Niterói ᛫ April 13 – 20, 2018

Brazil | 0 comments

The drive to Niterói was great. This small city is separated from Rio by the Guanabara Bay and connected by a 9 km/5.9 mi long bridge. I took an Uber taxi from my Couchsurfing host’s place in Rio and went over the bridge, which had a stunning outlook. The sun was shining, the water and sky had a clear blue, and the view of Rio and its surrounding mountains was breathtaking.

Rasta girl on balcony with hammock and nature view in Niterói, Brazil

The balcony of our Airbnb apartment had a hammock, sun during most of the day and a green nature view.

A Very Nice Airbnb Place

When we entered Niterói, the street led past palm trees lining up along the sidewalk, next to the beach and beautiful ocean. My appreciation for these moments was definitely intensified by my good mood. I was so happy and excited because I knew I would finally see my boyfriend Tarik at night. While I was in the car to our Airbnb apartment, he sat on the plane from Casablanca, Morocco, to Rio.

I was welcomed warmly by the owner and he showed me around his property. It was a beautiful place built on a mountainside, with a couple of apartments, a pool, and a view all the way to Rio. Our apartment had two rooms and a balcony with hammock. After I got settled in, I went to the next supermarket. As a result, our fridge was filled with delicious food and drinks, which made the place perfect.

Our Eagerly Awaited Reunion ❤️

At night, I took an Uber taxi to the airport to pick up Tarik and waited anxiously at the arrivals exit. It had been almost one year since we last saw each other. The original plan was to meet in Recife, but that didn’t work out, unfortunately. So while I awaited him, I kept wondering, what if something went wrong again?

Dreadlock couple in Niterói, Brazil

We spent the first week of our travel in Niterói. It’s a charming city with many lovely people.

But then I saw him at last, wearing his favorite Asian hat and pushing a luggage cart with many bags. I felt the tension leaving my body and a big smile spreading across my face. Before he even spotted me, I rushed to kiss and hug him. The universe around me seemed to explode with happiness when I could finally touch him and smell his scent again. I had tears in my eyes and at the same time, couldn’t stop smiling. It was a magical feeling. Our positive energy seemed to spread. While we hugged, all the people around us started to clap and cheer. 😀

Exploring Niterói

Most of all, we enjoyed each others company during our week in Niterói. Everything from cooking food and eating together to hiking and working out or just watching a movie felt special and exciting because we could finally do it together again. We had a lot of catching up to do and often just chilled in our hammock. Sometimes we even saw cute monkeys in the trees around the balcony. The shared pool was also great and refreshing. From up there, you could see amazing sunsets with Rio in the background.

Rasta bodyboarder watching waves from Piratininga beach in Niterói, Brazil

To bodyboard, or not to bodyboard, that is the question. This sport depends entirely on the conditions of the ocean. So Tarik has to evaluate the waves first.

And of course, we went to the beach as often as possible. The closest one was called Praia da Piratininga and only a five minute walk away. It was a beautiful beach with a wide sandy area that stretched 3km/1.8mi, small restaurants and a view of Rio and its mountains. The ocean had good waves, but also strong currents. Hence, I only went into the shallow water. Tarik on the other hand really enjoyed bodyboarding and meeting Brazilian surfers.

On the eastern part of the beach, there were some cliffs and rocks. On top of them, many fishermen worked and cast their fishing lines. We had fun climbing around the site and also got to experience a couple of beautiful sunsets from up there.

Itacoatiara

Since Itacoatiara is a famous surf and bodyboard spot, we knew we had to check it out. It is a part of Niterói and was only a 15-minute drive from our place. When we got to the beach, there were some surfers in the water, but the waves weren’t great. So we decided to check out another spot first that one surfer from Piratininga had recommended to us. From the beach, we could already see it: a big mountain with some trees on top. That’s where we wanted to hike.

Rasta girl climbing up mountain in Itacoatiara, Brazil

Some parts of the mountain were so steep that they could only be climbed with some aid.

Therefore, we left the beach again and found the entrance after a short walk. Luckily, Tarik could leave his bodyboard there and didn’t have to carry it all the way up. At first, there were some steps, then stones and a trail that led through the Serra da Tiririca State Park. Everything around us was green and we could feel that we were breathing very healthy air. After a while, we reached a crossroad and immediately saw which way would lead up the mountain. There was a stone wall with a metal handrail to help with the climb. Even though we only wore flip-flops, it was no problem to hike up that part.

An Adventurous Climb

But afterward we didn’t get much further. The rock was still very steep, but there was no aid anymore. After looking around and trying out some parts, a guy who worked for the park came to help us. But we had to climb barefoot and on all fours. At some parts, I got a little scared if I could really do it without slipping. Thankfully, everything went fine and we arrived at the top with a lot of adrenaline in our bodies.

Monkey black-tufted marmoset on mountain in Serra da Tiririca State Park, Itacoatiara, Brazil

What a cutie: This young black-tufted marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) examined us carefully.

The view from there was stunning. We could see the beach, the town of Itacoatiara, the rest of Niterói and even all the way to Rio! There were many plants and a small forest. We chilled on the rock after that nerve-racking climb, enjoying the sun and outlook. Then we explored the top even more and walked through the forest. We even saw the cutest monkeys! Needless to say, the views were amazing from all sides of the mountain top.

There Is Another Way

When we decided to go back down, I was a little worried. The park ranger had told us to not only use both hands and feet but also our butts to climb down. We walked behind some other people who were also on their way back. And it turned out there was another, easier way! It was not that steep and we only needed one hand for support sometimes. 😉 We wondered why the guy had shown the difficult way to us. But then we figured, maybe he wanted us to have a bigger adventure. 😀

If you should ever go to Itacoatiara, make sure to visit the Serra da Tiririca State Park including the top of that mountain. We also recommend bringing better shoes than us. After ascending the mountain with the help of the handrail, go up on the right for the easier way or on the left for the more challenging climb. 😉

Rasta bodyboarder watching sunset at Itacoatiara beach, Brazil

The perfect ending to a bodyboard session in Itacoatiara.

Bodyboarding

When we came back to the beach, the waves were much better and more surfers were in the water. Tarik was really happy to get to know Itacoatiara’s world-famous waves, which are some of the most powerful waves out there. Although he knew that before, he was still surprised at how massive they were. Even relatively small waves were strong because they contained a lot of water.

After the bodyboard session, we got to see a colorful sunset. Next, to the beach, we found some nice small restaurants. And enjoyed the colorful sky, eating delicious food.

It was a perfect first week together. Niterói was a cute, small city, much safer than Rio and had amazing nature. Apart from several different beaches, there were also big lakes and green mountains everywhere. We met many friendly people even though we barely spoke any Portuguese. So of course, we were a little sad to leave. But we also wanted to start traveling and were excited to explore Rio de Janeiro.

The drive to Niterói was great. This small city is separated from Rio by the Guanabara Bay and connected by a 9 km/5.9 mi long bridge. I took an Uber taxi from my Couchsurfing host’s place in Rio and went over the bridge, which had a stunning outlook. The sun was shining, the water and sky had a clear blue, and the view of Rio and its surrounding mountains was breathtaking.

Rasta girl on balcony with hammock and nature view in Niterói, Brazil

The balcony of our Airbnb apartment had a hammock, sun during most of the day and a green nature view.

A Very Nice Airbnb Place

When we entered Niterói, the street led past palm trees lining up along the sidewalk, next to the beach and beautiful ocean. My appreciation for these moments was definitely intensified by my good mood. I was so happy and excited because I knew I would finally see my boyfriend Tarik at night. While I was in the car to our Airbnb apartment, he sat on the plane from Casablanca, Morocco, to Rio.

I was welcomed warmly by the owner and he showed me around his property. It was a beautiful place built on a mountainside, with a couple of apartments, a pool, and a view all the way to Rio. Our apartment had two rooms and a balcony with hammock. After I got settled in, I went to the next supermarket. As a result, our fridge was filled with delicious food and drinks, which made the place perfect.

Our Eagerly Awaited Reunion ❤️

Dreadlock couple in Niterói, Brazil

We spent the first week of our travel in Niterói. It’s a charming city with many lovely people.

At night, I took an Uber taxi to the airport to pick up Tarik and waited anxiously at the arrivals exit. It had been almost one year since we last saw each other. The original plan was to meet in Recife, but that didn’t work out, unfortunately. So while I awaited him, I kept wondering, what if something went wrong again?

But then I saw him at last, wearing his favorite Asian hat and pushing a luggage cart with many bags. I felt the tension leaving my body and a big smile spreading across my face. Before he even spotted me, I rushed to kiss and hug him. The universe around me seemed to explode with happiness when I could finally touch him and smell his scent again. I had tears in my eyes and at the same time, couldn’t stop smiling. It was a magical feeling. Our positive energy seemed to spread. While we hugged, all the people around us started to clap and cheer. 😀

Exploring Niterói

Rasta bodyboarder watching waves from Piratininga beach in Niterói, Brazil

To bodyboard, or not to bodyboard, that is the question. This sport depends entirely on the conditions of the ocean. So Tarik has to evaluate the waves first.

Most of all, we enjoyed each others company during our week in Niterói. Everything from cooking food and eating together to hiking and working out or just watching a movie felt special and exciting because we could finally do it together again. We had a lot of catching up to do and often just chilled in our hammock. Sometimes we even saw cute monkeys in the trees around the balcony. The shared pool was also great and refreshing. From up there, you could see amazing sunsets with Rio in the background.

And of course, we went to the beach as often as possible. The closest one was called Praia da Piratininga and only a five minute walk away. It was a beautiful beach with a wide sandy area that stretched 3km/1.8mi, small restaurants and a view of Rio and its mountains. The ocean had good waves, but also strong currents. Hence, I only went into the shallow water. Tarik on the other hand really enjoyed bodyboarding and meeting Brazilian surfers.

On the eastern part of the beach, there were some cliffs and rocks. On top of them, many fishermen worked and cast their fishing lines. We had fun climbing around the site and also got to experience a couple of beautiful sunsets from up there.

Rasta couple at Piratininga beach during sunset in Niterói, Brazil

From the rocks at Piratininga beach, we enjoyed the sky turning from blue to different colors when the sun set behind Rio’s mountains.

Itacoatiara

Since Itacoatiara is a famous surf and bodyboard spot, we knew we had to check it out. It is a part of Niterói and was only a 15-minute drive from our place. When we got to the beach, there were some surfers in the water, but the waves weren’t great. So we decided to check out another spot first that one surfer from Piratininga had recommended to us. From the beach, we could already see it: a big mountain with some trees on top. That’s where we wanted to hike.

Therefore, we left the beach again and found the entrance after a short walk. Luckily, Tarik could leave his bodyboard there and didn’t have to carry it all the way up. At first, there were some steps, then stones and a trail that led through the Serra da Tiririca State Park. Everything around us was green and we could feel that we were breathing very healthy air. After a while, we reached a crossroad and immediately saw which way would lead up the mountain. There was a stone wall with a metal handrail to help with the climb. Even though we only wore flip-flops, it was no problem to hike up that part.

Rasta girl climbing up mountain in Itacoatiara, Brazil

Some parts of the mountain were so steep that they could only be climbed with some aid.

An Adventurous Climb

But afterward we didn’t get much further. The rock was still very steep, but there was no aid anymore. After looking around and trying out some parts, a guy who worked for the park came to help us. But we had to climb barefoot and on all fours. At some parts, I got a little scared if I could really do it without slipping. Thankfully, everything went fine and we arrived at the top with a lot of adrenaline in our bodies.

The view from there was stunning. We could see the beach, the town of Itacoatiara, the rest of Niterói and even all the way to Rio! There were many plants and a small forest. We chilled on the rock after that nerve-racking climb, enjoying the sun and outlook. Then we explored the top even more and walked through the forest. We even saw the cutest monkeys! Needless to say, the views were amazing from all sides of the mountain top.

Monkey black-tufted marmoset on mountain in Serra da Tiririca State Park, Itacoatiara, Brazil

What a cutie: This young black-tufted marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) examined us carefully.

There Is Another Way

When we decided to go back down, I was a little worried. The park ranger had told us to not only use both hands and feet but also our butts to climb down. We walked behind some other people who were also on their way back. And it turned out there was another, easier way! It was not that steep and we only needed one hand for support sometimes. 😉 We wondered why the guy had shown the difficult way to us. But then we figured, maybe he wanted us to have a bigger adventure. 😀

If you should ever go to Itacoatiara, make sure to visit the Serra da Tiririca State Park including the top of that mountain. We also recommend bringing better shoes than us. After ascending the mountain with the help of the handrail, go up on the right for the easier way or on the left for the more challenging climb. 😉

Bodyboarding

Bodyboarder surfing in Itacoatiara, Brazil

Tarik really enjoyed Itacoatiara’s powerful waves. It’s a famous spot because one event of the APB, World Bodyboard Tour, takes place in this location.

When we came back to the beach, the waves were much better and more surfers were in the water. Tarik was really happy to get to know Itacoatiara’s world-famous waves, which are some of the most powerful waves out there. Although he knew that before, he was still surprised at how massive they were. Even relatively small waves were strong because they contained a lot of water.

After the bodyboard session, we got to see a colorful sunset. Next, to the beach, we found some nice small restaurants. And enjoyed the colorful sky, eating delicious food.

Rasta bodyboarder watching sunset at Itacoatiara beach, Brazil

The perfect ending to a bodyboard session in Itacoatiara.

It was a perfect first week together. Niterói was a cute, small city, much safer than Rio and had amazing nature. Apart from several different beaches, there were also big lakes and green mountains everywhere. We met many friendly people even though we barely spoke any Portuguese. So of course, we were a little sad to leave. But we also wanted to start traveling and were excited to explore Rio de Janeiro.

See More Pictures of Our Time in Niterói

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