Presentation of the destination
São Gonçalo is a city and municipality found in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. São Gonçalo is a suburb of the city of Niterói, which previously served as the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro. São Gonçalo is primarily an industrial city but part of their economy is also based on the cultivation of citrus fruit trees. The population of the city is approximately 973,372 people which makes it the second most populous city in its state, after the city of Rio de Janeiro. Today São Gonçalo is part of the larger metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro and is located only 26 km (16 mi) from Rio and due to its close proximity, visitors to São Gonçalo can easily see all the best Rio has to offer without having to be in the city itself. São Gonçalo is located on the water and is across the Guanabara Bay from Rio de Janeiro. Temperatures in São Gonçalo reach their peak highs in the months of December-February of 29-30°C (85-87°F). Lows in the winter months drop to 19°C (67°F). The official language in Brazil is Portuguese and the currency used is the Brazilian Real (Reais in plural). São Gonçalo is in the time zone UTC -3 except for during the summer months of Daylight Savings Time when it is UTC -2.
Points of interests / things to see
Copacabana is the name of a neighborhood found in Rio de Janeiro which is most famous for its beach. Today the Copacabana beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world. The beach stretches for a distance of 4 km (2.5 mi) of white sand and blue waters. The name of the beach came from a chapel that was built in the neighborhood that was dedicated to the Virgin of Copacabana, who was a patron saint from Bolivia. Copacabana is on the Atlantic Ocean and starts along the Princesa Isabel Avenue and goes to Posto Seis or lifeguard tower number 6. After that there are two more beaches next to it. The ends are marked by two historical forts at each end of the Copacabana Beach. The fort located at the south end of the beach is called Fort Copacabana and it was built in the year 1914. At the north end of the beach is Fort Duque de Caxias which was constructed in the year 1779. Along the edge of the beach are a number of restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels as well as some residential buildings. A promenade has also been built along the sand. The neighborhood of Copacabana itself has a population of roughly 160,000 people. For many years, when Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil, Copacabana was one of the best neighborhoods in the entire country. Starting in the 1970s, the neighborhood went into decline and is now an extremely overcrowded area but there are still buildings left that are a testimony to its days of grandeur.
The Christ the Redeemer Statue stands over the city of Rio de Janeiro. The statue was built in the Art Deco style and the statue measures 30 m (98 ft) tall and the arms of the statue stretch 28 m (92 ft) wide. The statue is situated at the top of the Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park. The Corcovado Mountain reaches a height of 700 m (2,300 ft) tall which gives the statue a prominence that allows it to look over the entire city. The statue was built between the years 1922 and 1931 and it was made out of concrete and soapstone. The Christ the Redeemer Statue got its start in the 1850s when a priest suggested building a statue on Mount Corcovado in order to honor the Princess Isabel, who was the daughter of Emperor Pedro II. Later in the 1920s the idea was revisited but without the intention of making it in honor of Princess Isabel. The Christ the Redeemer statue with open arms was chosen as the design for the statue because his open arms symbolize peace. A group of engineers and sculptures created the statue. In 2010 a large restoration project of the statue began to wash and replace some parts of it. Address: Parque Nacional da Tijuca - Alto da Boa Vista
Sugarloaf Mountain is a famous peak found in Rio de Janeiro that comes out of the Guanabara Bay, the same body of water where São Gonçalo is located. The mountain rises to a height above the water of 396 m (1,299 ft). The name of the mountain comes from the fact that it looks like the shape of a refined loaf sugar, which was the way that refined sugar was produced and sold until the end of the 19th century. Sugar cane used to be a huge export for Brazil and in the 16th century, the Portuguese coined the phrase Sugarloaf in reference to the conical shapes of sugar that were exported on ships. This conical shape is reminiscent of the shape of Sugarloaf Mountain. The Sugarloaf Mountain is the most famous of a series of mountains and rocks that rise into the harbor around Rio de Janeiro. Today a cable car has been built that runs between Sugarloaf Mountain and the rock Morro da Urca. There are actually two cable cars, one to get up the Morro de Urca rock from sea level and another to carry passengers to the Sugarloaf Mountain. The cable car routes stretches for a distance of 1,400 m (4,593 ft). There are also a number of rock climbing routes up Sugarloaf Mountain as well as up other mountains in the area.
Ipanema is a neighborhood also found in Rio de Janeiro, approximately 26 km (16 mi) from São Gonçalo. The neighborhood is found in the South Zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro. The beach in the Ipanema neighborhood is very famous, even more so because of a song called “The Girl from Ipanema.” The name of Ipanema comes from the Tupi language. The Tupis were an indigenous group in Brazil and the name Ipanema means “stinky lake.” Ipanema lies adjacent to the Copacabana neighborhood but it is quite distinct from Copacabana. In Ipanema, the streets are laid out in a grid formation and today Ipanema is one of the most expensive places to live in Rio de Janeiro. It is also one of the safest areas in the South Zone of Rio. There are a number of restaurants, shops and cafes in the area. On Ipanema beach, a number of people participate in sports such as football, volleyball, and footvolley which is a local sport that combines both football and volleyball. The beach features two mountain at its western end called the Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers). Beer and cachaça are readily available on the beach. Every Sunday the road that lies closest to the beach is closed off to vehicles and people take advantage of having use of the street to walk, bike, skateboard, and roller-skate right along the ocean.
The Tijuca Forest is a rainforest in the mountains in the city of Rio de Janeiro. It was hand-planted and it claims to be the biggest urban rainforest in the world, although it is uncertain if that title belongs to the Tijuca Forest or one in Johannesburg, South Africa. The entrances to the rainforest are in the neighborhoods of Tijuca and Barra da Tijuca. The name of Tijuca comes from a Tupi indigenous word meaning “marsh” and is in reference to the Tijuca Lagoon that can be found in the neighborhood Barra da Tijuca. The Tijuca Forest was planted to reclaim land around the city of Rio de Janeiro that had been cleared in previous years to make room for the cultivation of sugar and coffee. At the end of the 19th century, a man by the name of Major Manuel Gomes Archer carried out the replanting effort as a way to protect the water supply in Rio. Today the Tijuca Forest has a number of species of both plants and wildlife, some of which are endangered species. Since 1961 the Tijuca Forest has been a national park and it has a number of attractions on its grounds including the Christ the Redeemer Statues that sits on Corcovado Mountain. There are also about 30 waterfalls, the Mayrink Chapel, a gazebo and the Stone of Gávea.
The Maracanã Stadium is a football stadium found in Rio de Janeiro, 26 km (16 mi) from São Gonçalo. The stadium was named after the Maracanã neighborhood where it is located. It is owned by the state government of Rio de Janeiro. The stadium first opened in 1950 and was later renovated in 2000, 2006 and 2013. The stadium offers tours through its facilities including the locker rooms, the Grandstand, and a collection of memorabilia of the players that have made history there. The tour lasts approximately one hour. Address: Rua Professor Eurico Rabelo, Maracanã Website: http://www.maracana.com/site/en Opening hours: 9:00-17:00 (tours leave on the hour) Entrance fees: Monday-Thursday: Basic R$ 36.00 or half price: R$ 18.00 (without right to parking), Premium R$ 56.00 or half price: R$ 28.00 (with right to parking car or van), VIP R$ 72.00 or half price: R$ 36.00 (with parking of bus). Friday, Saturday and Sunday: Basic R$ 40.00 or half price: R$ 20.00 (without right to parking), Premium R$ 60.00 or half price: R$ 30.00 (with right to parking car or van), VIP R$ 76.00 or half price: R$ 38.00 (with parking of bus)
The Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro is a theatre located in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The theatre was constructed at the start of the 20th century and today it is considered to be one of the most important and most beautiful theatres in the whole country. The design of the building is eclectic and inspiration for the design came from the Paris Opera House. The theatre stands on the Cinelândia Square. Website: http://www.theatromunicipal.rj.gov.br/ Opening hours: 10:00-18:00(after 18:00 only those attending the night’s show can enter). Tours run Tuesday-Friday at 12:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00. Saturday and holidays tours run at 11:00, 12:00 and 13:00. However the hours of the theater vary on a daily basis depending on what is being performed at the theatre that day.
The Pedra da Gávea or the Stone of Gávea, is a mountain located in the Tijuca Forest in Rio de Janeiro. It stands at a height of 844 m (2,769 ft). It is one of the highest mountains in the world that ends directly into the ocean. The rock got its name in 1501 and its name means “Rock of the Topsail” and was the first mountain in Brazil to be named in Portuguese. The sailors who first saw it said that it looked like it had the shape of a topsail. Erosion and weathering over the years have created a face like appearance on the rock as well as a number of different designs that some have called an inscription. Some people believe that these inscriptions were left by other ancient groups of people but there is no evidence to support the theory that it was left by any other civilization and the mountain is not considered to be an archaeological site.
The Museo Nacional de Belas Artes or the National Museum of Fine Arts is an art museum found in Rio de Janeiro. It was founded in 1937 but most of the collection of art work in the museum comes from when the Portuguese Court was transferred to Brazil starting in the early 19th century and when King John VI brought to Brazil parts of the Royal Art Collection. When the king later returned to Europe, his collection remained. Today the museum is the most important place for Brazilian art, specifically 19th century sculptures and paintings. The museum’s collection in total numbers about 20,000 works of art. Address: Av. Rio Branco, 199 - Centro (Cinelândia) Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10:00-18:00, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays 12:00-17:00. Entrance fees: R$8 for full price, R$ for half price.
Vacation rentals in São gonçalo (Rio de Janeiro)
How to get there ?
Rio de Janeiro has one of the main airports to get into the country, the other being in São Paulo. The airport in Rio is the Aeroporto Galeão (http://www.aeroportogaleao.net/en/). The national airline in Brazil for international flights is TAM which offers flights to London, Paris, New York, Miami and seven different South American cities. It is also possible to enter Brazil by land from nine different countries. Most of the crossings are by bus and it is cheaper to catch a bus to the border, walk across, and then catch another bus instead of taking an international bus the whole extent of the journey. It is also possible to enter by car or motorcycle. Once in the country, bus transportation is the most common form of long-distance travel used by both Brazilians and foreigners. Buses generally leave on time and are clean and comfortable. The bus network is extensive throughout the country (except in the Amazon Basin). There are many different bus companies in the country and travelers should shop around a bit to find the best price because the buses can be a bit expensive. The bus station in São Luís is called Praia Grande and it is found near the beach. There are very few train routes in Brazil and it is not a convenient way for getting between cities except for a few interesting rides that are generally chosen for their novelty instead of their being an efficient way to travel. Within the city of Rio de Janeiro, of which São Gonçalo is a part, there are a number of options for getting around. One is by ferry through the bay and to different islands. Buses in Rio run with frequency but they often get stuck in traffic and are overcrowded as well as being a target for robbers. There is also a metro system in Rio that is an efficient way to get around and offers service 5:00-00:00 Monday through Saturday and 7:00-23:00 on Sundays and holidays.
Hotels in São gonçalo (Rio de Janeiro)