Rio de Janeiro


Rio de Janeiro City, Brazil
Photo by: soldon , Creative Commons

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Rio de Janeiro? Beaches? Partying? Samba? Well, Rio is all of that and much more. It is a city that will overwhelm you and make you its prisoner for a lifetime. Go to Rio once, and you’ll want to go there all the time. Such is the magic of this magnificent city.

The first stop of every visitor in the city is at the statue of Christ the Redeemer or Cristo Redentor as the Brazilians know it. At 125 ft, the statue of Christ stands tall over the city, as if saying “I’ll protect you”. The statute is located at the top of the Corcovado Mountain, and was inaugurated in the year 1931. This larger-than-life statue of the Christ is truly awe-inspiring. Perhaps that is the reason why the statue has been included in the New Seven Wonders of the World. In order to reach the statue, tourists can take cog trains that leave every half-an-hour from Rue Cosme Velho.

The Pao de Acucar is yet another mountain-top wonder of this city. Situated 1,299ft above the Guanabara Bay, the Pao de Acucar or the Sugarloaf Mountain as the tourists know it, provides a superlative view of the city of Rio de Janeiro. You can cable cars to reach the summit of the mountain. These cable cars make a stop at Morro de Urca. In summer, Morro de Urca hosts concerts in the evening which you can stop by and listen on your way up to the Sugarloaf Mountain.

From the mountain tops, come down to what Rio the most famous for – its sandy beaches. Tourism industry’s favorite beach in the world, the Copacabana beach, is right here in Rio de Janeiro. It sees hordes of tourists and traffic each day of the year. The traffic influx is so much at the beach that the authorities close it down for pedestrians on Sundays. The New Year celebrations held on this beach are well-known.

What better a combination than that of a beach and some celebrity-spotting? You can do it all at the Ipanema beach in the city. You can find famous actors and city’s intelligentsia strolling in the Posto 9 section of the beach. If not this, then you can just lie down and enjoy the sun setting against the breathtaking background of the Dos Irmaos twin peaks.

Rio is famous for its street parties, better known as Carnivals. Replete with street bands, marching bands, and dance troupes, these Carnivals are sure to make you shake a leg too.

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