Local Lens: Exploring Rio de Janeiro with @paulodelvalle

Since launching, we’ve seen the community share their favorite local spots with the rest of the world through Instagram. In this series, we let local Instagrammers show you their favorite places to shoot around their hometown. Explore more of Paulo’s favorite locations in Rio de Janeiro on the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Mirante Dona Marta and Parque da Cidade location pages.

As the community of Instagrammers has grown and connected people across the globe, so too has our ability to share some of the personal, hidden and beautiful locations in our hometowns.

In the first of a two-part series of local guides to Rio de Janeiro, Carioca Instagrammer Paulo del Valle (@paulodelvalle) shares with us his favorite places to capture in Rio de Janeiro.

In the center of the city, Paulo suggests visiting Pedra do Arpoador (Arpoador Rock). Arpoador is a small peninsula in the Zona Sul (South Zone) dividing Rio’s two main beaches, Ipanema and Copacabana. The peninsula’s rocks create a left break for surfers, one of the best surf spots in the city. In the summertime it’s possible to see the sun setting over the sea from Arpoador, which is a rare event in Brazil as much of its coastline faces east. “Everyone likes to go here to watch the sunset,” Paulo explains. “During the summer, we can see the sun going down over the sea and there is a tradition that, once the sun has set, everyone cheers. The view is beautiful!”

Not far away is Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, a lagoon in the middle of the city. “It’s where people like to jog and do all kinds of things, like skating, stand-up paddle, slack line and cycling. The lagoon is also a beautiful place to photograph the sun setting behind one of Rio’s iconic mountains, Dois Irmãos.”

Want to go beyond the iconic scenes of Rio’s Zona Sul? “Mirante Dona Marta (Dona Marta Belvedere) is the place where you can shoot one of the most beautiful landscapes in Rio de Janeiro. On your left you can see Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf) and on your right the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). It’s not a place where everyone goes, since you can only get there by car, but it’s absolutely worth it.” For another great view of the city, head to Parque da Cidade de Niterói (Niterói City Park) where many hang gliders begin their flight. “There you can see the best views of the city itself. The park is in Niterói, a city 30 minutes from Rio by car.”