Rio de Janeiro to Salvador

Rio de Janeiro is a city in Brazil, South America.  Rio De Janeiro offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Copacabana and Ipanema beaches
  • Christ the Redeemer and Corcovado
  • Sugarloaf mountain
  • Rio Harbor (natural wonder of the world)
  • Maracanã stadium
  • Rio Centro
  • Botafogo
  • Selaron Steps (Escadaria Selarón)
  • Carioca Aqueduct in Lapa

Rio De Janeiro is one of the most expensive cities to stay in South America, Copacabana and Ipanema are the most expensive areas.  Budget areas to stay would be Botafogo or Centro.

Rio Harbor, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Rio Harbor, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Rio is home to one of the natural wonders of the world, Rio Harbor.  The picture above is taken from the Christ the Redeemer statue which gives you a view of Rio Harbor and Sugarloaf mountain.  This is one of the most famous sights in the world and a must see on your visit to Rio.  To visit the Christ Redeemer you can buy a Metrô na Superfície metro ticket to metro station Largo do Machado, from there take a bus (included in ticket price) to the Christ Redeemer train station and take the train to the top.  It’s possible to hike up or take a minivan if the wait for the train is a long time.

I found the view to be more interesting than the Christ Redeemer statue itself.  I found that the Christ Redeemer statue looks better from a distance.

Helicopter tour, Rio De Janeiro

Helicopter tour, Rio De Janeiro

If I was to take a helicopter tour anywhere in the world Rio would be a contender for number one spot.  You have city, jungle, mountains, ocean, beaches, a natural wonder of the world, even Jesus Christ, all in one short trip.  If you do consider to take a helicopter ride over Rio, there is a tour company which offers rides taking off from the top of Sugarloaf mountain.

Downtown RioDowntown Rio

Downtown Rio, also known as Centro has a bad reputation but I felt safe whilst walking around taking photos of the colonial Portuguese buildings.  Having said it is safe I would avoid visiting quiet areas or visiting on a Sunday when all of Centro is quiet.

There are a few museums in Centro, the most famous being CCBB but who comes to Rio to visit museums?  I stayed in Centro on the weekend and decided to give Rio Scenarium disco a visit.  The bad news is there is a long line waiting to get in on a weekend, the good news is that people sell you cheap drinks in the street whilst you wait.  As a solo male, I had a great night in Rio Scenarium and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a good night out as an individual or as part of a group.  The rule in Brazil is that you must drink Caipirinhas!

A neighborhood right next to Centro is Lapa which is famous for it’s arches (Carioca Aqueduct).  In Lapa you’ll also find the famous Selaron Steps (Escadaria Selarón).  You’ve probably seen a picture of these steps on Instagram, they’re colorful steps with yellow tiles, good luck getting a photo without another tourist in the background!  Lapa is also famous for it’s nightlife, especially on weekends.

Overnight bus from Rio to Salvador, 30 hours, 292 ReaisOvernight bus from Rio to Salvador, 30 hours, 292 Reais

I took an Aguia Branca overnight bus from Rio de Janeiro to Salvador, it was advertised as a 24 hour journey but took 30 hours. it was a comfortable bus though and it arrived safely.  The police stopped the bus once on route and checked the passengers hand baggage and identifications so have your ID with you, not under the bus.

Salvador to Fortaleza

2019-01-16T15:11:06+00:00October 28th, 2016|Brazil, South America|24 Comments


  1. Christopher James March 8, 2017 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Rio de Janeiro to Salvador, now that’s a trip I wouldn’t mind taking. Nicely done on this post! Though 30 hours on a bus does sound a bit brutal!

  2. Suzanne March 30, 2017 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    I have a question. While you were there, did you hear a lot of bossa nova on the streets? I have this terribly cliched vision in my head of hearing The Girl from Ipanema while strolling down Ipanema Beach.

    • James Smith March 31, 2017 at 2:04 am - Reply

      I actually put this song on my running list for my evening run on Ipanema beach! I don’t think I heard it anywhere else though, having said that they probably play it in the tourist cafes!

  3. Zinara March 30, 2017 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    The helicopter tour photo of Rio looks beautiful. From Rio to Salvador sounds like a dream trip of mine. I don’t think I’d be able to survive 30 hours on a bus though. Zinara x

  4. Jennifer March 30, 2017 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Even though Rio is a modern city, there is something very classic about it. Reminds me of Ernest Hemingway (maybe he hung out there). It’s on my bucketlist to ride in a helicopter, so this may be the place to do it!

  5. Natalie March 30, 2017 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    Rio is a such a BIG sounding adventure destination! I’m not sure about taking the kids….would you consider it a family friendly location? Would LOVE to see the Christ the Redeemer!!

    • James Smith March 31, 2017 at 2:01 am - Reply

      I’d take my 3 year old daughter to Rio, she’d love the beaches. I think she would run around wild up with the Christ Redeemer though!

  6. Anastasia Sofia Jones March 30, 2017 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    I’ve taken some long bus trips in my time but 30 hours is pretty long. How are the seats inside the bus? Do they recline? My bus rides in South America were all excellent but I haven’t travelled much in Brazil yet. The reclining seats were common in South America and made the journeys so much more manageable, I was pretty surprised. Would love to spend more time in Brazil though, for sure. Especially Rio and to see Christ the Redeemer.

    • James Smith March 31, 2017 at 1:57 am - Reply

      Hi Anastasia, the buses in Brazil are just as good as in the rest of South America, cama, semi cama etc..

  7. Jean March 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Oh this looks like a fun trip. We’re off to Sth America this year and didn’t consider going to Rio or Salvador. But with how easy the bus is maybe we will now. Thanks for such an informative post.

  8. Nadine March 30, 2017 at 11:55 pm - Reply

    I always wanted to go to Rio but I was never sure about safety. Could tip to avoid Centro during Sunday I didn’t know that it is more quite then. Sounds like you had a good trip and the colonial buildings in the picture look amazing

  9. Rhiannon March 31, 2017 at 12:07 am - Reply

    I’m definitely with you on Christ the Redeemer! Looking at it from below, all the way down in the city with it looming over you is SO much better than being up close. When you’re right next to it, it is what it is – just a statue. But from below it’s symbolic and almost mystical.

  10. Gary March 31, 2017 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Isn’t it amazing how so many things look better from far away, like the Redeemer statue. You want to get up close and touch them, but they’re actually better from a distance. We agree that a helicopter tour of Rio would be amazing. There is just so many great sights close together.

  11. Urska March 31, 2017 at 11:54 am - Reply

    Rio de Janeiro was always on my dream list and according to your adventure I really have to visit it!

  12. Hitch March 31, 2017 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    RIo de janeiro and all brasil is on my bucket list since a long time 🙂
    Thanks or the ID tip, I can easily forget stuff like that 🙂

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  13. Paul and Carole April 2, 2017 at 8:12 am - Reply

    Useful post for visiting Rio. 30 hours on a bus though wouldn’t fancy that, maybe we are getting too old lol!

  14. Tony April 3, 2017 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Stunning city, it looks amazing and I would love to visit it one day – have never been to South America yet though! A helicopter tour does sound incredible – the 30 hour bus ride less so! Thanks for sharing

  15. Garth April 4, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Gerat post James, will pin this as we want to go to Rio one day! I can imagine the view from the statue must be awesome, thanks for the tips

  16. Carmen Baguio April 5, 2017 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    Having just come back from Rio, I love all of your pictures! I agee with your recommendation, you have to drink Caipirinhas!

  17. Viktoria April 5, 2017 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Gonna visit all the spots you’ve mentioned when I come to Rio! Awesome:)

  18. Oana April 6, 2017 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Great post, I still have to cross this off my bucket list. The picture with the Rio Harbor is just WOW, I can stare at that view for hours. Will pin this for future reference. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Sid April 7, 2017 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Wow! The helicopter tour sounds great! Is it very expensive?

  20. David McClane May 12, 2017 at 4:34 am - Reply

    That 30 hour bus ride would be an absolute killer! Salvador is on my list for my next trip to Brazil! Some good tips in here, especially mentioning the Lapa nightlife, it was by r the best place that I went out in Rio!

  21. Lisa August 22, 2017 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    I’d really like to visit Rio, and its harbor one day, despite the bad press. I think you’re right about Christ the Redeemer, it probably looks better from a distance because it’s so huge. I can’t believe the ride to Salvador took 30 hours, but then Brazil is a huge country. You really have been everywhere, not jealous at all!

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