Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Rio is nestled between the mountains and the sea.
Its magnificent shoreline includes charming bays and beautiful beaches,
dotted with islands up and down the coast. Few cities in the world manage
to get together, in such a natural way, the ingredients to create a special
place to live. Beaches, sun, samba, football, beautiful and friendly people
and traditional bossa nova are in the neighborhoods. Rio is all about
a stroll at Ipanema or Copacabana Beach, cycling, meeting friends and
admiring the sunset. The city's 6 million inhabitants, known as "Cariocas",
are friendly, carefree people who always seem to find time for the pleasures
of good living. Many hotels are located in the beach districts, especially
in Copacabana and Ipanema. Hundreds of restaurants offer a wide variety
of cuisines from all over the world. A special treat is Brazil's famous
"feijoada", a dish prepared with black beans and pork and served
with manioc flour, rice and kale, and the "Churrasco" the must-eat
Brazilian barbecue feast!
Some of Rio's great attractions are:
A modern Swiss-made cogwheel rail climbs through Tijuca Rain Forest
up to the top of Corcovado mountain (710 m). It takes about 17 min
at a maximum speed of 15km/h on the way up, and 22 min at 12km/h,
on the way down. The trip ensures breathtaking views of Rio, such
as the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. At the very top of the mountain,
and yet after climbing a steep flight of steps, there stands the statue
of Christ, the Redeemer, carved in soapstone mosaic in the finest
art nouveau style. Its 38m high and the outstretched arms blessing
the city have become Rio's most famous postcard.
Conceived in 1908, by Brazilian engineer Augusto Ferreira Ramos,
and inaugurated on October 27th 1912, the Sugar Loaf Mountain cable
car celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2002. As the first cable
car to be installed in Brazil and the third in the world, it is
one of the most important icons of tourism in Rio, and has become
one of the city’s trademarks. After the two step climb, visitors
will admire the unique beauty of Guanabara Bay, Niterói, Copacabana
and Santa Cruz Fortress, a landmark of Rio's history and will certainly
be amazed by the awesome views.
Rio is made of 90 km of white sandy beaches, stretching from
Guanabara Bay, in the east, to Sepetiba Bay, in the west. Going
to the beach is the most attractive program for the local citizens,
so called cariocas. All kind of people, children, teens and old
share the same space to get some fun on their free time or during
the weekends. Each 20m on the coastline hosts different groups.
For example: Arpoador attracts more surfers and Pepê attracts the
youth. Some of the most famous are: Flamengo, Botafogo, Copacabana,
Leme, Arpoador, Ipanema, Leblon, São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca.
Come and enjoy Rio's life style.
The Atlantic Rain Forest
The Tijuca National Park is the largest urban natural reservation
area in the world, covering an area of 3.200hec. and sheltering
an enormous variety of birds and butterflies as well as "prego"
and "sagui" monkeys. It is also home to hundreds of species
of wildlife and plants, nowadays only found in the Atlantic Rainforest,
many of them threatened by extinction. Its historical attractions
and enchanting spots such as "Cascatinha" waterfall, "Mesa
do Imperador", the mammoth granite table used for Imperial
picnics, and "Alto da Boa Vista" are well worth a visit.
Rio was the Brazilian capital until 1960 – when Brasilia, the current
capital, was inaugurated. Walking through the colonial avenues,
squares and back streets one learns about the important historical,
political and social events that shaped Rio into South America's
most exciting city. Focusing on architectural style, fine examples
of Baroque constructions would be the São Bento and Santo Antonio
Monasteries, which recall the times when Brazil was a colony of
Portugal, or others from the 19th century, as the Municipal Theater,
the National Fine Arts Museum, the Candelaria Church, Praça XV and
Arco do Telles. Rio has a major artistic life, exhibited on major
cultural institutions such as "Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil"
and the "Casa França-Brasil".
Maracanã Soccer Stadium
Considered by many soccer fans as the “Temple of the Gods”, it is
one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world. It was built in
1950 to host the World Cup, and it was designed to welcome 166,369
people. Today, after some restorations, it can receive a crowd of
114,145 soccer fans. It is once more under renovation, this time
to host the 2007 Pan-American Games.
The Rio Botanical Garden covers an area of 137 hectares, cultivated
with native vegetation. Some of Brazil's existing ecosystems are
represented in Rio de Janeiro's Botanical Garden, organized in characteristic
settings. Its history begins when the Portuguese Royal Family came
to Brazil, in 1808. Prince João VI acquired a piece of land that
belonged to Rodrigo de Freitas, and ordered that an acclimatization
garden for growing species brought from the East Indies should be
immediately built up. It was first called the Royal Orchard, then
Royal Botanical Garden. For many years, visits were allowed only
when escorted by specialized caretakers. In 1822 though, the Emperor
Pedro I has opened the garden's gates to the public.