There are two attractions that define Rio de Janeiro. One is the iconic Christ the Redeemer, a 38m-tall Art Deco statue that took nine years to build. Located at the top of Corcovado Mountain, it can be reached via a vertical cog train. Visitors who make the effort to trek around the statue will be rewarded with dazzling vistas of the city.
Another crowd magnet is Sugarloaf Mountain, a towering, granite monolith that is one of Rio de Janeiro’s natural wonders. Rising to 396 metres above sea level, it can be found at the mouth of Guanabara Bay. Like Christ the Redeemer, the mountain offers stunning views of the city. Take the bondinho, a glass-encased cable car, to reach the peak. You can catch the ride every 20 minutes from Babilonia Hill, taking you up to Morro da Urca Hill. From here, you have to take a second cable car to the top of the mountain.
In addition, the city has Ipanema Beach, enshrined forever in the 1960s bossa nova song. An arcing stretch of golden sands and rolling waves, it features regularly on the list of world’s best beaches. It is also lined with theatres, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Vibrant Copacabana, next to the surfers’ favourite Arpoador Beach, has a real vibe about it. Stroll along the famous promenade or indulge in one of the many water-based sports on offer.