Rio de Janeiro
Gritty, sexy, chaotic, captivating: it's Rio baby! With the alluring beat of samba as their soundtrack, Rio's cariocas (locals) have perfected the art of living for the moment. From the pulse of music in festive Lapa to the games of futvolei on Ipanema Beach, this city has a certain sexy vibe that makes you want to party. Fill your holiday in Rio de Janeiro with its festival atmosphere, lazing on sugary, white sand beaches during the day and drinking caipirinhas and dancing in a beachside club at night.
Towering over Rio's sparkling harbour, Sugar Loaf Mountain is one of the city's icons. Riding the cable car to the top is one of Rio's best-known things to do here. From the top you have 360-degree views across Rio's beaches, the city centre, and God's Finger (a peak rising from Brazil's coastal range).
Copacabana is quintessentially Rio. This strip of silky white sand is what everyone imagines when the word Rio is mentioned. Beachfront bars, barely-bikini clad ladies and pure, unadulterated fun in the sun. Stroll the Burle Marx-designed sidewalks to see chic boutiques and pumping nightclubs or people watch as you laze on the sugary sand with a caipirinha in hand.
Rio’s Carnival is the most famously over-the-top carnival. Every year approximately 500,000 visitors come to take part in this elaborate street party. Carnival storms through Rio with hip-shaking samba and frevo, spectacular costumes, and an unforgettable party atmosphere. The highlight of Carnival is the samba school parade, an imaginative, colourful, elaborate, and festival parade illustrating floats and costumes of each school’s theme.
The wide open arms of the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue overlooks Rio from the top of Corcovado Mountain. Take the funicular train from Cosme Velho, ride the escalators, or take the elevators to the top, or if you want to skip the queue, climb the steps. From Corcovado the whole of Rio is spread beneath your feet.