Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is a city in Brazil that offers a diverse array of natural beauty, as well as ornate architectural views that adorn its majestic landscape, and lovely water views, particularly at the Rio de Janeiro Harbor, a picturesque entry to the city from the Atlantic Ocean itself.

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

History of Rio de Janeiro

While this well-known city is now a major transportation hub in Brazil, second only to Sao Paulo, it was founded, ironically, as a fortification to deter French travelers who were profiteering with wood and other goods from Brazil, eroding the supply for Brazilian merchants. Brazil became an independent Monarchy (formerly under Portuguese rule) in 1822.

Rio was the capital city until passing that distinction on to Brasilia in 1960. A recent honor bestowed upon the city was its selection in 2009 as the site of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. This was the City’s 5th time bidding for the honor.

Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro

Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro

Attractions

Corcovado

A great tourist attraction for its breathtaking beauty and for the very famed Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue located there. This scenic spot can now be accessed by both Onibus and /or taxi and to reach the top, the most popular way to go is a funicular train that gives a feast of lush vegetation to view on the way up.

Overhead cable car in Sugarloaf Mountain, Brazil

Overhead cable car in Sugarloaf Mountain, Brazil

Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain)

This mountain, as well as its smaller twin mountain, Morro da Urca, is another popular destination offering panoramic views of the surrounding land and is 600 million years old, made primarily of granite. The site can be reached by aerial cable car or by bus.

Museums and Parks

Numerous other museums and parks can enrich one’s experience in Brazilian arts and topographical beauty. What is presented here is just a synopsis to give you the ‘flavor’ of what you might find there.

Museum of Tomorrow - artistically designed by Santiago Calatrava, Spanish architect

Museum of Tomorrow – artistically designed by Santiago Calatrava, Spanish architect

Instituto Moreira Salles

An art museum, it is a modern white building designed by architect Olavo Redig, with mural and courtyard designed by Roberto Burle Marx. This famed building houses the most extensive collection of Brazilian art in the country.

Jardim Botanico (Botanic Gardens)

In addition to exhibiting lush vegetation, there are beautiful and colorful birds, butterflies, primates, and other wonderful creatures. The garden also has some restaurants and at least one café, with picturesque views. If travelling there by bus, it should be noted that there is a residential neighborhood of the same name, so travelers need to ensure they are going to the true garden.

Rio de Janeiro Brazil by night

Rio de Janeiro Brazil by night

Beaches

There are numerous scenic beaches, favored by even the most seasoned travelers for their cleanliness and white sands. Most of these are oceanic beaches, though several, are also within the bay. It should be noted that numerous sites are observed not to be suitable for swimming! One among these is Abrico, the one known nudist beach. For specific sites and swimming advisability, please refer to WikiTravel – Rio de Janeiro. (It includes an extensive list of photos and descriptions.)

Hang glider in Rio de Janeiro beach

Hang glider in a Rio de Janeiro beach

Traveling to and Within Rio

Air travel into Rio de Janeiro is seldom difficult, with connections available in numerous US cities as well as numerous worldwide cities that have flights into the popular destination. Getting around within the city can be done by bus, train, rental car, or taxi. There are numerous competing taxi companies that may aggressively approach the traveler leaving the airport environs. If this is your chosen mode of transport, you may wish to check with the attendants at the booths as you exit Customs. And then make arrangements through them rather than allowing cab drivers to plan a longer route to increase your fee to them.

Tijuca Forest in Rio

Tijuca Forest in Rio

The land in Rio is rich in natural beauty and history, and its architecture and beaches bring you a rich cultural experience. We again refer you to http://wikitravel.org/en/Rio_de_Janeiro for a comprehensive view of what you can look forward to for the best memories you can build there.