By Shawn Blore
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Extra info for Frommer's Portable Rio de Janeiro
The road carries on, winding around the cliff face to reach the tiny enclave of São Conrado. ) Pedra de Gâvea. Beyond São Conrado, the road goes up on stilts to sneak beneath the cliffs until reaching Barra de Tijuca. More like Miami Beach than Rio, Barra—as it’s usually called—is a land of big streets, big malls, big cars, and little intrinsic interest. Backstopping all of these Zona Sul neighborhoods is the massive Tijuca National Park. Mostly mountainous, the 3,300hectare (8,151-acre) forest was begun in the 1800s as a personal project of the Emperor Dom Pedro II.
Surrounded on three sides by the Baia de Guanabara (Guanabara Bay) and a hop and a skip from Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Flamengo and Botafogo beaches, this small and scenic airport is used by TAM, Gol, VASP, and Varig for flights to São Paulo, Brasilia, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, and many other national destinations. The airport is within walking distance of downtown, but do not attempt it with your luggage as it involves crossing a number of major streets with hectic traffic, both car and pedestrian.
Edu/interhostel), organized by the University of New Hampshire, also offers educational travel for seniors. On these escorted tours, the days are packed with seminars, lectures, and field trips, with sightseeing led by academic experts. Interhostel takes travelers 50 and over (with companions over 40) and offers 1- and 2-week trips, mostly international. com) offers package deals for the 50-plus market, mostly of the tour-bus variety, with free trips thrown in for those who organize groups of 10 or more.