Rio de Janeiro - the city of samba and street parties. Behind this vivacious facade lie a number of slums where violence and crime are the status quo. Yet the problems of Rio should not discourage the fascinated traveller from visiting the city. Referred to as 'A Cidade Maravilhosa' - the Marvelous City - Rio de Janeiro boasts an enviable setting gazing out across a natural harbour.
Spectacular mountains and some of the world's best sandy beaches can also be seen in abundance, while the lively, energetic South Zone acts as the hub of Rio's tourist activity. Despite being relieved of the title in 1960, many still regard Rio de Janeiro to be the capital of Brazil. It certainly seems fitting that the city retains the grandiosity that such a title brings.
Christ the Redeemer
Set at the summit of Corcovado Mountain, Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue stands sentinel over the city, some 700 metres above sea level. In July 2007, the statue was recognised by The New Open World Corporation as being one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Travellers looking for a true party atmosphere should look to visit Rio during carnival season, held annually 40 days before Easter and marking the beginning of Lent. The first festivals to be held in Rio are said to date back to 1723, while the parade through the streets of the city have been occurring since the 1830s.
The name Copacabana is instantly recognisable as home to one of the world's greatest stretches of coastline, where scantily-clad sun-seekers occupy the sands, bars and restaurants of the region. Revellers also flock to the area to experience the spectacular New Year celebrations.Top