What’s the Allure?
Rio de Janeiro is a lively city located on the South Atlantic coast of Brazil. Although predominately known for its popular beach culture and wild annual Carnaval, travelers also visit for its spectacular landscapes (Rio’s dazzling harbor is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World), enviable weather and internationally famous samba music. With all there is to see and do in this energetic destination, it is of little wonder that residents refer to Rio de Janeiro as the “marvelous city” (cidade maravilhosa).
Points of Interest
When travelers envision Rio de Janeiro, many are arguably seduced by images they have seen of such iconic landmarks as the Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) statue and Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) – both definitely worth a visit for their breathtaking views. That said, many of the more popular sites are located at the South Zone (Zona Zul) district including two of the most famous beaches: Copacabana and Ipanema.
Some interesting visits worth a mention include the 19th century Jardim Botânico (Botanical Gardens) and the Parque Lage – a former mansion turned school for fine artwork as well as a stunning display of plants and wildlife. History buffs might enjoy some of the local architecture including the Paço Imperial, (Colonial) the Candelária Church (Neoclassical) or decide to actively learn more about the city at the Museu Histórico Nacional (National Museum of History).
Wide varieties of international cuisines are available in Rio de Janeiro, but if you would like to try some of the local fare, opt for a sampling of its most famous dish; the feijoada – a hearty black bean stew served with regional meat and assorted side dishes, accompanied by the a tasty caipirinha cocktail.
If you can’t make it during the two weeks of Carnaval, an interesting nighttime option is to go to the samba schools and watch the dancers preparing for the big celebration. If you would like to participate yourself, plenty of bars and clubs around the city stay open late.
Due to its numerous hills and favorable climate, popular outdoor activities in Rio de Janeiro include hiking, hang gliding, surfing and trekking. Contrary to popular belief and despite its scantily-clad sun worshippers, most beaches in Rio do not promote topless sunbathing.
Why We Love it
Rio de Janiero’s gorgeous landscapes, colorful past and sizzling local flavors combine to make this destination a most tempting option for even the most weary of holiday travelers. So why resist it? Visit Rio and see for yourself why it is considered to be one of the most unforgettable places on earth.