Time to hang out at Lagoa de Freitas, in Zona Sul, the wealthy residential neighborhood, a few blocks away from Ipanema and Leblon pristine beaches. Although the Cariocas prefer its flat runway for their morning jog on 7.2 kms of bike paths all around (rowing, skating and horse riding are also available), my guilty pleasure remains to sit in Palaphita Kitch, trendy tiki-like spot to enjoy a piña colada in diving my eyes into the silver sparkling waters that shade the Pedra Dois Irmãos at sunset. Down the morro do Cantagalo, Quiosque 20.
Before that, further west from Leblon beach, you may visit the Instituto Moreira Salles, a flawless modernist house surrounded by gardens also signed by landscape architect Burle Marx – father of iconic b&w organic swirling pattern of Rio’s sidewalks he designed in 1971. Nowadays, the place is a great cultural venue through relevant photographic exhibitions.
Rua Marquês de São Vicente 476 (Gávea). http://www.ims.com.br
While you’re in Leblon, don’t miss to shop at Granado, an fancy old-school pharmacia that sells hip brasilian beauty products (a centenary antiseptic powder, delicious soaps and also some barber’s stuff…). Very nice packaging patterns and mostly organic recipes. Phebo perfumeria is now part of the brand. A much better choice for presents than the very common “bonfim” bahia bracelet (or do buy both ?!)
Rua General Artigas, 470 (Leblon).
In this neighborhood, the casual – and just reopened – option for diner late at night remains Braseira da Gávea, crowded by artists, students and intellectuals who are sharing the same passion for typical picanhas (beef) or linguiças (sausages) with vegetables and farofa (manioc semolina).
Praça Santos Dumont, 116 (Gávea). Tel. +55 21 2239-7494