In one of our bike tours we pedal through Botafogo, a traditional section of Rio de Janeiro that is easily passed by. It connects downtown Rio to the neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema and Lagoa. Like many other neighborhoods, Botafogo’s also has a beach. This one though offers some of the best views of Sugar Loaf Mountain. However swimming, because of pollution of the water, is not advised.
In the early years of the city, Botafogo gained some political cloud when the Portuguese emperor Dom João VI built a residence there in the early 1800s. The presence of the Portuguese royal court attracted nobles and merchants seeking to construct homes of their own.
To this day, as our urban bike tour will show, the area hosts numerous terrific examples of colonial architecture as well as a fair number of diplomatic consulates. This area has fewer high rise building than the rest of the town. Full with affordable bars and restaurants, locals tend to go there to avoid touristy locations as Copacabana with its high prices.