Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City), Erre Jota (RJ), Rio 40 Graus (Rio 100 Degrees), these are the various nicknames for the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. The city is best known for its beautiful beaches, samba, caipirinhas, and carnaval. We have all seen pictures of Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, and Ipanema Beach. They are, of course, must-see places for first time visitors but I am also here to tell you that there is more to Rio de Janeiro than the postcard images. Here are a few awesome locations not featured in the travel guidebooks.
Pedra Do Sal
The samba circle at Pedra Do Sal is the best known location to check out authentic samba music. It is located in the northern part of the city in the town of Saúde. The town of Saúde was founded by immigrants, mostly freed slaves, from the northern state of Bahia. With them they brought their religious practice Candomblé and the sounds of samba. Pedra do Sal became the community’s main social gathering space where religious and cultural events occurred. The samba circle of Pedra do Sal is one of these events that became a tradition in the town of Saúde. Nowadays you can find Cariocas (Rio de Janeiro natives) and tourists alike dancing and singing at Pedra do Sal. The roda (circle) takes place on Monday nights. It is the perfect location to get to know the locals and to practice your samba skills.