Best Sight Seeings:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rio de Janeiro "The River of January"

Rio de Janeiro "River of January", is the second largest city of Brazil and South America, behind São Paulo, and the third largest metropolitan area in South America, behind São Paulo and Buenos Aires. It is the state capital of Rio de Janeiro. The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, from 1763 to 1822 during the Portuguese colonial era, and from 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. It is also the former capital of the Portuguese Empire (1808–1821). Commonly known as just Rio, the city is also nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa, or "The Marvelous City".
Rio de Janeiro is famous for its natural settings, its Carnival celebrations, samba and other music, and hotel-lined tourist beaches, such as Copacabana and Ipanema. Some of the most famous landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Christ, known as Christ the Redeemer ('Cristo Redentor') atop Corcovado mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its cable car; the Sambódromo, a giant permanent parade stand used during Carnival and Maracanã stadium, one of the world's largest football stadiums.
The city also boasts the largest and second largest urban forests in the world: Floresta da Tijuca, or "Tijuca Forest". and (almost connected to the first) the forest in Parque Estadual da Pedra Branca, or White Stone State Park. Galeão - Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport connects Rio de Janeiro with many Brazilian cities and also operates several international flights.
Despite its charm and beauty, Rio is reputed to be one of the most violent cities in the world and motivated movies such as Bus 174, City of God and Elite Squad portraying severe social issues. Much of the violent crime is concentrated in the favelas or shantytowns but it also spills into middle- and upper-income neighborhoods. In Rio, unlike other major cities, many of the slums are directly adjacent to some of the wealthiest areas of the city.

Christ the Redeemer
On top of Corcovado Mountain, immortalized in song by João Gilberto, a penitent Christ the Redeemer opens statuesque arms to all of Rio de Janeiro. The left arm points to the Rio de Janeiro's north zone (zona norte), the right to the south zone (zona sur), while the saintly perch offers spectacular views of Ipanema, the Maracana soccer stadium and the Serra do Órgãos mountain range.

The Carioca Aqueduct

It is an aqueduct in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The aqueduct was built in the middle of the 18th century to bring fresh water from the Carioca river to the population of the city. It is an impressive example of colonial architecture and engineering.
The Carioca Aqueduct is located in the centre of the city, in the Lapa neighbourhood, and is frequently called Arcos da Lapa (Lapa Arches) by Brazilian people. Since the end of the 19th century the aqueduct serves as a bridge for a popular tram that connects the city centre with the Santa Teresa neighbourhood uphill.

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

Mostly known as "Lagoa", is a lagoon and district in the Lagoa, Zona Sul (South Zone) of Rio de Janeiro. The lagoon is connected to the Atlantic by a canal which is bordered by the Garden of Alah park.
The lagoon is surrounded by the districts of Ipanema, Leblon, Gávea, Jardim Botânico, Copacabana, Botafogo, and Humaitá.
The lagoon attracts quite a number of visitors during the Christmas holidays due to its famous and gigantic Christmas Tree, which is built over a floating platform that moves around the lagoon.

Botanical Garden
In northwest Rio de Janeiro's well-heeled Jardim Botanico district, near the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, sits a botanical oasis first conceived in 1808 by Prince Regent Dom João. Quiet on weekdays and alive with music and families on weekends, the Jardim Botanico grows over 5000 plant varieties, including Amazonian originals and Jurassic-sized water lilies.

Maracaná Stadium
During jam-packed World Cup matches or championship games between Rio de Janeiro's four rivaling soccer clubs (Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco), the 200,000-capacity Maracaná stadium, one of the world's largest, literally sways with the fervor. At the Maracaná's museum you can behold some godly garb: Pele's infamous number 10 jersey.

Sugar Loaf

A green, unearthly peak rising over Rio de Janeiro, Sugar Loaf is an iconic locale for a bird's eye view of Rio de Janeiro, from Copacabana beach to Corcovado Mountain, as well as an equatorial Rio de Janeiro sunset.

Tijuca Forest

All that remains of an Atlantic rain forest that once thrived around Rio de Janeiro is the Tijuca Forest, the largest urban forest in the world. Only fifteen minutes from Copacabana, the 120 sqaure kilometer Tijuca, part of Rio's National Park, is a stunning place for a day hike amid bright green foliage, unearthly terrain and white waterfalls, as well as birds, iguanas and monkeys.

Arpoador Beach

Jutting out from between Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the night-lit Arpoador Beach is Rio de Janeiro's surf spot and weekend gathering sport for well-to-do cariocas.
Copacabana Beach
Copacabana Beach, the legendary Rio de Janeiro hot spot, arcs gracefully against a backdrop of urban city and steep green mountains. Copacabana district, no wider than four blocks, is the unmitigated queen of Brazilian tourism and home to near countless restaurants, nightlife and shopping.

Ipanema and Leblon
Two of Rio de Janeiro's finest districts, Ipanema and Leblon, are also Rio's high-end beachfronts (in actuality one beach separated buy a narrow canal). Cleaner and ritzier than Copacabana, Ipanema (which means "dangerous waters" in Native Brazilian) and Leblon, now both night-lit, are popular with intellectuals, artists, volleyball players and gorgeous "Girl (and Boy) from Ipanema" types.


March 2-3, 2003; February 22-23, 2004Feathered headdresses and hips sway to infectious and relentless samba beats during Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Samba schools perform their year's work and showcase elaborate costumes while the whole of Rio de Janeiro dances in the street for a raucous pre-Lent blowout that makes Mardi Gras look tame.

New Year's Eve and Festa de Iemanjá
December 31
New Year's Eve in Rio de Janeiro, with fireworks exploding over Copacabana, is a night remembered by millions. Coinciding with the Festa de Iemanjá, a festival honoring the Brazilian Sea Goddess, the pious revelers send candle boat offerings into the sea. Pack white clothes for the evening; Brazilians rarely wear black for their summery New Year's Eve.
Rio Jazz Festival
Late October
Rio de Janeiro inspired bossa greats like Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim; today, the city's sultry jazz scene continues to tremble. Rich and varied, the Rio Jazz Festival spans three musical nights and draws beautiful crowds in droves to hear world-class acts of jazz and her many variations.

Rio de Janeiro Metro.In Rio de Janeiro, buses are the main means of mass transportation. There are nearly 440 municipal bus lines serving over four million passengers each day, in addition to intercity lines. Although cheap and frequent, Rio's transportation policy has been moving towards trains and subway in order to reduce traffic jams and increase capacity. Driving in Rio de Janeiro, as in most large cities of Brazil, might not be the best choice due to the large car fleet. The city is served by a number of expressways though traffic jams are very common.

Rio de Janeiro has two subway lines (Metro Rio) with 42 kilometres (26 mi) and 32 stations plus several commuter rail lines. Future plans include building a third subway line to Niterói and São Gonçalo, including an underwater tunnel beneath Guanabara Bay to supplement the ferry service currently there.

Santa Teresa tram over the aqueduct archesRio de Janeiro has the oldest operating electric tramway, now mainly used by tourists and less by daily commuters. For details see The Santa Teresa Historic Tramway

In Brazil, most interstate transportation is done by road. A large terminal for long-distance buses is in the Santo Cristo neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. There are also two port facilities for cargo and passenger ships (Rio de Janeiro and Sepetiba port). From São Paulo: take the BR 116 (Presidente Dutra Federal Highway) or the BR-101 (Rio-Santos Federal Highway). From Belo Horizonte: BR 040. From Salvador: BR-101 or BR-324/BR-116/BR-393/BR-040.

Rio-Niterói bridge.
Brasília: 1,160 km (720 mi)
São Paulo: 430 km (270 mi)
Belo Horizonte: 450 km (280 mi)

The Port of Rio de Janeiro is visited by cruise boats, which travel along the Brazilian coast. The ports of Rio de Janeiro and Angra dos Reis are, respectively, the third and fourth in Brazil, as measured by volume of cargo. Sepetiba is used mostly to export minerals from Minas Gerais. Niterói has less cargo movimentation, but a high traffic of ships going for maintenance by the naval industry of the city.

Brasília: 1,160 km (720 mi)
São Paulo: 430 km (270 mi)
Belo Horizonte: 450 km (280 mi)

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