Sunshine, sand, samba, soccer and bossa nova rhythms are the thoughts that come to mind when you think of the beautiful Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. Rio as Brazil’s second largest is popularly known boasts of a stunning topography made up of verdant peaks and golden sand beaches. The city attracts hordes of travelers for its annual festive events such as Carnaval(February), Festa Junina(the Brazilian harvest festival celebrated in June) and Réveillon( New Year’s eve).
If you have plans to book Rio de Janeiro flight tickets for your travel this year, we have compiled a list of its must-see attractions to help you navigate your way through this Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City).
Marvel at Christ the Redeemer
The most iconic attraction in Rio is the 98-foot tall, art deco statue of Christ the Redeemer “Cristo Redentor” that watches over the city from atop Mount Corcovado. The concrete and soapstone sculptor, which dates back to 1922, features Christ with his arms outstretched. Visitors to the monument initially used to hike up the 2300-foot high granite peak but now most visitors use the train service that snakes up the incline and provides access to the observation deck located at the base of the statue.
You could combine a trip to Mount Corcovado with an exploration around the verdant Tijuca National Park that surrounds the peak. The Tijuca National Park is Rio’s urban rain forest, which apart from Mount Corcovado hosts various other attractions such as the Mayrink Chapel and the Cascatinha Waterfall that tumbles down a height of more than hundred feet.
Take in the views from atop Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf Mountain is yet another famous promontory in Rio. Rising to a height of 1300 feet above Guanabara Bay, the summit of the peak offers 360-degree views of the pulsating city and the lush forests and azure waters that surround it. While some adventurous folks choose to hike up this quartz and granite peak, most visitors elect to ride the glass-walled cable car that first transports them to the top of Urca Hill from where they transfer to a second cable car that takes them up to the summit of the peak. Located here are several restaurants and eateries so visitors can enjoy a bite while they soak in the breathtaking views.
Immerse yourself in beach culture at Copacabana and Ipanema beaches
Rio is primarily a beach resort town and beach culture is vital to the lives of the ‘cariocas’ (residents of Rio de Janeiro). The city’s most famous beaches Copacabana and Ipanema are located in the Zona Sul or South Zone, an upscale district of the city. Rio’s beaches are a hive of activity year round as they attract a whole host of folk including sunbathers, volleyball players, surfers, picnickers in addition to gawking tourists. Art galleries, restaurants, cafes, theaters and clubs line these beautiful beachfronts and provide additional avenues of entertainment.
Get lost in the world of plants at Jardim Botanico
Every urban metropolis needs to have a green lung for its well-being and Rio’s expansive Jadim Botanico fulfills this need. This wonderful green space which features more than eight thousand species of plants including six hundred varieties of orchids, interspersed with fountains and monuments was conceived and established in the early 1800’s and continues to wow visitors until today. The Jardim Botanico is open everyday from 8am to 5pm except for Monday when it opens at midday.
Get a taste of soccer madness at Maracanã Stadium
Soccer (football) is the most important sport in Brazil. The Maracanã Stadium was built in 1950 when it could accommodate 20,000 fans. Subsequent enhancements during the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics have increased the stadium’s capacity to 78,000 seats. Try and catch a game at the Maracanã or then take one of the many tours on offer to learn about its history.
Dance to the Samba beat on tour of Cidade do Samba
If you cannot visit Rio during its biggest party the Carnaval, then you can get a sense of all the action by taking a tour of Samba City. This facility is the locale where Rio’s top Samba schools construct their floats and costumes for the Samba parades of the Carnaval. Tours of t