1. Rio: Olympic Boulevard, Museum of Tomorrow & History Tour
Begin your tour by being picked up from your hotel and discover the many hidden gems in Rio’s Downtown area with a tour guide. Start at the Valongo Wharf (the latest Unesco World Heritage site in the city) and learn more about the African influence in Brazil. Then head to the Kobra Mural — one of the largest graffiti walls in the world — created by the Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, to admire the five ethnic groups portrayed in a colorful geometric background. After a few pictures, you will walk along the Olympic Boulevard towards the Museum of Tomorrow. This is a modern and technological science museum dedicated to exploring and questioning all the possibilities for constructing the future of the planet and mankind. Discover its remarkable architecture, and pay a visit to the most visited museum in Brazil. After exploring the future, travel to the past in the Monastery of Saint Benedict, where you will experience the contrast of the simple façade, with the interior covered with golden ornaments, a heritage from the Baroque period. Before heading towards the historical streets of Rio, you will see the Rio 2016 Olympic Cauldron created by the American artist Anthony Howe. You will notice the reflective-kinetic-sphered-structure is a reminder of the Games. At the Praça XV, you will see one of the former headquarters of the Brazilian empire and learn more about important facts of Brazilian history that happened in the area. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo (closed on Sundays), one of the “must-see cafés” from around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decorated with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’), or desserts such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th century.