I dare you not to fall in love with Rio de Janeiro. I know I'm biased because my partner is Brazilian, but Rio really is one of the most intoxicating cities I've ever visited. We were lucky enough to spend a few days there with both our Dads, and it was such a special experience.
Given there is so much (often negative) media attention right now in the lead-up to the Olympics, I realise there are probably lots of people reconsidering their ambition to visit Rio one day. All I can say is this - please don't! Rio is just a good time waiting to happen. Here are some of our tips for making your stay even better...and yes, I'm aware that most of them revolve around eating and drinking (there's a reason for that - it's insanely good).
1. Go to a local juice bar and try 'suco de cajun' (the juice from the fruit of the cashew nut - yes that's actually a thing, and it's amazing).
2. If you can't understand the menu, get the 'prato feito' (rice, black beans, minute steak and an egg - you can't go wrong).
3. Eat anything that involves doce de leite (it's like caramel but a thousand times better).
4. if the choice is between beer and caipirinha, always choose the caipirinha (but don't eat the fruit unless you enjoy three day hangovers).
5. Go to a local football game (but don't freak out if you hear loud banging sounds afterwards - 9 times out of 10 they're fireworks, not guns. Is there a funny story involving my Dad ducking for cover in the suburban streets of Rio? Yes, but I'm not allowed to tell it - although technically I think I just did.
6. Go to Sugarloaf Mountain and take the cable car...because this.
7. Go to a churrascaria (Brazilian BBQ restaurant) for lunch. Some advice: don't eat for four hours beforehand, wear stretchy pants and don't make any afternoon plans unless they involve taking a long nap on the beach and/or quietly chasing yourself for eating a lifetime's worth of red meat in one meal.
8. Spend a night out in Lapa. Sit outside in the open-air seating areas, order an outrageous amount of drinks and food, listen to live samba and just soak it all in. This is Rio.
This article originally appeared in The Dispatch, our free e-magazine featuring the latest in ethical style, design and travel.