There are a number of great cities in the world to travel to, but for the vacationer who is looking for fun and excitement, they will have a hard time competing with the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. For decades, if not longer, Rio de Janeiro has attracted tourists from around the world to it’s beautiful beaches, exciting nightlife, wild festivals, and wonderful attractions. The city is one of the most famous destinations in the Western Hemisphere, but here are five things you may not know about gorgeous Rio de Janeiro.
1. Sugar Loaf is a granite mountain peak that stands over the city. Taking the Sugar Loaf cable car to the top of the peak has been popular with tourists and locals for a number of years. This offers an incredible opportunity for great views of Rio de Janeiro and the surrounding area. The cable car was opened in 1912 and at the time was the third cable car in operation in the entire world.
2. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro, and all of Brazil for that matter, is the 120 foot tall, counting it’s pedestal, statue of Christ the Redeemer (or O Cristo Redentor). The statue stands at the top of Corcovado mountain, took nine years to build, and was completed in 1931. There is a small Catholic chapel underneath the statue where Catholics are allowed to hold baptisms and weddings. The peak and the statue are accessible both by road and by rail. The railway opened in 1884, long before the statue was even there.
3. The capital of Brazil is the city of Brasilia. The city of Rio de Janeiro has an extensive history dating back to when it was founded in the year 1565 though. In fact from 1763 until 1960, Rio de Janeiro served as the capital of Brazil, almost 200 years. In 1960, the capital was moved to the recently constructed city of Brasilia.
4. One of the more famous sights to see in Rio de Janeiro is the Carioca Aqueduct. This historic structure was used in Rio de Janeiro’s early days to bring water to the city from the Carioca River. Today the structure is no longer used for the carriage of water, the long stretches of archways were converted at the end of the 1800s and now the Santa Teresa tram travels across it bring locals to and from the inner parts of the city.
5. The Tijuca Forest covers more than 3,900 hectares and is fascinating when it is known that it is the largest urban forest in the world that has been replanted by man. Used largely as a park these days, the replanting of the once naturally forested area started in 1861 and continued through 1888. Well over 125,000 seedlings were planted during the project.
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most exciting and beautiful cities in the Western Hemisphere. There is always something happening on either the stunning beaches or in the shopping and dining districts. Rio de Janeiro is also home to some of the greatest celebrations and festivals that any traveler could hope to attend, including the world famous Carnival. One of the best international travel decisions anyone could make in their lives is to decide on Rio de Janeiro as their vacation destination.