The lovely Carolina Pinto is an actress who was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro. “I have lived in Copacabana my entire life and I feel very proud to call it my backyard,” she says. We are fortunate to have Carolina work with us for the Summer Games as one of our local hosts, and wanted to ask her a few questions so that we could get to know her a little better, and get some insider intel on Rio too.
So Carolina, what are you most looking forward to seeing at the Games?
“I have always been amazed by the diving competitions. The perfection and synchronicity of the movements never ceases to amaze me. Actually, I love watching all of the water sports because Brazil has always had some really good athletes in those categories, so I am looking forward to that.
Also, I have always been a fan of Usain Bolt and I was upset to hear that he had injured his hamstring and might not make it. But just a couple of days ago he was confirmed by the Jamaican committee so I am very excited to watch him compete in Rio.
However, as a true Brazilian I have to say that soccer is my number one passion. Despite all the recent bad results that we have had with our men’s team, I believe that we have learned from this and that we are better now. I am also looking forward to seeing our Women’s team because they are truly amazing and don’t get as many opportunities to showcase their talents as the men do. Another one of my favorite sports is Volleyball. I believe that we have amazing athletes – both in the men’s and women’s teams – and I really believe that we are going to get some medals there. Fingers crossed!”
What is the buzz like in Rio right now?
“Things in Rio are running full speed as the last touches are being made to make sure everything is ready for the Summer Games. In Copacabana, where I live, you can already see the Beach Volleyball Arena, the Rio2016 Megastore and the stands and structure for the marathon. It’s also impossible not to notice all the brand new hotels that have been built recently in preparation for the games. The city is looking ready to welcome everyone.
As far as the venues, I have only seen them from the outside so far, but I have been very impressed. The Beach Volleyball arena, for example, stands in the sands of Copacabana beach and its height is equivalent to a seven story building, so I can only imagine the amazing views from up there.”
What are the dishes you’d say that visitors to the city really must try?
“My favorite Brazilian food is Rice and Beans. It might seem simple and dull but is the best side to every dish. Our rice is seasoned with garlic and onions and is very flavorful. Our beans are seasoned with herbs and bay leaf, which gives them a unique flavor. We eat this every day in Brazil and we can’t get enough of it.
If you’re from Brazil you have to love a good feijoada. If you’re not from Brazil let me explain: Feijoada is a stew of beans with different types of beef and pork; and it tastes amazing! In my opinion, the best feijoada I have ever had was at the Bar do Mineiro, in Santa Teresa. This is a really small, traditional bar and you have to arrive early or you might have to wait a little bit for a table – but, even so, it will be worth the wait. The feijoada is usually served with rice, farofa and kale. Just writing about it is making my mouth water. And if you are there you should also try the beans pastel. Notice how much we love our beans?”
Are there essential things visitors must see while in the city?
“I believe that the statue of Christ the Redeemer at Corcovado is one of the most amazing things to see in Rio. I have heard many times from visitors that the images they see in photographs or on television don’t do it justice. You need to see it live. It is really a beautiful, massive, statue and – as if it wasn’t a good enough reason for people to come visit – it comes with breathtaking 360 degrees views from our beautiful city.
Arpoador Beach. There is a rock on the left side of the beach where you can sit and watch the sun go down. It’s not unusual to see people clapping and applauding the sunset as the skies turn pink and blue.”
It’s not too late for us to arrange your perfect Summer Games packages. We can still get you to Rio in style. Contact us to find out what we can do to get you and your family to Rio next month and show you the absolute best time.