Rio de Janeiro – the city’s name alone conjures up images of pristine beaches, lush forests, and thrilling celebrations. Sitting on top of the Corcovado Mountain, Christ the Redeemer watches over the two-faced party capital of Latin America, split between a bustling urban landscape and an outstanding natural environment. Rio is a city like no other, known worldwide for its magnificent New Year firework display on Copacabana beach, its explosive carnival, its joyful people, and exquisite multicultural cuisine.
Do & See
Christ the Redeemer
Standing on top of Corcovado Mountain, 710 meters above the sea level, Christ the Redeemer overlooks the metropolis below with outstretched arms. The statue, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, embraces the whole city, welcomes and protects, yet appears to keep a watchful eye on locals and visitors.
Venture up through the Tijuca Rain Forest to the top of the mountain for a closer look and be rewarded by fabulous views of Sugar Loaf Mountain, Copacabana, Ipanema, the Maracanã Stadium and the Serra do Órgãos mountain range. You can hike up to the statue or comfortably reach it by way of a twenty-minute tram/car ride.
Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro
Admire Rio's flora and fauna in the botanical garden which sits right next to the Tijuca National Park, naturally attracting different animal species to settle. If you check their schedule, you can participate in night strolls through the park or listen to an educational lecture in the green.
Being the largest aquarium in south america, AquaRio holds up to 8000 animals of 350 different species in their tanks. Stroll through tunnels amidst the marine animals to admire the colourful fish and corals. An exciting experience not only for families but also for anyone with an interest in wildlife.
“Rio is a beauty. But São Paulo – São Paulo is a city,” said Marlene Dietrich about Brazil’s most cosmopolitan city. The city is Brazil’s cultural as well as financial powerhouse, complete with a vibrant music scene, top designer shopping and delicious fusion cuisine, not to mention world-class museums and art galleries. All this is combined with the vibrant local life of Paulistanos, who will surely be easy to make friends with.
Do & See
Parque do Ibirapuera
São Paulo's very own Central Park boasts over 2 million square meters of green space. The best way to explore it is to hire a bike. On Sunday mornings there are free music concerts in the Praça da Paz; the Museu de Arte Moderna, the superb Museu Afro Brasil and the OCA Auditorium are all at Gate 3.
Memorial da America Latina
This is a masterpiece of Brazilian modernism designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Be sure to visit the Art Gallery and the Hall of Creativity, a museum dedicated to Latin American folk-art. Do not miss the giant hand with a blood-red map of South America etched upon it.
A museum dedicated to telling the story of Brazil's African-descended population, the largest outside Africa. Here you will find a vibrant and intelligent celebration of the culture and achievements of the African diaspora complete with plenty of art and some stunning photography exhibitions.