Unwavering cultural vibrance, dramatic and dizzying heights and an energetic atmosphere that will have you bopping down the streets, there are no surprises as to why the locals label Rio de Janeiro ‘The Marvellous City’.
Situated in the south east of Brazil, the seaside city is the capital of Rio de Janeiro state and is the country’s second most populated city.
Perhaps the most iconic landmark in Rio and standing atop Corcovado is Christ the Redeemer. One of the 7 Wonders of the World, the 38 metre high open armed statue serves as a symbol of Christianity and overlooks the city. The mountain reaches 710 metres above Rio and is the best spot for panoramic views.
Rising 396 metres above the harbour, Sugarloaf Mountain is another opportunity for breathtaking 360 degree views of Rio city, Niteroi, Guanabara Bay and the clear blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. To reach the summit, visitors must take a two stop cable car, the first 220 metres to Morro da Urca before ascending to Sugarloaf.
Host to the 2016 Summer Olympics, the much anticipated international multi-sport event will see the already lively city erupt into an explosive paradise for sport fans worldwide. With ideal water sport conditions, Kiteboarding will see its debut in the event line up amongst more than 10,000 athletes from 28 countries.
If you find yourself in Rio in February, Rio Carnival is a must. There is no way to better encapsulate the true essence, colour and culture of Brazilian life than spending five days at this festival extravaganza. Open air dance parties line the streets, parades move through the city and bands light up the already buzzing beaches. The Samba is authentic to Brazil and is the dance of celebration and joy at Carnival celebrations in Rio and is a key part of the event.
You can’t help but be captivated by the little touches that the city offers, from monkeys and toucans in the city parks, to mouth-watering street food markets and samba until dawn as you greet the morning sun.
Rio’s Best Beach
Home to 23 beaches and 73 kilometres of continuous white sand, there are no wrong choices when hitting the beach in Rio.
However, fringed by a background of cloud catching mountains and skyscrapers, Copacabana is as vibrant as the city that borders it. The 2.5 kilometre stretch of sand promises a bustling atmosphere with plenty to see and do.
Avenida Atlantica is a mosaic-covered promenade, ideal for a stroll along the foreshore or for people watching. While the beach is a popular spot to soak up the sun on your sand and waterproof beach towel, have a swim in the turquoise waters, or catch some waves, land based action is just as entertaining.
It’s not uncommon to find groups playing soccer or diving for volleyballs. If there is one thing Brazilians know how to do, it’s have a good time, and random dance parties often break out on the warm sand.
Kiosks and vendors scatter the beach, selling everything from bikinis to beers, books and coconuts. There is no better place to sit back and soak up the surrounds with a beverage in hand.
With a tropical climate, warm and sunny days are very common. During summer, Rio can be quite humid and very warm days are normally followed by rain. With a seemingly endless summer, winter is still an enjoyable time to visit the city for some sun, swimming and surf. A jacket is optional but swimwear, sunnies and sunscreen are a must!