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Overview

Rio has always lived up to its title as the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (Marvelous City). However, after decades of being down and out (not to mention dangerous), the city is enjoying an unprecedented stint as a global “It” city. Police pacification units have brought safety to city streets as well as hilltop favelas. Meanwhile, Rio’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics has spurred revitalization of regions such as the historic port zone while spawning new museums and cultural venues, not to mention innovative restaurants, bars, and B&Bs. The birthplace of musical genres ranging from chorinho and Carioca samba to bossa nova and funk, ...

Rio has always lived up to its title as the “Cidade Maravilhosa” (Marvelous City). However, after decades of being down and out (not to mention dangerous), the city is enjoying an unprecedented stint as a global “It” city. Police pacification units have brought safety to city streets as well as hilltop favelas. Meanwhile, Rio’s hosting of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics has spurred revitalization of regions such as the historic port zone while spawning new museums and cultural venues, not to mention innovative restaurants, bars, and B&Bs. The birthplace of musical genres ranging from chorinho and Carioca samba to bossa nova and funk, Rio’s musical scene is not only off the charts but in the streets, especially during its five-day hedonistic extravaganza known as Carnaval. However, Rio is as famously relaxing as it is frenzied. Amidst the city’s stunning natural setting, you can while away a day on the legendary white sand beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon, climb the iconic faces of Sugarloaf or Corcovado mountains, or go hiking, biking, or picnicking through Floresta da Tijuca, the largest urban forest on the planet.

Michael Sommers
About the Expert

Michael Sommers is the author of Moon Brazil and Moon Rio, as well as the blog Thrill of Brazil. He has been living in Salvador, Brazil since 1999.

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Michael Sommers for Triporati

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Now Happening in Rio de Janeiro

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer is hot, humid, often rainy, but very festive. If you're not into partying, avoid New Year's and Carnaval when crowds are legion and prices astronomical. Other times of the year are lovely, but beware of cold fronts bringing rain and cool temperatures in winter, which will put a damper on beach-going.