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Rio de Janeiro Travel Guide


Rio de Janeiro Introduction


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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—sensuous, chaotic, sophisticated, open and friendly—is one of South America's gems. The Cidade Marvilhosa (Marvelous City), as Brazilians call it, displays a unique blend of contrasts: old and new, tremendous wealth amid crushing poverty, an urban metropolis nestled around mountains and a huge forest.   Click here to see the full Rio de Janeiro travel guide on Travel42 »

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Rio de Janeiro Geography


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Rio lies on the southeastern coast of Brazil. The city has everything it could want within arm's reach: ocean, mountains and the world's largest urban forest (in Tijuca National Park). The city is divided into four parts: Zona Sul (South Zone), Zona Oeste (West Zone), Zona Norte (North Zone) and Centro (downtown).   Click here to see the full Rio de Janeiro travel guide on Travel42 »

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Rio de Janeiro History


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The name Rio de Janeiro, which means "River of January" in Portuguese, alludes to the fact that Portuguese sailors thought Guanabara Bay was a river delta when they first sailed into it on 1 January 1502. After successfully battling the French for control of the bay, the Portuguese established a fortified city, which in 1568 became the city of Rio. Initially eclipsed by Salvador, Brazil's first colonial capital on the coast to the north, as well as other cities in the gold-rich interior, Rio became the capital of Brazil in 1763.   Click here to see the full Rio de Janeiro travel guide on Travel42 »

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Rio de Janeiro Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Rio is a feast of natural and urban attractions that can be enjoyed as sweeping panoramic views or inspected up close. Most visitors opt for a panoramic view as an introduction to the city. The best spots are Pao de Acucar (Sugar Loaf) and Corcovado Mountain, though the more energetic might choose to hike up Gavea Rock. A gondola can take you up Sugar Loaf for a 360-degree view of Rio and Guanabara Bay.   Click here to see the full Rio de Janeiro travel guide on Travel42 »

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Rio de Janeiro Nightlife


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If you want to taste Rio's nightlife, check out live music of all genres in small clubs or the avant-garde dance clubs that showcase the latest in modern rhythms. The city's nighttime offerings reflect the free-spirited and easygoing nature of Cariocas and cater to all tastes and budgets. Be sure to try a caipirinha, Brazil's national cocktail that is made with cachaca (a rum made from sugarcane), sugar and lime.  Click here to see the full Rio de Janeiro travel guide on Travel42 »

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Rio de Janeiro Restaurants & Dining


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Eating well in Rio is a pleasure equal to what you will experience in any of the world's great cities. For a classic local favorite, go to a churrascaria, a Brazilian barbecue restaurant. Most of them operate under the rodizio system (all-you-can-eat, served at your table). Fans of Japanese food will be pleased to know that many churrascarias in the Zona Sul have sushi and sashimi as well. We also recommend you try a restaurant that specializes in comida baiana, a spicy African-influenced cuisine from Bahia (in northeastern Brazil).   Click here to see the full Rio de Janeiro travel guide on Travel42 »

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