Introducing Rio de Janeiro City
At once both a cinematic cityscape and a grimy urban front line, Rio de Janeiro, known as the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city), is nothing if not exhilarating. Flanked by gorgeous mountains, white-sand beaches and verdant rainforests fronting deep blue sea, Rio occupies one of the most spectacular settings of any metropolis in the world. Tack on one of the sexiest populations on the planet and you have an intoxicating tropical cocktail that leaves visitors punch-drunk on paradise.
With the seductive sounds of samba as their rallying cry, Rio’s residents, known as cariocas, have perfected the art of living well. From the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema to the tops of scenic outlooks of Corcovado and Pão de Açúcar to the dance halls, bars and open-air cafes that proliferate the city, cariocas live for the moment without a care in the world. This idea of paradise has enchanted visitors for centuries, and there are dozens of ways to be seduced. You can surf great breaks off Prainha, hike through Tijuca’s rainforests, sail across Guanabára, dance the night away in Lapa or just people-watch on Ipanema Beach.
While Rio has its share of serious problems, there are plenty of residents – expats included – who wouldn’t dream of relocating. It’s no coincidence Christo himself sits arms outstretched across the city, either.
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Best places to stay in Rio de Janeiro
All eyes on Brazil for 2014
As if endless strands of sun-toasted coast, mountains splashed with Crayola-green rainforest and significant populations of some of the planet’s most beautiful colonial villages and wildlife didn’t already add up to an unfair share of heaven, Brazil goes and snags two of the most coveted sporting events in the world, beginning .
Rio de Janeiro's best beaches
Rio de Janeiro's best live music
Rio de Janeiro City destination guides
Ten of the world's best city hikes
Stretch your legs over hours or days, without leaving some of the world’s biggest cities. This article is adapted from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures. Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro Aerial shot of Rio de Janeiro surrounded by the Tijuca Forest. Image by Paddy Eckersley / Digital Vision / Getty Images.
Gay and lesbian Rio de Janeiro
Corcovado Mountain, Christ Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain Day Tour
Combine two of Rio's most popular tours on a full-day shore excursion packed with breathtaking views. Int he morning, you'll enjoy a panoramic city tour and have the opportunity to ride a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain. After lunch, you'll travel through the Tijuca Rain Forest by cog train to the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of Corcovado Mountain.
In Search Of Iguassu—Rio to Buenos Aires
Dance your way through the best of South America's colourful cities. Kick off your adventure in Rio where you're free to explore the carnival atmosphere or soak up rays. You'll enjoy time outdoors and on the beach at Ilha Grande and connect with the land at an estancia stay in Uruguay. Best of all, we'll fly over to Iguassu Falls for more time to explore the immense cascades.
Rio de Janeiro Carnaval: a guide to Brazil's biggest festival
This is an excerpt from Lonely Planet's A Year of Festivals. Location: Sambódromo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: culminating on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday), but beginning in earnest on the previous Saturday.