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Rio de Janeiro: Passport!

I’m going to go ahead and list the locations every woman dreads being seen in a bikini in ascending order; One: anywhere. Two: Ipanema beach, Rio de Janerio, Brazil.

Weeks before my trip to one of South America’s most popular beach towns, I sat upright in a cold sweat, terrified by nightmares of the a beauty squad like Charlie’s Angels planting large “remove from sight” stickers somewhere on my person – after measuring my offending body parts with a tape measure and sighing with disappointment. But the beauty of Brazil isn’t just in the gorgeous people, it’s their culture and general attitude.

Even the passport control team at the airport are fashionable and the woman stamping your passport could easily could go straight to the bar following her shift.

Here’s my suggestions for where to stay, people watch and drink — the most important thing, of course — in Rio de Janeiro.

Stay: The Maze (Rua Tavares Bastos 414 casa 66, mostly known as just “Bob’s Place,” pulsates with Bossa Nova music from dawn to dusk looks and the building itself looks like a gaping smiling face from the front and rightly so. The owner Bob runs jazz nights and during my visit I drifted to sleep to the sound of trumpets played by a Brazilian grandma in between cigar puffs.

People Watch: Hit Ipanema Beach divided into ‘Postos,’ or sections, marked by a lifeguard tower where informal rules have developed around into which clique resides. The best people watching is at Posto 9 which could also double as a casting area for Snoop Dogg’s follow-up video for “Beautiful.”

Eat and Drink: Rio’s vibe is best felt in the neighbourhood bars where the Cariocas (Rio folk) exhibit the day’s tanning like peacocks with cocktails. Jobi in Leblon (Avenida Ataulfo de Paiva, 1166, loja B) serves melt in the mouth empanadas.

Last 5 posts by Hillary Crosley