On the drive from the airport in Rio to the South Zone of the city you pass through a long tunnel, at its end you gasp in surprise, the view of the mountains surrounding the lake is incredible. And the view always is; whether its sunny, or clouds are hugging the mountains, or Christmastime when the neighborhood decorates its balconies with lights, or on a clear night when moonbeams dance along the water.
At the foot of the famous Corovado (Christ Redeemer statue) in Rio is the neighborhood of Lagoa. Even though the famed beaches of Rio are just blocks away, Lagoa is a magnet for Cariocas. Ringed by mountains on 3 sides and apartments all round, Lagoa is a classic urban park where there is something for everyone. Whether you desire to sit at a cafe and take in the view; go boating, biking or running around the lake; take in a horse race at the famed Rio Jockey Club or visit the botanical garden, all are here for you to get out and enjoy!
There are lots of places to eat in Lagoa but our favorites is Bar Lagoa – it famed for classic Brazilian dishes, old-fashioned decor, and lake view. It has the same art deco style since it opened in 1934 and looks like some of the same waiters. The bolinho de bacalao (codfish balls) appetizer is to die for as are the casquina de siri (stuffed crab shells). For a main course try the Frango Francese, its a grilled chicken dish with peas, ham and shoestring potatoes – mix it all together – its heaven.