Rio de Janiero is a prime vacation spot in Brazil that provides a city atmosphere with access to sandy beaches, beautiful mountains, and vibrant rainforests. Rio de Janiero also has a lot of culture and fantastic people to learn about.
A Brief City History
Rio de Janiero was originally named by Portuguese explorers who thought they had found a river, which is why they named this area Rio de Janiero, or River of January. There were indigenous people in Brazil before the Portuguese arrived, but the Portuguese transformed trade and life in Brazil. Much of the architecture in Rio is influenced by Portuguese rule. Portuguese is also the main language of Brazil, while the rest of South America mainly speaks Spanish.
Rio de Janiero has jumped in to the spotlight as a top travel destination due to hosting the World Cup and the 2016 summer Olympics. However, there are many reasons to visit besides these two major events. Rio is a city where you can have urban luxuries but also experience the wildlife of South America. If you are looking for a beach getaway, check out Grumari Beach. This beach does not have beachfront hotels or high end restaurants dotting the shoreline, but it is one of the most pristine beaches in Brazil. If you are looking for a beach with more amentities, check out Ipanema Beach. This beach has great food and provides more of a chance to get to know the local people. Grumari Beach and Ipanema Beach are about an hour drive from each other, and there is the possibility to see both of them in one trip if you are looking to spend most of your vacation beachside.
Tijuca National Park is also a great place to check out. It is the largest urban rainforest on the planet, and there are some great opportunities to see wildlife, do some hiking, and participate in some adventure activities. At Tijuca National Park, you can explore on foot or take a jeep with an English speaking tour guide to learn more about the wildlife and the history of the park. There are also opportunities to hang-glide and do other adventure sports. Admission is free to get into the park, and it is open from 8am to 5pm daily.
If you are making a trip to Rio de Janiero, you have to see one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the statue of Christ the Redeemer. This statue, one of the seven wonders of the world, is 125 feet tall. It is located in Tijuca National Park on top of Corcovado Mountain. The statue can be reached by train, car, or by hiking. While Tijuca National Park is free, a visit to the statue of Christ the Redeemer is not. Trains cost about $25, and run from 8:30am to 7pm everyday.
Rio de Janiero is a bustling city with many options for a visit, no matter how you want to spend your vacation. Whether you want to be on the beach, getting to know the local culture, exploring rainforests, or seeing impressive landmarks, Rio has something for everyone.