Ah, Rio de Janeiro…Does anyone not recognize this photo as spectacular Rio? The cidade maravilhosa is called Rio de Janeiro because the Portuguese explorers who landed there on January 1, 1502 mistook Guanabara Bay for a river. Later, Portuguese settlers founded Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, and the city became wealthy exporting diamonds, gold and sugar. It was the capital, and home of Brazil’s monarchs, until Brasilia was built in the 1960’s. Rio is one of the top destinations for world travelers.

(source: http://gosouthamerica.about.com/cs/rioabout/p/RiodeJaneiro.htm)

There are many things you can do as well as sites to see in Rio. Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) is known as a place where wide ranging views of Rio and beyond may be savored.(…) Click here for a virtual tour of SugarLoaf Mountain.

Another great area to go to is the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Gardens) which is situated near the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon).(…) Of the 8,000 plant species which grow in the 350-acre expanse, many are towering, mature trees, including the royal palms which have become the Garden’s symbol and pau-brasil, which has given the country its name. The Botanical Garden is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Click here to read more and see more photos about the Botanical Gardens.

Surrounded by Rio’s favorite neighborhoods _ Lagoa, Ipanema, Leblon, Gávea e Jardim Botânico – framed by mountains and embraced by Christ the Redeemer, the Lagoon is an impressive sight at sunset as the light reflects on its serene quiet waters and it becomes a meeting place for cariocas and visitors alike. Linked to the sea by the Jardim de Alah canal that divides Ipanema from Leblon, it is encircled by parks, multi-sports courts, a roller-skating rink, a heliport, jogging and bicycle paths, and an outdoor food court with kiosks serving a wide variety of dishes ranging from German to Japanese, in addition to live music that starts at sunset. On Sundays and holidays, paddleboats reveal to visitors a unique view of everything one of the most beautiful Rio postcards can offer.

The banks of the lagoon contain one of the best-equipped leisure areas in the city and invite the visitor to go walking, jogging or cycling on bicycles hired on the spot. The 7.5 km include the Parques dos Patins, Taboas e Catacumba (Patins, Taboas and Catacumba Parks). The three parks offer countless sporting and gastronomic options. Follows below a little itinerary:

Parque dos Patins (Av. Borges de Medeiros s/nº)

Between Club Piraque and the heliport, Parque dos Patins may be a good leisure option with several activities from skating to simultaneous shows at the kiosks that serve a great variety of dishes of different cuisine from around the world.

Parque da Catacumba (Av. Epitácio Pessoa s/nº)

This scenic park may be seen as a lovely open-air museum inside a small nature reserve. A total of 32 sculptures by different artists integrate harmoniously the atmosphere of the park, which is ideal for strolls. Great dishes and tidbits from all over the world are offered as well.

Parque dos Taboas (Av. Borges de Medeiros s/nº)

Between two famous Rio clubs, Clube de Regats Flamento and Clube Caiçaras, the park is a real sports court that assembles aficionados of various sports such as soccer, tennis and skating. Kiosks are found in the sports area.

Address: Av. Epitácio Pessoa e Avenida Borges de Medeiros – Lagoa. (Source: http://www.rio.rj.gov.br/web/riotur.en/exibeconteudo?article-id=156990)

Parque do Flamengo is a favored park with locals along with families and couples. The Parque do Flamengo can be found close to Guanabara Bay and is an excellent place to take part in sporting activities as well as leisure time pursuits. One can find cycle pathways, walking trails, ball courts and playgrounds. (…) (source:http://www.articlesbook.com/there-are-many-things-to-see-and-do-in-rio-de-janeiro/)

Christ Redeemer, symbol of the City of Rio de Janeiro, is one of the 7 New Wonders of the Modern World. From its 38 meter of height – and 710 meters of the Corcovado Hill – , the Christ is the image of the carioca people faith and sympathy. The high point was the opening of the mechanized access in 2002, with panoramic elevators and escalators. Thus, there is no longer the need to climb 220 steps of stairs that lead to the statue’s feet. The Christ Redeemer counts now on three panoramic elevators, each one capable of taking 14 people. The access is through an area that assists both the visitors that arrive by car and the visitors that come from the Railroad platform of the Corcovado station. Metallic footbridges were also built, sustained by another structure with approximately four meters wide and four escalators, with traffic capacity of 9 thousand people per hour. The trip starts there, for the tower, with 31 meters in height, will uncover the first view of the city. To complete the access to the statue, four escalators were installed.  (Source: http://www.rio.rj.gov.br/web/riotur.en/exibeconteudo?article-id=156739)

It’s almost impossible for visitors to Rio to resist the charm of the city’s eighty kilometers of beaches. Framed by the wavy black and white mosaics of Avenue Atlântica, Copacabana is one of the main reasons for this fascination. In fact, there are two separate beaches here: Leme (one kilometer) and Copacabana, (just over three kilometers). A center of activity both night and day, the beach is lined with kiosks, a bicycle path and racks, lifeguard posts, public showers and bathrooms, hotels, bars and open-air restaurants. The Military Forts at each end are open to visitors, offering panoramic views.

Maracanã, international symbol of soccer-land, preserves the history of the sport that looks just like Brazil. Among the wonders of Rio, Maracanã, largest stadium in the world, is one of the country’s major tourist and cultural patrimonies. In the land of soccer, where this sport is a religion, many consider it the Temple of the Gods. It was built in 1950 for the World Cup, and designed to hold 166,369 spectators. Currently, after reforms, it can hold up to 114,145.


Click here to read about other tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro, the wonderful city, on RIOTUR website.