Brazil hosts the World Cup and the Olympics... Copacabana anyone?

Rio de Janeiro is in full swing with preparations to host The World Cup 2014, Olympics 2016, and Paralympic Games. Rio was Brazil's capital city until 1960 then fell into a state of neglect. A housing and jobs shortage left many residents living in favelas, or shantytowns. Today, however it is in the middle of a massive comeback. With huge oil and gas reserves in its coastal waters, the area is rapidly attracting businesses from shipbuilding to high-tech research. Notorious favelas like Rocinha and Cidade de Deus are becoming less of a concern. 

Favelas in the hills across from Copacabana Beach 
There are many attractions in Rio and its surrounds. The Museu de Arte Moderna is incredible both for its architecture (spacious concrete and glass design) and its location alongside Guanabara Bay. It constantly brings world class exhibitions to Rio. The museum is known for its vast Latin America cinema archives, sculpture exhibitions, and experimental art activities. 

The beaches are unforgettable and the people are vibrant and beautiful. Stroll the neighborhood of Ipanema, a chic beach neighborhood. It has a mixture of upscale shops, hip restaurants, and nighttime hot spots. In the streets, the aroma of mangoes, star shaped carambola fruit and the smell of fresh seafood makes your mouth water. Rio's markets offer many varieties of fruits including the exotic caju and jaboticaba, as well as mangos, grapes, peaches, and the sweetest pineapple ever. 

Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon is an inland lake where you can run, walk, skate, cycle, or relax in its bucolic surrounds. The lagoon will host the canoe sprint and the rowing events for the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon from above

The Tijuca Forest is considered the largest urban forest in the world where you can interact with nature, hike the Corcovado mountain, and enjoy a multitude of outdoor adventures. When you reach the top of the mountain you will find Christ the Redeemer, a symbol of Brazilian Christianity, the statue has become an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. Check out this video and see how people experience this mountain and world known statue.

There is a lot to see in a country with 4600 miles of coastline and nearly half the landmass of South America. Brazil's climate is considered mainly tropical and is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. It's rainforests are home to more than 1,000 bird species, 3,000 fish species, and many mammals and reptiles. 

Whether you are into art, the outdoors, eco-friendly lodging, or urban life, you'll find something to love. If you are thinking about going to the World Cup or Olympic Games, I suggest that you add on a few more days to enjoy the beaches, forests, magnificent architecture, and excellent restaurants. 

Ask Julie Harris about special World Cup packages at As a South American destination specialists, Julie can help you create an amazing journey based around the games but including an unforgettable experience exploring Rio de Janeiro or even other areas of Brazil! 

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