Cidade Maravilhosa or "Marvellous City" is what cariocas call their beloved Rio and visitors coming off their Rio flights will quickly agree. Its recognisable landmarks: Sugar Loaf mountain, Christ the Redeemer and the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema provide the dramatic backdrop to the world’s most decadent city.
Nestled between 56 miles of beach and two lush green rainforests, Rio’s natural beauty is spellbinding and cariocas take full advantage of it. On any given day, come rain or shine, the locals are out jogging along Ipanema, skydiving close to Sugar Loaf or climbing a tree in Tijuca. But apart from its aesthetic beauty Rio’s cultural and historical sights are just as fascinating. The Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) and Museu Histórico Nacional are well worth a visit while the port of Paraty, a Unesco World Heritage Site, provides a glimpse into Rio’s colonial past.
Most visitors book flights to Rio during Carnaval, but this is also the busiest time, when thousands of people from all over the world fly in especially for the event, making it difficult to get around the city and finding a hotel room can be a challenge. However if you think a visit to Rio isn't complete without attending at least one Samba show, samba schools conduct pre-Carnaval rehearsals year-round.
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