Do as Empress Maria Tereza used to do and escape from the steamy summer heat of Rio to the cool mountain retreat of Teresópolis, the highest city in the state, nestled in the strange, organ-pipe rock formations of the Serra dos Órgãos. The gorgeous winding road from Rio to Teresópolis climbs steeply through a padded green jungle, with bald peaks towering dramatically overhead the entire way.
The Quebra Frascos, the royal family of the Second Empire, once resided here. Today the city’s principal attraction is the surrounding landscape and its natural treasures.
Teresópolis's Comary neighborhood has long been the training base of Brazil’s national football squad. Plans to move the team to a new training facility in Rio's Barra da Tijuca for the 2014 FIFA World Cup ultimately fizzled, meaning that you can still occasionally catch a glimpse of the team practicing here in town.