Just back from: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Was it your first time? Yes! I have been to São Paulo a couple of times, but never Rio. They are quite different from each other. São Paulo feels a bit more like New York, while Rio feels like LA or Miami. São Paulo feels a bit more serious.
What was the best tip you got before you left? Someone told us that we had to take a helicopter ride around Rio to see the views. It was amazing!
Where did you stay? I stayed at the Fasano, which has the most spectacular views from its rooftop pool.
Glad you packed: A bikini and sundresses. A light sweater for the evenings.
Speed round of favorites.
1. Meal or meals: The steak at CT Boucherie, with all the family-style sides.
2. Neighborhood to explore: Santa Teresa.
3. Site/place/thing you did: The Copacabana.
4. Cafe/casual hangout: Rooftop of the Fasano for fresh coconut water.
5. Thing you wanted to bring back: I would have loved to bring home amazing furniture by a Brazilian designer. We were all lusting after the Sergio Rodrigues pieces in our hotel.
What's the local speciality? Grilled hearts of palm and globos, of course. Oh, and caipirinhas!
Were you there for the right amount of time? I wish I had had a few more days.
One thing/place you didn't get to visit, but wanted to: Corcovado. We saw it from the helicopter, but next time I'd like to take a car or train to the top to see it from its base.
What's the #1 tip you'd give a friend who wanted to go? Leave your fine jewels at home and bring good walking shoes.
Any surprises? How fit and good-looking everyone was. It really is a city of beautiful people who take really good care of themselves.
You can't stop thinking about: That beach!
Would you go back? In a heartbeat.
MORE ON FATHOM
We've partnered with kate spade new york on a new round of city guides. Read all about it.