South America has lush tropical forests, high mountains, ancient New World cultures, and exciting cities to visit. By far, the most exciting city to see in South America is Rio de Janeiro. Not only is there something to do and places to see, but nestled up next to the city are green mountains to hike and explore. There is something for everyone in this jewel of the continent.
Start exploring the city at the beach. Summer is approaching in Rio and it’s time to hit the most famous beach, the Copacabana. Eat food at one of the many beachside stands located there as numerous as New York City’s hot dogs. Hotels dot the coastline and the hills rise in the background as you soak up the sun.
Rio de Janeiro has other famous landmarks that make this my favorite city to see. The towering statue of Jesus overlooking the city is one of the top things to see up close. Named “Cristo Redentor” or Christ the Redeemer, the statue overlooks Rio de Janeiro atop Mount Corcovado. The famous cogwheel train takes you up to the statue and new improvements include an escalator and elevator to get to the base of the statue. There is a chapel underneath the statue for weddings and celebrations.
Go to the top of famous Sugarloaf Mountain and get there using the gondola, the only way up or down. Sugarloaf is the mountain that is completely white without trees that can be seen from any vista in the city. Get out and see anything you want to from the beaches to the skyline.
Carnival is the four day celebration leading up to Lent that ends on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday. This is the time devout Catholics get all of the partying out of their system before the seven weeks of fasting and penitence leading up to Easter. No one throws a better party than Rio de Janeiro. In the middle of the southern hemisphere’s summer, Carnival is the ultimate party. You can be as involved as you like or watch from your hotel as people dressed in lavish costumes pass by.
To truly experience the event, join in the samba at the Sambodrome. Get your tickets now to see the parade front and center. Everything will happen here from the floats, dancing, and music. This part of the parade is broadcast on television but it doesn’t substitute for being there for the real thing. Usually this celebration takes place in early February but the date can fluctuate depending on what date Ash Wednesday falls.
All of the sights of the city and the surrounding countryside make Rio de Janeiro the most spectacular city to visit in South America.