Rio is one of the most spectacular spots on earth, where lush mountains plunge into the tropical sea. From Sugar Loaf mountain you can survey the skip-a-beat views down to the world-famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana.
With its superabundance of natural beauty – mile-long tropical beaches, dramatic mountainscapes, lush jungle backdrop – Rio is one of the most attractive destinations on the planet. Add to that a population whose blazing spirit and passion are envied the world over: its glamorous citizens eschew conformity and dull days, and their energy enlivens every corner of this sprawling megacity-on-sea. From fashionable Ipanema to the arty, leafy community of Santa Teresa, the streets buzz with music, humour and the indefatigable Carioca spirit. Whether you’re a VIP in Joa (Brazil’s Beverly Hills), or a beach bum on Copacabana, life is lived at a hectic pace – dancing, flirting and posing are national pastimes. Caipirinhas, baile funk and bar hopping are all part of this electric ‘carpe diem’ culture, and never in more Technicolor glory than during Carnival, the tail-feathered, heart-racing, soul-uplifting celebration of life’s pleasures.
December to February is summer (high season), when the city buzzes with excitement during the Carnival build-up, and long days on the beach give way to party nights. Winter is cooler and calmer – but only just.