By Simon Hall, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Anytime is a good time to visit Rio de Janeiro. Indeed, the city’s seductive samba rhythms and breathtaking panoramic views are alluring all year round, yet there is something quite special about the city during the summer months.
The electric summer atmosphere awakens with the extravagant New Year’s Eve party on Copacabana Beach: the appeal of live music, stunning samba performances, dazzling firework displays, and the majestic setting together attract millions of revelers from Brazil and beyond.
The beaches stay busy and the parties stay lively as anticipation builds in the weeks leading up to Carnival. From 5th – 9th February next year, Rio will be awash with kaleidoscopic colors, glitter, glamour, and electrifying music, all culminating in the electrifying Samba School competition held in the specially designed Sambadrome. To come to Rio for Carnival is to experience something truly unique.
Far from offering spectacular parties and bleached white sands, this Atlantic seaside marvel is also host to a wonderful array of cultural delights. The ultimate place to escape the glaring summer heat is Tijuca Forest, the world’s largest urban tropical jungle.
This 120 square kilometer ecological paradise boasts a rich variety of flora and fauna, cascading waterfalls, an abundance of hiking trails, and the beautiful 19th century chapel, Capela Mayrink. To delve deep into the heart of this natural wonder, there is an option of booking a jeep tour that takes visitors to the park’s major sites, including a trip to the beautiful Botanical Gardens that are themselves an idyllic respite from the bustling city.
Energies exerted, there are plenty of world-class museums to withdraw to that will undoubtedly whet the cultural and historical appetite: the Museum of Modern Art (MAM),the National History Museum (MHN),the National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA),and the striking Museum of Contemporary Art in Niterói (MAC) together display enviable permanent collections, and a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the summer.
The city of Rio is glorious – undeniably one of the world’s greatest – but the state in which it lies plays host to some equally enticing treasures. The intrepid traveler may want to venture inland to Itatiaia, the country’s oldest national park, or east for the sophisticated pleasures that come with the Costa do Sol – delightful sand dunes, emerald blue lagoons, and the trendy village of Búzios.
If a change of pace from beach life and quaint coastal towns is required, the cool and refreshing air of Rio’s premier mountain retreat Petrópolis is the finest option. Located only 65km north of Rio, nestled in the hills of Serra dos Órgãos, this imperial city with a distinctly European flavour has much to see and do.
The city and state of Rio de Janeiro hold an affinity with travelers. A sumptuous convergence of exquisite beaches, ancient cultures, and imposing mountains. Rio de Janeiro is a city “full of a thousand charms” sang Aurora Miranda in her 1934 Carnival anthem, and it is hard to disagree – the Marvelous City, as it is known, is arguably the best summer destination in the world.
* This is a sponsored article written by Simon Hall, English Content Editor for Rdj4u.com.