Lonely Planet Writer

Pathfinder pics: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Lonely Planet Pathfinders Kia and Peter of Atlas and Boots have just finished their year-long trip which came to its final stop in the captivating town of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Here they share some of their best Instagram captures of the city's world-famous landmarks and some tips on how to see it all in a couple of well-planned days.

'With beaches immortalised in song, a skyline as grand as New York or Paris and a wonder of the world standing guard over the city, Rio is one of the world's truly iconic cities. We had just a few days there before returning to Europe to plan our next trip, so we had to make our time count.'

For the best view, the only way is up

'Our first day in Rio did not disappoint. What a view from Corcovado Mountain, 2300ft (700m) above the city. Christ the Redeemer stands out of shot behind us, and watches over this unique vista everyday. The instantly recognisable Sugarloaf Mountain dominates the skyline below.'

Make use of the cable car

'We made our way up Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) via two cable cars. The first one took us to Urca Hill, the second to the summit of Pão de Açúcar. Sugarloaf sits at the mouth of the Guanabara Bay where hundreds of yachts are moored.'

Hit the beach for sunset

'Ipanema Beach at sunset is the most romantic spot in the city. After a stroll along the beach we had cocktails at Garota de Ipanema (Girl from Ipanema) bar where the infamous Brazilian bossa nova song was penned. "Each day when she walks to the sea"… the song rolled by.'

Prioritise your sightseeing

'One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Christ the Redeemer is an iconic sight, making Rio one of the world's most distinctive cities. We visited on a 'quiet' day, but it was still busy with people jostling for space to capture their shot of this imposing landmark.'

Don't miss the Escadaria Selarón

'Escadaria Selarón (Selaron Steps) were renovated by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón between 1990 and 2013. He described it as "my tribute to the Brazilian people". U2 and Snoop Dogg have filmed music videos here. I resisted the temptation to dance – much to Kia's relief!'

Enjoy the simple things

'After a year on the road together, we found ourselves on Ipanema Beach reminiscing about the magical things we had seen. Our Lonely Planet eBook served us well, but now that our funds are at an end, it would seem our shoestring is too.'

Are you a budding travel blogger or keen Instagrammer? Find out more about Lonely Planet Pathfinders at lonelyplanet.com/pathfinders.