Rio de Janeiro is “A Cidade Maravilhosa” -- “The Marvellous City”. This Brazilian city is aptly named for its breathtaking landscapes, laidback beach culture, and distinguished architecture.
The city’s golden beaches are famous among tourists on a Rio de Janeiro holiday. The Guanabara Bay beaches are ideal for surfing. Surfers here ride the waves in the popular, unorthodox way called pegar jacaré, meaning to “grab an alligator.” They turn their backs on the wave and swim on top of it until it hits the shore.
Legendary Copacobana beach, with its long, spotless stretch of white sand and clear waters, is a mecca for sun worshippers. When night falls the beach transforms into a party centre. Ipanema beach, on the other hand, is known as the “family beach.” Its azure waters and soft sand entices beachgoers to take a dip or bask under the sun.
Another popular tourist destination, the Sugar Loaf Mountain was formed about 600 million years ago, marking the entrance to Guanabara Bay and serving as guide to navigators during the past centuries. Hike up the rugged mountain trail, or catch a thrilling cable car ride which takes tourists up 400 metres, allowing panoramic views of Corcovado Mountain, Niteiro Bridge, Guanabara Bay, and Copacobana beach.
Climbing Corcovado Mountain is another challenge, rewarded by picturesque views of Rio de Janeiro. Rising 704 metres above sea level, it features a huge statue of Christ the Redeemer, which overlooks the city’s town districts including Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana.
Rio de Janeiro also features some fine architectural works. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in downtown Rio takes visitors on an extraordinary cultural experience with its exhibitions, art films and film festivals, paintings and sculptures, and contemporary photography exhibits. It has three theatres, four exhibition rooms, video room, cinema, and a library. Other notable buildings include Palácio Gustavo Capanema, a pioneer in modern architecture, and Catedral Metropolitana, the cone-shaped cathedral.