Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon

It's almost not fair when you think about it - Rio already has amazing beaches, lush mountains, and beautiful neighbourhoods dotted in the hillside. But wait, it also has a lake?! A giant lake in the middle of the city?! Why yes, yes it does. 

Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon was only a short stroll from the Jardim Botanico. There's a paved lane for cyclists all around the lake, and bike shops where you could rent bikes to cycle the entire 7.5 km circumference. 

However, by the time we had finished taking in the sights at the Botanical Gardens, it was almost sunset... and I wasn't confident in how fast I could actually cycle. We decided to walk down the path instead.

Our guidebook said the lake was dotted with restaurants and open air cafes, but everything was rather... sparse. It seemed that many things were closed, or just opening up for the night. We made our way to this place called "The Lagoon", which is a complex of restaurants and presumably other activities... but again, it looked pretty abandoned. 

We skipped out on the top floor restaurant for the food stalls that were closer to the lake. There, we got sausages, beers, and churros, sitting at a quaint little table with no one around, looking out onto the water. 

I'm not sure if it was so sparse because of the construction for the Olympic Games (they were cleaning the lake and building bleachers) or because we went too early (maybe it gets livelier in the nighttime?) but I didn't mind the quiet surroundings and lack of people. 

For a 360 view of the lake, watch below!