Rio On The Rise: Experiencing Brazil’s Centerpiece City

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While Rio de Janeiro has always been somewhat popular as an exotic sun destination for those with a taste of adventure, this Brazilian mega-city has been catapulted into the mainstream limelight in recent years with stunning successes in securing the rights to the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

While some of that attention has been less than flattering, as the media tends to magnify the negative to hyperbolic proportions, for the most part, most people are starting to inquire more about this fascinating subtropical city as they learn more about this gorgeous place.

If you are one of these folks looking to gather more information before pulling the trigger on a trip down to one of the Southern Hemisphere’s greatest urban environments, the following article will dish on the greatest cultural and athletic attractions, and of course, the prime beaches where you will be able to live the laid back lifestyle of a local Rio citizen.

Before we get started though, picking up a Rio travel book or two will also help you find the best attractions when you arrive on the ground … just be sure to write down what you read in this post first though!

The culture

Being home to a culture of highly expressive people, it shouldn’t be surprising at all that Brazil and it’s most famous city are filled with cultural attractions and events just begging to be experienced. Home to the Bossa Nova and Samba music styles, the clubs are overflowing with lively sounds on practically a nightly basis, and the party atmosphere reaches a fever pitch during Carnival, which is held over in the five days leading up to the start of Lent.

If you’re into more serious aspects of Rio’s cultural landscape, then a visit to the Christ the Redeemer statue will serve as a reminder to the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in this country, and a favela tour will demonstrate that despite the overall wealth of this beautiful nation, serious income inequalities that need to addressed exist here. Despite that, you will find that the people of these neighborhoods are hard working, friendly, and appreciate visitors (go on a proper tour for your security, though!)

The sports

As alluded to earlier, Rio is set to be paraded before the world over the next few years, as it will host the FIFA World Cup 2014 in just weeks from now, and shortly after that, the 2016 Olympics will act as a platform to show off Brazil and Rio as a newly arrived global destination. If you can’t manage to score tickets to the World Cup, securing entry to a Brazil football league match will prove to be easier, while delivering an unforgettable experience as you will be able to see first hand the passion of football fans in this country.

Those more predisposed to outdoor sports will love Rio every bit as much, as hiking, rock climbing and ziplining amidst the mountains in the Rio metro area will have you working up a sweat towards a killer payoff, as the end destination of these activities will net one of the world’s best urban viewpoints.

The beaches

After tramping around under the strong Brazilian sun for hours, you will likely be in the mood for a refreshing dip in the ocean at one of Rio’s much celebrated beaches. Among them all, Copacabana Beach stands out as the most famous of all, with people of various backgrounds enjoying the sun together in harmony. Ipanema Beach is similar, with cleaner sands, but with strong currents in places, so be careful! If you wish to watch the best of Rio’s surfers tackle some gnarly waves, then Barra de Tijuca will provide you with the perfect venue to observe these skilled athletes in action.

Rio is calling: will you answer?

Despite the growing pains of transitioning from being a developing country to the increasing standards of living that are being enjoyed today, Brazil and Rio de Janeiro are rapidly becoming an inviting place for international travelers to enjoy a holiday filled with culture, outdoor adventures, and plenty of fun in the sun. With the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics just around the corner, Rio’s international profile will only get bigger in the coming years, so the time to visit is now.

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