Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Famous for its musical traditions, beaches, carnivals, national parks, unique landmarks and lively residents, Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.
Located on Brazil’s south-eastern coastline, Rio de Janeiro, otherwise known as just ‘Rio’, was originally settled by the Portuguese in the 16th century. After Brazil achieved independence in the 19th century, Rio de Janeiro continued to develop and expand, and was, for a period, the country’s capital city (Brasilia become the new official capital in 1960).
Home to the impressive Christ the Redeemer statue, the picturesque Sugarloaf Mountain, and the world-class Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro entices visitors from all over the world. In February of each year, the city also opens its doors to festivalgoers looking to experience Carnival, a colourful and energetic celebration filled with music, dancing and costumes.
The Port of Rio de Janeiro is situated in the downtown area and stretches for thousands of metres; it includes several different wharfs and piers. Cruise ships usually dock at Maua Pier, which is at one end of the port.
Facilities at the Pier Maua terminal include:
Tourist information booth
Cafés and restaurants
How to Get Around
Travelling to the major tourist sites in Rio de Janeiro is relatively easy, as the city’s public transportation system has been designed to facilitate this. Getting around by bus is the cheapest option, although the weaving routes can be confusing for first-time visitors – it’s best to ask for help from your hotel’s staff before leaving.
Taxis are another popular method of transport for tourists. The official yellow taxis are metered, while taxis booked in advance online or over the phone can be more reliable; these are usually blue, white or green.
Other transport options include car rental, which is ideal for travelling longer distances, and the metro system, which is considered to be a cheap, reliable and safe way of exploring the city.
When moving around, always exercise high caution; pickpockets and muggers are common in tourist areas. It is best to carry small change to avoid having to exchange money or show larger cash amounts.
Travel times from the Maua Pier:
It is a 1 hour and 52 minute journey to Praia Vermelha
It is a 2 hour and 24 minute journey to Ipanema
It is a 2 hour and 14 minute journey to Copacabana.
It is a 19 minute journey to Praia Vermelha
It is a 32 minute journey to Ipanema
It is a 24 minute journey to Copacabana.
Currency – The currency in Brazil is the real (R$), which is made up of 100 centavos. Coins are available in 5, 10, 25, and 50 centavos, and R$1. Banknotes appear in R$2, R$5, R$10, R$20, R$50, and R$100.
Time Zone – Rio de Janeiro operates on Brasilia time, which is 3 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). During the summer months, it changes to Brasilia Summer Time, which is 2 hours behind UTC.
Weather – Rio de Janeiro enjoys a tropical climate. From December to March, temperatures can reach as high as 45 degrees Celsius, while during the colder winter months, temperatures usually sit between 16 to 20 degrees Celsius.
Sugarloaf Mountain – One of the city’s most recognisable landmarks, Sugarloaf Mountain is a large mountain peak that rises 396 metres high above the Guanabara Bay. Visitors flock to the mountain to enjoy stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding landscapes. A cable car system (starting from Praia Vermelha) transports passengers to the top in two stages; once at the summit, you’re well placed for some amazing photos and sights.
Christ the Reedeemer – Looking down upon the city of Rio de Janeiro, the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue (a larger-than-life Art Deco rendering of Jesus) is a hugely popular tourist attraction. Completed in 1931, the statue is approximately 30 metres tall and is situated at the top of Mount Corcovado. While visitors previously had to climb hundreds of steps to the reach the summit, escalators and elevators were added to facilitate easier access.
Copacabana Beach – World-famous for its beautiful shoreline, vibrant atmosphere and friendly locals, Copacabana Beach continues to welcome thousands of tourists every year. Along with swimming, you can play volleyball and soccer, and even work up a sweat with specially designated workout areas. Cyclists, joggers and roller-skaters also take advantage of the sweeping promenade. When it comes to facilities and services, beach bars are plentiful, while lifeguards are on patrol.