Photo: View from Sugarloaf

Pure magic as seen from Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf): Water, sky, landscape, and lights conspire to take your breath away as day becomes night.

Photograph by André Vallejo/Tyba/BrazilPhotos

“Marvelous city, full of a thousand charms,” sang Aurora Miranda, in a 1934 Carnival hit that’s now Rio de Janeiro’s anthem. To put this song to the test, each year as many people visit Rio as live there—riding cable cars up to Pão de Açúcar, and trams through Santa Teresa; going inside belle epoque palaces at Cinelândia, and pleasure palaces at Copacabana; climbing to the Rocinha favela (shanty town) by minivan, and to “Christ the Redeemer” by train; shouting samba lyrics at the Sambódromo parade grounds, and “gol!” at Maracanã soccer stadium. In any other city, this would be exceptional. In Rio, you still have 992 delights to go.

Rio de Janeiro Photos and Quiz

Related Features

  • Picture of a cable car near Sugar Loaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro

    Best Family Trip: Rio de Janeiro

    See trip details for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one of our best family trips from National Geographic.

  • Photo: Exclusive Carnival Black Tie Ball at the Copacabana Palace.

    Playing Rio Pictures

    Rio is a city of glamour and glitz—but also of poverty and violence in the favelas that climb its hills. With the Olympics coming in 2016, the slums are getting a face-lift.

  • Photo: Brazilian woman on her one-hour-long bus commute

    Girl Power Pictures

    How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil's fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.

  • Photo: Uakari Eco Lodge, Brazil

    Best Hotels in South America

    See our picks for the 80 hotels offering the most unique and authentic travel experiences.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Join Nat Geo Travel's Communities




Travel Photos From Your Shot

  • Picture of canoes on a dock in Alberta, Canada

    Your Canada Photos

    View scenes of Canada's city life and countryside—all taken by our Nat Geo photo community.

See More Your Shot Galleries »