Rio de Janeiro – Communications and Caffeine
Here a few listings for Internet cafï¿½s located in the Copacabana/Ipanema area.
Locutï¿½rio has a location at Rua Francisco Sï¿½ 26B (2522-6343, open 8am-2am everyday) and another at Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana 1171 (10am-10pm), both in Copacabana. $8/hour or a 10-hour package for R$45 valid for 90 days. Internet, fax, scanner, printer, long-distance phone calls.
Fone Rio is at Rua Miguel Lemos 25 (2523-7677). They are only slightly cheaper and their 10-hour package (R$45) has no time limit. Pretty surly service.
Conexï¿½o Cafï¿½ is by far the cheapest connection I have found so far, at R$5/hour. It is located at Rua Visconde de Pirajï¿½ 3, a block away from Praï¿½a General Osï¿½rio (Feira Hippie).
Letras e Expressï¿½es on Rua Visconde de Pirajï¿½, near the corner of Rua Vinï¿½cius de Moraes. This pleasant spot in Ipanema is a bookstore, cafï¿½, and bar, built on three levels. A great place for those foreign magazines you just can’t live without (you’re the foreigner now, remember?), coffee table books, travel guides, and the like. Cigars too, if you’re antsy for a fine smoke. They offer Internet access for R$5/half hour.
Phone calls can be made with a telephone card (cartï¿½o telefï¿½nico), available at newsstands, botequins, and street vendors. Your first challenge will be finding a public phone that works. Insert the phone card, but hold on to it as you do so. I have lost a number of cards that fell into the black hole of a trick telephone.
For local calls, simply dial the number. For domestic long-distance calls, dial the 0 + provider + area code + telephone number. There are a few providers – 23 (Intelig), 31 (Telemar), 21 (Embratel). I use the first, as they seem to be a little less expensive. If one doesn’t go through, try a different provider. For example, say the telephone number is 8765-4321 and you are placing a call to Sï¿½o Paulo. You would dial 0 + 23 + 11 + 8765-4321.
If you are consulting old travel guides or sites, you will find many seven-digit telephone numbers. Most of these are no longer valid in Brazil, as numbers have been changed to eight digits. In Rio add a 2 in front of any seven-digit number. In many other states, for example Minas Gerais, you need to add a 3 instead.
International calls may be made from some public telephones. Make sure you have plenty of units on your telephone card. Dial 00 + provider + country code + area code + telephone number.
For collect calls within Brazil, dial 9090 + telephone number for local, and for long-distance dial 9031 + number. For international collect calls, the easiest route is AT&T direct, which will put you in touch with an English-speaking operator. The number for this service is 0800-890-0288.
Rio is not strong on atmospheric cafï¿½s. We’ve arrived around a hundred years late for that. However, do not miss the belle ï¿½poque Confeitaria Colombo downtown on Rua Gonï¿½alves Dias for a hint of the long-lost cafe society we missed out on. They have a phenomenally expensive afternoon tea, but you can just sit down for an espresso and enjoy the frilly surroundings. You will not find Internet access here (thank the gods).
On the more modern side, in Ipanema you have Letras e Expressï¿½es, mentioned above. As noted, they have Internet access, making this a good choice if you need to get wired both ways. It is also the hottest bookstore pickup spot in Rio. You don’t even need to be particularly well read. Come-on line heard recently at this store: “Have you read that book One Hundred Years of Solitude by Garcia Lorca?” Directly across the street is a branch of the Armazï¿½m do Cafï¿½, an excellent place to sample premium Brazilian coffees. I prefer the branch just a few blocks away on Rua Maria Quitï¿½ria across from the sweet and lovely Praï¿½a Nossa Senhora da Paz.