The spotlight is on Rio de Janeiro now that it's been named the host city for the 2016 Summer Games. Despite this, Rio is regarded as one of the world's most dangerous cities, with drug gangs fighting for territory amid the city's slums and violence occasionally spilling over into tourist locations. Rio police have pledged a safe and secure Olympics, especially after recent shootouts between police and gangs. But keep security in mind and be very careful sightseeing after dark.
Hit the beaches. : Ipanema and Copacabana are just two of the most popular, but Rio has beaches galore (some more safe than others). Check out the boardwalk vendors, the water sports and of course, the variety of swimwear.
Sweet sunset. : Take an aerial cable car about 1,300 feet up to Sugar Loaf mountain, which has two peaks, one short and one tall.
Feel the beat. : Bossa nova, samba, choro - all musical genres with deep roots in Brazil and especially Rio. Check out the brimming nightlife and performance scene - especially samba clubs - in the downtown district of Lapa.
Go to the farm. : Roberto Burle Marx was a famous Brazilian landscape designer and ecologist who designed more than 1,500 parks and gardens. Upon his death in 1994, he left his 100-acre farm, featuring rare species of plants, as a living museum.
Visit the favelas. : Even though Rio's shantytowns, or favelas, often are dangerous, some travelers are intrigued enough to take guided sightseeing tours of the impoverished areas. However, tourists should never go alone to the favelas.
More information: www.embratur.gov.br
- Tribune Newspapers