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Travel in Latin America

How to Survive a Rainy Day in Rio de Janeiro
By:Christine Meyer

It's raining in the Cidade Maravilhosa, and you're on vacation. No need to despair when beaches and major attractions are rained out. A little rainy weather doesn't mean the end of your holiday--weather the weather as the locals do.

Head out to some of the local cafes serving breakfast rather than eating breakfast at your hotel. Cafeína has locations in Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon (try their signature breakfast for two) and Talho Capixaba serves pastries.

Explore the fruit aisles of the nearest supermarket (Hortifruti, Zona Sul, Sendas, Extra) if a big breakfast is too much to handle, and discover the many different kinds of exotic fruits available.

Work off your breakfast by visiting a bookstore or touring the H. Stern jewelry museum and workshops on Rua Garcia D'Avila in Ipanema.

Try one of the classic bars in Leblon: Veloso on Rua General San Martin or Jobi on Rua Ataulfo de Paiva. They're less crowded in the afternoon, so you'll be able to get a seat and enjoy the food and your chopp (draft beer). Also, the people watching is excellent. Other options include the pubs in Ipanema, which are located near the Praça General Osório.

Tour a museum, which is always a good bet. Most museums charge a small entrance fee, though many of the cultural centers in Centro are free, such as the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil and Caixa Cultural.

Head to the mall if it's still raining in the evening. In Brazil, malls are called shoppings. One of the biggest is Barra Shopping on Avenida das Américas. Look for legendado (subtitled) films to watch in their original language or go bowling at the mall's alley. There's also an arcade.

Check out a juice bar. Almost every corner in the beach zones hosts a juice bar. Try a pastel and a fruit juice; experiment with unique juice flavors like cupuaçu, graviola or acerola. Pastels are fried pastries usually stuffed with cheese, meat or shrimp fillings.

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