City of God: Rio de Janeiro

City of God: Rio de Janeiro

Rio is an awe-inspiring city where impossibly steep granite mountains rise from the ocean between glorious stretches of golden sand. Brash skyscrapers vie for space with impeccable colonial buildings, and lush forests tumble down hillsides into densely populated residential areas.

As well as these twin icons, Rio boasts a wealth of attractions and activities, plus great food, music and entertainment – enough to keep a visitor busy for any length of stay. A natural port of the Guanabara Bay in southeast Brazil, the city was founded by the Portuguese on 1 January 1502. They named it Rio de Janeiro (River of January), under the mistaken impression that it was an enormous river mouth. Since then, it has grown to a city of over 6 million people, with a further 5 million in the greater metropolitan area.

The cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) revels in life, with the beach, football, samba and Carnival the principal diversions. High above all this fun and frivolity are Rio’s ever-present landmarks – the statue of Christ the Redeemer on the summit of Hunchback Mountain and Sugarloaf with its historic cable car.

Beachfront property in Rio de Janeiro is by far the most popular investment and gives very good rental returns of 8-10% per annum. Rio is visited by millions of international tourists land here each year, making the buy to let property investments very realistic indeed.


The capital was moved from Rio to Brasilia in the 1960′s, in an effort to decentralize the power found in Rio. All the jobs associated with such political power transferred to the interior of the country. This, along with a slowing economy and increased economic pressure from Sao Paulo, Rio is trying to redefine its role in the Brazilian economy.

From a record low in 2002, the Brazilian Real has doubled in value against the US Dollar and rallied against other world currencies, so the country is not as cheap as it used to be. However, Brazil is still affordable and gaining in popularity – 2007 saw a 15% increase in visitors, mainly headed for Rio. With Brazil set to host the FIFA World Cup in 2014, that trend is likely to continue.

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Hotels in Rio

Hotels in Rio

Hotels dot the area all along the beaches. The hotel industry in Rio de Janerio caters to all classes of tourists.

Rooms, with air conditioning, a color TV, a phone and a small refrigerator are offered in economy hotels. Units with a kitchenette, living room, and one or two bedrooms are offered on suites. Most hotels offer a complimentary Brazilian breakfast including fresh-squeezed juices made from tropical fruit.

A traveler’s budget is usually the factor on where to stay in Rio. Stay close to the beach, Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon for a perfect stay. Copacabana is home to traditional hotels, with plenty of bars to choose from. The Copacabana Palace, the Meridien and the Rio Palace are situated along the beachfront and offer five star luxuries. Further down the beach in the middle of the shopping area are hotels such as the Savoy Othon, which cater to the budget conscious.

The luxurious Caesar Park Hotel is situated right across from the beach. Near the Posto 9 beach hot spot. The Marina Palace and Praia Ipanema are less expensive options. The Arpoador Inn and the Ipanema Inn are located on the back streets but close to the beach, in the heart of the best shopping area in town. Perched on a cliff and on the way to São Conrado is the five-star hotel, Rio Sheraton. The hotel offers one of the best views in Rio and features sports facilities like tennis courts and gym. In the heart of São Conrado is the Intercontinental Hotel, which offers a spectacular view of the Pedra da Gavea.


There are a number of long-stay lodgings about 10 miles from town, called “”apart-hotels”". They are fully equipped, with a lounge, one or two bedrooms, bathroom and a kitchenette. The City Center with a large number of hotels is a convenient area for those coming to Rio on business. The Center is strictly a business area, with world-class restaurants and shopping malls.

Hotels in Rio de Janeiro are comparable with the best in the world’s services and facilities. It is recommended that bookings be made in advance because of the dense population in Rio.

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