Rio de Janeiro
Under its false appearance of a hectic megalopolis, sometimes European, sometimes American, the city of Rio de Janeiro is above all profoundly Brazilian. Rio is located in the bay of Guanabara, in the south of Brazil. It is among the most beautiful cities in the world with Hong Kong and San Francisco and inspires awe just at the mention of its name. It is by offering its visitors breathtaking panoramas, in a unique natural setting, that Rio has gained its nickname of “Cidade Maravilhosa“, the “Wonderful City”.
Geography and climate
Curves which make all the cities on the planet pale in comparison
It is a harmoniously uneven relief that presents itself to you when you arrive in Rio. The 6 million cariocas that populate the city and the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors can enjoy all that nature has to offer in a single city. From mountains, “morros” (“mounts”), to lakes and coves, tropical forests and superb beaches, Rio de Janeiro rises to an altitude of 380 metres and extends over 1,260 square kilometers, or about twelve times the size of Paris within the city walls! It is this exceptional and varied environment that gives Rio its beauty. A guaranteed favorite at first sight!
A pleasant tropical climate, with its own character
In Rio you can experience a tropical savannah climate. The seasons are the opposite of those in Europe because it is in the southern hemisphere. From May to November, winter is drier than summer (average rainfall between 40 and 60mm) with variations due to altitude and average temperatures ranging from 18°C to 20°C, with day temperatures regularly falling below 15°C. Between December and April, winter gives way to the warmer and wetter summer season (average rainfall between 120 and 130mm). Average temperatures range from 25°C to 26°C, with heat peaks sometimes in excess of 40°C !
Rio de Janeiro - Brésil
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A few word about Rio de Janeiro
Rio is famous throughout the world for the bustle of its famous beaches such as Copacabana, Ipanema, for the famous “Sugar Loaf” or Corcovado where the impressive statue of Christ the Redeemer sits. However, the city reveals all its charms in the heart of its more traditional picturesque districts, where music and a gentle lifestyle are key. As the birthplace of bossa nova and a mecca for samba and Batucada, Rio vibrates to the rhythm of musical styles that are typical of Brazil. It is then easier to understand why the “king of pop”, Michael Jackson, chose the Santa Marta district in 1996 as the setting for the shooting of his video clip “They don’t care about us”, a major world-wide hit.
Many other neighborhoods once plagued by violence and drug trafficking are now turning into “trendy” suburbs where life is sweet and the streets are safe. In the Santa Teresa district, for example, not far from the city center you can enjoy charming architecture, cobbled streets and small restaurants with quiet terraces.
A little bit of history
Did you know that Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil for a long time? Since the country’s declaration of independence in 1822, Rio has had the status of Capital of the Empire of Brazil (1822-1888) and Capital of the Republic of the United States of Brazil (1889-1960) before the power was transferred to Brasilia.
Our expert opinion
A city to visit all year round, but not anytime of the year
You will have understood this: with an average annual temperature of 24°C Rio and its Christ the Redeemer welcomes visitors with open arms all year round. However there are certain seasons to choose according to what you want to see and do. While the period from May to November seems to be the most ideal time to visit the “Cidade Maravilhosa” we invite you to plan your visit well and to get in touch with our teams so that your travel period in Rio de Janeiro is the one you expect.
Rio reveals all its secrets when you take the time to look for them
Beyond the must-see sites that you can easily visit yourself and for which Rio is world-famous, there are a multitude of districts, certainly less known, but of equal interest. These charming places will take you on a journey through the history and past of this city which, for a very long time, was the capital of the country. It is in these more traditional alleys, away from the main roads, that you will immerse yourself in the true local Carioca culture. Some favelas, now peaceful, have goods and beauty to offer if you visit them with a local guide. We invite you to contact our agency to plan your stay in Rio off the beaten track.
Frequent events that require preparation
Rio +20 Summit, World Youth Day, FIFA Football World Cup, Olympic Games are all global events that Rio de Janeiro has hosted in recent years. Brazil’s second largest city attracts visitors from all over the world but also the most important international events. It is therefore advisable to check the calendar of these events before leaving. As the accommodation supply is limited, thinking about preparing your trip properly could avoid problems of unavailability of accommodation and allow you to save precious money !
Why you should visit Rio de Janeiro
- For its incomparable silhouette and perfect curves
- For its exciting and diverse culture
- For its welcoming and smiling inhabitants
- To relax on the most famous beaches in the world
- To walk around in a real-life movie set
- To discover a dynamic and relaxed megalopolis
- To stay in one place without ever getting bored
- For a stay full of flavors with bossa nova and samba in the back
Some ideas to make your stay in Rio de Janeiro unforgettable
- Take a samba class and put your skills into practice in an evening dance bar
- Learn to cook like a real carioca
- Take a selfie on the statue of Christ the Redeemer with Rio Bay in the background
- Enjoy a fresh conco agua de côco along the coast
- Go for a hike in the peaceful favela dos Dois Irmãos (“the two brothers”)
- Cycling through the city’s streets
- Attend a local football match to experience the excitement of this Brazilian national sport
- Watch the sunset over the bay of Rio
- Take the tramway to get around efficiently and pleasantly on the steep streets of some neighborhoods
Information and anecdotes
An architecture that not everyone can enjoy
Despite its many assets, Rio’s architecture cannot really be considered a strength. Although there are some superb buildings such as the Municipal Theater, the city’s architecture is rather sober and lacks real charm. Fortunately, Rio can count on its unique natural setting, which easily justifies its position as one of the most beautiful cities on the planet.
In Rio, it is not always sunny summer
Rio is all about the sun, the beach, bodybuilders and beach volleyball games in Copacabana. But be careful, in Rio the rainy season is very present and it is not uncommon for temperatures to fall below 15°C in winter.
The Carnaval does not last all year round
The event is so important and iconic in the city that one could almost forget that the famous Carnaval is ephemeral. In reality it only lasts a few days in February but it is nevertheless unique and intense. Music lovers can rest assured that there are always opportunities to attend concerts of samba, bossa nova or other Brazilian musical styles in the city’s many nightlife spots.
Christ the Redeemer only shows himself when he pleases
Every visitor in Rio dreams of taking a picture of Christ the Redeemer on the top of Corcovado. Be careful, however, it is common for it to be hidden by a thick cloud of mist. It is then necessary to be patient, or to return at another time to immortalize the moment in the best conditions.
Attending a football match at the Maracanã is something to plan for
What football fan has never dreamed of attending a match at the Maracanã Stadium? This football temple which has hosted some of the most prestigious matches but also more recently the Olympic Games, is a real tourist magnet. But be careful: if it is possible to visit the stadium when it is not hosting any sporting events, attending a Fluminense FC match should be well anticipated. Indeed, the local team does not play it every week and the Brazilian championship does not last all year.