of the bird smugglers, accompanied by a kick-ass soundtrack and some spectacular scenes of the city. Dehouche’s attention was first captivated during the opening trailer where Blu handglides over Rio, reminding us that while still our favourite beach city, the Cidade Maravilhosa is also a paradise for thrill-seeking sports lovers.
Hang-gliding is not a sport that has picked up mass popularity over the years… this may be due to the fact that it requires you throwing yourself off the edge of a cliff. However, rest assured that this is an experience that will not be undertaken alone, Dehouche will ensure the very best trained professionals are on hand to ‘fly’ with you. If you can gather the guts, then Rio truly is the best place in the world to do it: Whilst a beautiful city from the ground, Rio comes into its own when seen from the air, and once you combine the view with the euphoria of flying like a bird, you have one of the best experiences out there. The flights go from São Conrado, where lush tropical mountains meet the Atlantic Ocean and as you descend from on high down to the shore below, you will have an unrivalled view of all Rio’s best sights. Man, those lucky blue macaws….
Whilst not for the faint hearted, rock climbing provides a true sense of achievement when you finally reach your destination. Rio offers a multitude of rock-climbing opportunities: From scaling Corcovado and Sugarloaf, to the mysterious Pedra da Gavea, the world’s largest monolith on a coastline and purported by some to be a portal to another dimension. Hailed to be the best place to watch the sunrise over the city, Dehouche can arrange individual yoga sessions to welcome the dawn. For true climbing aficionados, just one hour outside of the city lies Serra dos Orgãos where you will find 10 peaks rising over 2000 metres and a further 6 over 1500 metres, the tallest of which is Pedra do Sino at 2263m. After scaling the home of Jesus in the city, you can scale the ‘Dedo de Deus’ (the finger of God) out here: Standing at 1692m, it is the most sought after summit in Serra dos Orgãos. Talk about reaching up to the Heavens.
Although football is considered Brazil’s national pastime, surfing is also held very close to the heart. If you’re up early enough (and we recommend that you are), you will witness a slew of toned Cariocas leave their homes with nothing more than their board shorts and a surf board as they head down to Arpoador to catch the first morning waves. However, those in search of the serious waves, will need to drag themselves away from the bronzed bodies of Ipanema and Copacabana and head to a hot spot just 30 minutes down the coast: Although Prainha may literally mean ‘Little Beach’ in Portuguese, the waves are anything but. Prainha is also home to one of our favourite beach seafood restaurants where you can replenish your energy with the catch of the day after a hard morning’s surf. For those who aren’t quite up to speed on surfing but want to learn, Dehouche will arrange a series of sessions with a local bi-lingual pro, who will have you holding your own in no time at all.
For those who like to seek out the thrills in life, head down to Barra da Tijuca: Home to Rio’s longest beach, you will have plenty of space to manoeuvre whilst trying your hand at kitesurfing. The place to head to is Praia do Pepe (also famed for its eye candy) where schools line the sands to help you perfect your moves and on any windy day the horizon will be filled with kites. Both national and international championships are held in Barra throughout the year, so if you’re not feeling quite so brave yourself, you can always kick back with the beautiful people and watch the pros do it instead.
The latest craze to hit the beaches of Brazil is Paddleboarding, a lot like surfing just without the actual surfing part. Involving a much larger board and (surprisingly enough) a paddle, it is a lot more relaxing than surfing- if relaxing meant using your upper body strength to wield a large paddle through water while balancing on the paddle board with your lower body. Somewhat akin to stand up canoeing, this is for those who always dreamt that they, like Jesus, would one day walk on water. The highlight of Paddle boarding in Rio is that, alone out at sea, you will have a rare chance to look back on the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon and enjoy a view very few get the chance to see.
Rest assured if either you or your other half are horrified at the thought of so much movement, you can always lie back in your deck chair on Ipanema and admire the voleibol players all around you. Who knows, you make even have to throw back a stray ball, and surely that counts as playing…