Rio de Janiero

Celebrated world-wide for its carnivals and festivals, Rio de Janiero is the second largest city in Brazil. Made up of beautiful beaches and tropical forests, “Rio”, as it is commonly known, is a traveler’s paradise of music, food, climate and culture. Rio will be home to the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016 which will bring new development and infrastructure to this vibrant home for celebration, both historical and modern.

Located between the mountains and the sea, Rio is rich with natural beauty. Known for its tiny bikini’s and tropical tans, the beaches of Rio de Janiero are packed with locals and visitors from the world over. Carnival takes place in January or February each year and is the main attraction for many travelers to the city; however, historical museums, religious art and a vibrant nightlife make Rio a popular destination year round.

Climate in Rio de Janiero

Rio has a tropical savanna climate which is characterized by warm weather year round. Summer falls between November and March and can be hot and humid with long periods of rain. Winter is short, never cold and mostly dry. 

Activities in Rio de Janiero

Rio Carnival stems from a Catholic Church spring thanksgiving celebration dating from the middle Ages in Europe. Carnival is always held four or five days before Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent. In 1984 the Sambodromo was constructed to host the parade of samba schools, colorful floats, extravagant costumes, exotic dancers and vibrant music that make up the festival. Spectators gather at the end of the quarter mile stretch to watch the samba schools perform before judges as they compete for the championship title. Night-long costume balls are held in the major hotels. Carnival is now celebrated in all the cities of Brazil but Rio still is and always will be the home for this magnificent celebration.

June bonfire festivals are held in Rio's squares, clubs, schools and churches surrounding the feasts of St. John, St. Anthony and St. Peter. Brazilian culture and tradition are exemplified by the bonfires with mock country weddings, fireworks, dancing, music and food. 

New Year’s Eve is celebrated in Rio as passionately as it is world-wide. Reveillon, as it is known, is one of the city’s biggest celebrations. Over two million people will visit Copacabana Beach for the extravaganza. Party goers dress in white to symbolize the end of the current year and celebrate the beginning of the next. Hotels and clubs host formal balls and parties rich with amazing food and décor.

Sightseeing in Rio de Janiero

Sugar Loaf Mountains is situated on a peninsula that stretches from Guanabara Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. Comprised of granite and quartz the mountain rises from the water surrounding Rio and is a part of a trio of mountains in the area ripe for rock climbers.

Ipanema Beach was named by the Travel Channel as the world’s sexiest beach. Beer and Cachaca are sold everywhere on the beach which is divided into segments known as “postos”. Foot volley is a combination of football and volleyball that originated in Brazil is commonly played along the beachfront. 

Maracana Stadium is the largest venue of its kind in South America. Originally constructed in 1950 to host the FIFA World Cup, the stadium now plays host to major football matches, concerts and sporting events. 

Leblon is one of Rio de Janiero’s most elegant and affluent beaches. The beach is not as trendy or hip as other beaches but hosts many attractions for families traveling with children. 

The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is Rio de Janiero’s most famous landmark.

Cuisine in Rio de Janiero

Red meat is the staple of Brazilian barbeque known as Churrascarias. Local fare tends to be oily, sweet and salty but mildly spiced. Some restaurants in Rio offer a pay by weight system that allows diners to sample a variety of dishes picked from a buffet and prepared to order by the chefs. Brazilian coffee is very popular drink at one of the numerous corner bars.

Travel to Rio de Janiero/Passports

Flights to Rio de Janeiro can be expensive, particularly over the busy Carnival season. Direct flights from the US to Buenos Aires are available but indirect flights are generally cheaper. The metro is the quickest and easiest way to get around Rio de Janiero but with only two lines it can be limited. Buses are the most inexpensive means of travel in the city but can be crowded, slow and poorly driven. Taxis are plentiful and run around the clock. Radiotaxi can be ordered and is said to be safer, but is 30% more expensive than regular taxis. Brazil requires U.S. citizens to carry a valid U.S. passport and visa when traveling to Brazil for any purpose. You must obtain your Brazilian visa in advance from the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate nearest to your place of residence in the United States. There are no "airport visas" and immigration authorities will refuse entry into Brazil to anyone not possessing a valid visa. The U.S. government cannot assist you if you arrive in Brazil without proper documentation.


 

 

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