Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – the ultimate World Cup experience

The World Cup, in all its splendor, is considered by some as the premiere sporting event in the world. Although the Summer Olympics are a global event, the experience is different. The world comes together to celebrate the competition and camaraderie of sports. The World Cup is another kind of event. The world comes together, but not to celebrate. They come to fiercely compete, root on their team, and defend their national pride. There are fights, chants, injuries, and in some cases, as history has shown, even violent riots that arise due to the results of the World Cup competition.

The World Cup transforms not only a city, but the entire host country into one of the most sought after destinations that year. World Cup 2014 is something a little more special. Not only will it be the premiere sporting event on the planet, but it will also be hosted in a country that has been recognized as one of the top destinations in the world, where futbol (soccer) is bred in their children from birth – Brazil. To add to that, the finals will be hosted in the #1 destination city in the world (according to the New York Times 2013) – Rio de Janeiro. Needless to say, this will be a magical year.

Games will take place throughout the country of Brazil leading up to finals. These cities are not to be devalued by the praise of Rio. They are beautiful, majestic cities that are along coastline, on islands, or in outskirts of the Amazon Jungle. Let’s be honest though – all eyes are on Rio.

Rio has some of the most beautiful beaches on the world, with its landscape and beautiful people. Ipanema’s Posto #9 has been recognized as one of the world’s sexiest beaches on the planet. The waters are warm and alive with surfers and sun bathers lining the coastline. If you go too late on a normal weekend, you may find it hard to find a good spot. When World Cup comes to town, these beaches will be packed with people.

Travelers must beware. The World Cup will not be a cheap ticket. The game tickets will be hard to get and expensive. Additionally, since the World Cup and Summer Olympics were announced to be hosted in Rio, the prices of just about everything from a beach chair rental, to the 5 star hotel rooms have steadily increased.

Hotels will be hard to book and have room rates that will make most gasp. Fear not, Rio has an enormous vacation rental industry. Vacation rentals are the perfect alternative to expensive hotels for groups of all sizes to travel to Rio and maximize their budgets. For the price you would pay for a double bed hotel room, you can get a one or two bedroom apartment that sleeps 4 or 6 people. For the price of one of the suites at a hotel, you can get a two level penthouse with private pool, maid service, and butler.

Another advantage to booking a private residence is your host. Your host will be a local. Someone who lives in Rio every day and knows the secrets of the city. Instead of being sent to tourist traps that most hotels or travel agencies get paid for referring you, a local host will give you the real experience of Rio. There are certain neighborhoods that have block parties on certain nights of the week. A sushi restaurant at the base of the favela with some of the best fish I had tasted in town. A hidden beach club on a private beach inside the Forte de Copacabana. These are experiences that TripAdvisor or your hotel concierge don’t tell you about.

If you are thinking about going to Rio for World Cup, a travel agency may not be the way to go. If you are looking for something more and want to get the ultimate World Cup experience, leave comments with questions below and I will answer with recommendations from my personal experience of living in Rio.

Luis Guajardo is Owner of Privé Luxury Rentals.

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