The very whisper of its name ignites visions of colorful costumes parading the streets during Carnaval, sparkling sands garnished with beautiful people, the hypnotic rhythms of unified partners dancing the samba—Rio’s lifeblood, and the omnipotent Christ Statue who oversees it all. It’s the musical diversity and beaches, as well as historic sites and well-preserved rainforests that have made this second largest city the top-notch tourist attraction it is today.
Once the capital of the Portuguese empire and of the country until 1960, Rio de Janeiro, or “Cidade Maravilhosa” (The Marvelous City), as it’s often called, is world renowned for the stunning scenery its unique geography affords. Situated on a thin strip of Brazil’s far western Atlantic coast, more specifically, on the inlet of Guanabara Bay, this cosmopolitan city is nestled between steep, verdant mountains and crystalline shores. Featuring some of Brazil’s most famed attractions such as Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), the Corcovado, and Copacabana and Ipanema beach, Rio is one of the most culturally and economically significant cities in the country. Explore the Centro district, charmed with breathtaking churches, squares, monuments and museums, or venture to the outskirts of the city, where a relaxed Bahian air prevails. Walk the energetic streets of the Zona Sul, boasting some of Rio’s finest beaches and nightlife, or explore further inland, where the Tijuca National Park, the largest urban forest in the world, possesses the lush scenery to host some of the finest hikes and most spectacular views of the region. Whatever you’re looking for, Rio’s got it all. And the Cariocas—Rio’s locals, known for their carefree spirit, are sure to welcome you home.