A setting on Brazil’s beautiful coastline guaranteed that Rio de Janeiro would be blessed with good looks. Surrounded by beaches and mountains, the city skyline is one of the most iconic in the world – characterised by the round mass of Sugarloaf Mountain, tiny cable cars gliding across the sky and the wide stance of Christ the Redeemer, presiding over the city from the top of Corcovado. On terra firma you’ll find two famous beaches equal in beauty – Ipanema with its bustling social scene and art markets, and Copacabana with its wavy paved promenade and frequent festivals – as well as many contrasting neighbourhoods ranging from the colourful favelas to grand villas.
It’s not essential to plan your Rio de Janeiro holidays around the iconic carnival – and you’re like to see more of the city if you don’t – but experiencing the city’s week-long fiesta of samba, celebration and colourful costumes is the pinnacle of any stay in the city. Revellers crowd into the streets and party around the clock, with visitors coming from around the world to participate in the celebrations – the carnival is so popular that hotels impose a minimum stay of four or five nights. The best vantage point for taking it all in is within the Sambadrome, where the finest samba schools in the city parade – we can arrange tickets for your stay.
Call our South America Destination Experts for more information on holidays to Rio de Janeiro and to book your adventure to Brazil.
If the drums and dancing gets too much there are plenty of sights around the city where you can catch your breath. From the top of Sugarloaf Mountain you’ll have a spectacular vantage point across the skyline, and among the dense forest of Tijuca and in small towns like Petropolis you’ll find a little peace and tranquility. Outside of carnival season the city is still brimming with life, and there are many incredible eateries to try, clubs to dance at and sociable bars called botequins in which to order a signature caipirinha cocktail. Thanks to the 2016 Olympic Games the city has benefited from much-needed regeneration which has improved transport links, and added modern attractions that cater to tourists – such as the Museum of Tomorrow, dedicated to sustainable living and the future of our world. Historians will enjoy Rio de Janeiro’s charming Santa Teresa district, which has plenty of old-world charm, in its cobbled streets, independent boutiques and backstreet bars.