Rio de Janeiro, the city, is the capital of Rio de Janeiro State. With a population around 6.5 million, it is the second largest but most infamous Brazilian city. It is known for beautiful scenery, endless beaches, hot bodies and steamy music. Pronounced “hee-oh day jan-air-oh,” meaning, “January River,” it definitely lives up to its fame.
This bay town, a mix of sunny coastline and high mountains inside the city, makes you feel like you are in paradise. The city runs around the base of the mountains while the mountains themselves are home to the notorious favelas. These are the neighborhoods where people live in the thousands, illegally, in makeshift structures.
Some of the more famous mountains are Corcovado Mountain, with the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain, accessed by cable car and home to the most breathtaking views of the city.
Some of the more famous beaches are Leblon, Copacabana, Ipanema and Botafogo. Each beach has its own charm but they are all steaming with hot and quite bare bodies. Brazil’s hot and sexy reputation was well founded in Rio and the locals are more than welcoming to travelers.
However, there are other parts of the city which are worth visiting. Lapa and Santa Teresa are bohemian neighborhoods where you will find great nightlife, restaurants and live music. Rio, of course, is the birthplace of Samba and Bossa Nova. It is also the home to the largest Carnaval parade in Brazil.
Visiting places outside of the city is easy. Buses leave daily to the beaches north and south of the city. The highway runs along the coast and offers breath taking views of mountains cascading into the sea.