The southeast Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro is much more than just a bustling metropolis. It is a center of cultural diversity, architectural creativity, and vibrant street festivals. Whether you’re looking for a taste of history, romance, relaxation, or revelry, Rio has something for you.
Travelers can search the city both high and low for countless relics and landscapes to explore. Towering more than 1,200 feet high, the peak of the Pao de Acucar affords one of the most breathtaking views in the world. Visitors can take a cable car ride to the top, stopping briefly on Urca Mountain on the way up. Most visitors prefer to make the trip in the early evening and enjoy a coffee or a meal at one of the many cafes atop the mountain while they wait to see the most unforgettable sunset of their lives.
Rio de Janeiro is home a stunning 350-acre botanical garden with more than 3,000 species of plant and tropical animal life, such as toucans and monkeys. A large research facility is also situated on the grounds. The park is separated into various sections and areas that include a Japanese garden, sensory garden, cactus garden, and an Amazon region.
Christ the Redeemer
A strong candidate for the new Seven Wonders of the World, Christ the Redeemer is a magnificent religious statue standing at around 125 feet tall. Once only accessible via hundreds of stairs, it can now be reached via a short cog train ride through the fascinating Tijuca Forest National Park, which is home to all manner of flora and fauna.
A Taste of Culture and Tradition
Rio’s rich history and heritage lend the city to some of South America’s most time-honored customs. Samba is at the heart of Brazilian culture, and there’s no better way to get to know about Rio’s vibrant traditions than a visit to Samba City. Visitors to the city are greeted by a Samba band and given the opportunity to learn all about the instruments, costumes, floats, and dance steps that are integral to this exuberant local tradition.
The two-hour drive over to Petropolis is well worth the trip. One of Brazil’s most historically significant areas, Petropolis is home to the Imperial Museum, once the summer palace of the Emperor of Brazil. The museum features numerous historical objects from pieces of art to the Brazilian imperial crown.
Maracana Football Stadium
Once the largest football stadium on the planet, Maracana has been the home to many famous players, including the great Pele and Ronaldo. If you’re there during soccer season, don’t miss out Brazil’s most beloved sport. Whether or not there’s a match on, the on-site sports museum is worth a visit and you can take home some fantastic soccer souvenirs for your soccer-fanatic friends and family.
Beautiful Beaches and Adventurous Activities
While this sprawling metropolis always offers something new to try, tourists also always have the option to head down to one of Rio de Janeiro’s many stunning beaches for a spot of rest and relaxation. One such beach is the gorgeous Copacabana. This urban beach area truly lives up to its reputation as a hot spot for surf culture and fun in the sun. The beachfront is lined with numerous bars, restaurants and hotels, and the beach area proper maintains more of a party atmosphere than smaller, quieter beaches farther down the coast. It is a fantastic place to mingle with the locals and meet other travelers while sipping cocktails in front of the waves.
Surrounded by delightful scenery, Grumari Beach is far more relaxing and peaceful than the larger Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. A short drive down the coastline, Grumari boasts pristine white sand and crystalline waters and is a favorite spot among surfers. If you’re looking for a calming break from the urban jungle of Rio city, Grumari is the place to be.
Estilo Voo Livre
While the iconic views from atop Sugarloaf Mountain are not to be missed, there is a unique and adrenaline-pumping way to see more of Rio de Janeiro. If you’re the daring type, Estilo Voo Livre offers you the chance to take one great leap off a 1,600-foot cliff and go on an epic hang-gliding tour of one of the world’s most famous cities. Each flight is overseen by a certified instructor who will guide you on you birds-eye tour.
Sailing in Rio
If you don’t have a taste for jumping off of cliffs, you can get out on the water for a sailing tour. Captain Cassio at Sail in Rio offers private sailing trips on his well-appointed boat. Day trips out to Rio’s gorgeous islands are available whether you’re a seasoned sailor or have yet to gain your sea legs.
Rio de Janeiro – Brazil’s Crown Jewel
What makes Rio de Janeiro such a fabulous place is that whether you’re a history buff, culture lover, or thrill-seeker, you’re never bored. Schedule a trip to the jewel in the Southern Hemisphere’s crown, and make the best of your visit to this vibrant, urban destination.