Overview of Brazil
There is so much to see and do in Rio de Janeiro that – whatever your preference may be– you'll have many options to experience the city, culture, and people of Brazil during the Olympics. Below you will find examples of things to do and places to visit in Rio de Janeiro:
Carnival is 4 days long and attracts thousands of people, all of whom heartily enjoy unique Samba dancing and an abundance of food and drink. The festival occurs 14 days prior to the start of Lent. This colorful and lively event is a joyous celebration not to be missed. Another major celebration is during New Years, when everyone packs the beaches for an all night festival featuring a beautiful display of fireworks that light up the Copacabana beach. If you cannot make it to Rio during one of the celebrations, head to the Lapa neighborhood, the heart of Rio's nightlife where you can dance to the rhythm of the samba.
Copacabana is home to one of the most famous beaches in the world. The Copacabana beach area, a 3-mile long stretch of coast also features some of the city's best restaurants, hotels and shopping. The beachfront and promenade hosts many events including concerts and venues for sports events, such as the World Cup and the Olympics. The area is very popular with tourists and is easy to access from the city center.
Ipanema and Leblon
Ipanema and Leblon are two of the liveliest neighborhoods found in Rio's Southern Zone. The neighborhoods offer beautiful beaches that are typically less crowded than the nearby Copacabana. Ipanema's beach area features street vendors selling all kinds of local artistry and crafts. There is also a weekly Hippy Fair (Babilonia Feira Hype), where you can hear live music and get a henna tattoo, and more. Arpoador Rock is located on the border of Ipanema and Copacabana. The rock formations juts out into the sea and offer great views. It is the perfect place to view the sunset of the beautiful scenery of Rio de Janeiro. Parque Lage is centered on the former 1920s mansion of Henrique Lage, who was a successful shipbuilder. The mansion now functions as an art school and a café. The grounds include an aquarium and a trail leading to Corcovado mountain, home of the Christ the Redeemer statue. The 125-foot statue of Jesus sits atop Corcovado, a granite peak located in central Rio de Janeiro. It is one of the most iconic Brazilian and religious images and well worth the trip up the mountain.
Jardim Botanico is home to 338 acres of lush greenery and flora. The garden has the world's largest collection of Amazonian plants outside of the Amazon rainforest. The surrounding neighborhood, also in the Zona Sul, is named after the beautiful park.
Santa Teresa is one of Rio's most popular neighborhoods. It is a hilltop neighborhood featuring a laidback vibe and easy access to other parts of the city. Many artists and musicians reside in the area, contributing to its bohemian atmosphere. Santa Teresa is home to some of the city's must see sites, two of which are the Museu de Arte do Rio and Parque das Ruinas. Museu de Arte do Rio is dedicated to the history of the city. It is housed both in a colonial-era mansion and a modern building, a fitting metaphor for the state of Rio itself. Parque das Ruinas was originally the mansion of the heiress and art patron Laurinda Santos Lobo. It has been renovated and now contains a cafe, frequent outdoor concerts and an impressive art collection. The parque also offers impressive panoramic views of the city.
Sugar Loaf Mountain
The famous Sugar Loaf Mountain is found in the Urca neighborhood. The name is an ode to Brazil's previously thriving sugarcane industry, as the mountain is said to resemble refined loaf sugar. It is possible to take a cable car up the mountain, whose peak measures almost 1300 ft. above sea level. At the top, one is treated to a stunning panorama featuring the metropolis, jungle and beaches.
Tijuca Park is a mountainous rainforest located in the center of the bustling city. For outdoorsy travelers, there are great hikes to waterfalls and summits, including Pedra Bonita, which offers beautiful views of the city and beaches below. Pedra Bonita also offers hangliding, for those who really want a unique view and thrill. There are two main entrances into the Tijuca Forest, found in the neighborhoods of Tijuca and Barra da Tijuca.
We welcome any questions, feedback, or suggestions you may have regarding this website or other resources. Please contact us.