Rio de Janeiro

When in Rio, don't be afraid to follow the tourist trail—the major attractions really are "must-sees." Contrary to tourist-board images, the sun doesn't always shine on the city, so when it does, make the most of it. If the skies are clear, waste no time in heading for Cosme Velho to visit the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado mountain, or to Urca to make the cable car ascent to the peak of Sugar Loaf. Time-pressed travelers will find that whistle-stop city tours are a good way to see many attractions in one day, while those lucky enough to spend a week or more here can afford to take a more leisurely approach. Cloudy days are a good time to visit the attractions of leafy Lagoa and Jardim Botânico and the breezily bohemian hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa. The historic buildings, museums, and cultural centers of Centro, Catete, Glória, and Lapa are ideal rainy-day options.

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  • 1. Jardim Botânico

    Jardim Botânico

    The 340-acre Botanical Garden contains more than 5,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees, including 900 varieties of palms (some more than a...Read More

  • 2. Parque Lage

    Jardim Botânico

    This lush green space down the road from Jardim Botânico was acquired by Antônio Martins Lage Jr., whose grandson, Henrique Lage, fell head-over-heels in love...Read More

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  • 3. Praia de Grumari

    Grumari

    A bit beyond Prainha, off Estrada de Guaratiba, is Grumari, a beach that seems a preview of paradise. What it lacks in amenities—it has only...Read More

  • 4. Praia de Ipanema

    Ipanema

    As you stroll this world-famous beach you'll encounter a cross section of the city's residents, each favoring a particular stretch. Families predominate in the area...Read More

  • 5. Praia Vermelha

    Urca

    Right at the foot of Sugar Loaf, this sheltered, rough-sand beach (the name means "red beach," a reference to the distinctive coarse sand here) is...Read More

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  • 6. Prainha

    Grumari

    The length of two football fields, Prainha ("Little Beach") is a vest-pocket beach favored by surfers, who take charge of it on weekends. The swimming...Read More

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