Two of Rio’s most recognizable symbols – the statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain – are also two of its most popular attractions. You can ride a funicular railway up Corcovado Mountain to the base of the statue, enjoying spectacular views of Rio’s bays and beaches. A cable car can take you up imposing Sugarloaf Mountain, which also provides panoramic views of Rio’s incomparable setting.
If you enjoy touring historic buildings, Rio’s walkable downtown includes several churches that date back to the 17th century. Candelaria Church, constructed over 100 years, has Baroque and Neoclassical influences. Inside the city’s Old Cathedral, the walls, ceilings and altars are covered with hand-carved, ornate Rococo woodwork.
Whether or not you visit during Carnival, you may enjoy visiting one of the city’s samba schools. Many of the schools welcome visitors, provide brief lessons and even allow visitors to try on one of the elaborate costumes the samba dancers wear during Carnival.
Rio has some of the world’s most famous beaches, including Copacabana and Ipanema. The beaches are beautiful and the people there can be quite glamorous, but be assured that everyone feels welcome at these public beaches. You can rent bikes or rollerblades, or simply relax on the sand to enjoy the stunning scenery and do some people-watching.
If you would rather spend your time exploring a rainforest, you won’t need to go far. Tijuca National Park, home to hundreds of types of plants and wildlife, is located within the Rio city limits – in fact, it is the world’s largest urban forest.
For more information on cruising to Rio and other Brazilian and South American ports, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.