Blessed with a wonderful natural setting, wedged among towering hills and the sea, watched from above by Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain, and surrounded by tropical forests and lagoons, Rio de Janeiro (pop. 8 million) has transformed into one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Known to Brazilians as the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (Marvelous City), Rio offers world-class hotels, restaurants, shopping, and varied active sports. Beaches are an integral part of the Rio’s envied lifestyle, highlighted by two of the world’s most famous -- Copacabana and Ipanema. The marvelous city’s pulsating nightlife ranks among the best in the world.
Three to seven nights.
When to go
Although Rio is a year ‘round destination, it is better to avoid the winter (June-August) since temperatures may drop into the 50s and rainfalls are possible. Summer (December-March) is the warmest time of the year with temperatures consistently reaching the 90s. Visitors should also be aware Carnival in Rio is a very busy time and advance reservations are absolutely essential.
• Sugar Loaf: Ride the cable car to the top of famous Sugar Loaf Mountain.
• Corcovado Mountain: Cog-wheel train to the famous Christ statue that presides over Rio.
• Colonial Cities: Visit history-drenched, colonial Petropolis and/or Paraty.
• Rio by Night Tour: Enjoy a succulent dinner at a typical Churrascaria followed by a folkloric show of traditional samba song and dance.
• Schooner Cruise: Best way to enjoy Rio’s surrounding bays and islands.
• Tijuca Forest: On foot and by jeep, a rewarding visit to the world’s only national park within a major city.
• Favela Tour: An insightful experience into Rio’s inner city.