40 Vacations - Travel Guides - Destination Rio-de-janerio
The Cultural Capital Of Brazil
Located on the western coast of Brazil, the city of Rio de Janeiro plays host to thousands of visitors each year. Previously, the city served as the capital of Brazil but this changed when Brasilia was assigned the capital status. Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city in Brazil and has managed to enthrall the western audience for years. Great samba music, beautiful beaches and the world-renowned Rio Carnival are reason enough to lure the visitors. Apart from this, the nearby Amazon rainforest, several islands off the coast and inland rivers form a magnificent topography that is worth checking out. Apart from its natural wonders and interesting historical past, the people here never cease to amaze visitors with their vigor, vitality, spirit, rhythm and friendliness.
Rio de Janeiro is known as the ‘cultural capital of Brazil', and is also known as ‘Cidade Maravilhosa' or ‘the marvelous city' in the local tongue. It is ranked as one of the most densely populated cities in the world. The natives or ‘Cariocas', take great pride in the city's culture and heritage and enjoy singing, dancing, drinking and of course football.
The city offers something to fit every budget, making it one of the most visited tourist destinations in the southern hemisphere. The beaches are the most frequented tourist places and great hotels and restaurants are found around every corner.
The downside of a visit to Rio is a first hand experience of the city's low economic conditions. The disparity between the rich and poor is clearly visible in Rio. Shantytowns, lack of education and medical care, drug abuse, violence, corruption, poverty and a high crime rate constitute the city's unfavorable statistics. Rio de Janeiro is divided into a zona norte (north zone) and a zona sul (south zone) by the Serra da Carioca Mountains, which are part of the Parque Nacional da Tijuca. It ends its descent at the border of the city center forming a clear demarcation that has helped formulate a north and south zone. The north zone paints a pretty picture with its upper and middle class residents, rich neighborhoods and beaches. The south zone houses the lower class, industrial areas and lends to the growing pollution.