Marvelous City of Rio de Janeiro

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Rio de Janeiro, situated between the sea and the mountain is definitely the most popular spot of the Brazilian territory. Even people who don’t know much about Brazil recognize this city (place) under the name  Ciudade Maravillhosa (Marvelous City).  It’s the second largest city in country and it’s cultural capital.

Rio de Janeiro / image source

Rio de Janeiro / image source

Word Corcovado means “hunchback” in Portuguese.  Mountain is located in central part of Rio de Janeiro.  The peak is  in the Tijuca Forest, a national park.  the Statue of Christ the Redeemer (or Cristo Redentor) sits atop Corcovado 2,300 feet (700 meters) above the city. With the arms wide open the Christ is blessing not only Rio de Janeiro, but also its residents and tourist that travels from all around the globe to have this unique experience.

Tijuca National Park is a rainforest in the city of Rio de Janeiro  It is the world’s largest urban forest, covering some 32 km². Wildlife in the park includes insects, ocelots and howler monkeys. The reintroduction of birdlife has been particularly successful and it is a birdwatchers heaven.

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas  is a saltwater lagoon and district in the Lagoa, South Zone,  of Rio de Janeiro. Named for a young Portuguese army official who lived in the area in the early 1700s. The Lagoa serves as a recreational area and beauty spot for local residents, with nearly 3 miles of bike and jogging trails, boathouses for rowing, and several exclusive social clubs located along the edge of the lagoon.

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Ipanema  is a neighborhood located in the southern region of the city of Rio de Janeiro between Leblon and Arpoador. There is a beautiful and very popular beach among turists.  The world took notice of Ipanema when it emerged as the center of the bossa nova music movement. Specifically, the song A Garota de Ipanema (The Girl from Ipanema) written by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes Brazilians have tradition for going to Rio beaches. They often go early or in the afternoon when the sun has lost some of its intensity. A popular activity among the locals is doing exercise on the beach of Rio either with training equipment, or playing some Rio beach volleyball or barefoot football.

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Copacabana is the most famous beach in the world, located in the southern zone of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a breath-taking 2.5mi (4.5 km) stretch of bright sand that’s filled with people relaxing an enjoying the sun. Beeach is famous by the nightclubs, casinos, and hotels in the 1950s – Copacabana Beach is lined from one end to the other with tourist class and luxury hotels, indoor and outdoor restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Copacabana Beach is illuminated at night by very large lights, but it is considered not safe to walk the beach at night, and it’s better to stay on the hotel side of the sidewalk late at night.

Santa Teresa  is the name of a neigbourhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Named after the Carmelite convent  it’s cultural and historical heart of Rio. It’s a beautiful district with bohemian bars and old buildings.

CULTURE

Rio has a very rich and diverse culture. The roots of  Brazilian culture are found in Africa and European original traditions and cultures. Brazil is well-known for his spectacular street parades during the Carnival. People wear the most beautiful costumes.

Traditional Brazilian Attire

Traditional Brazilian Attire, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Traditional Brazilian Attire, Rio de Janeiro / image source

The attire is an inseparable part of the culture of any country. Each country has its own unique traditional clothing which represents its cultural and social status.

The traditional clothing of Brazil varies from region to region. Clothes are comfortable, intensively colored, beautifully made and decorated with many accessorize. Traditional clothing is influenced by a combination of different races and immigrants from all over the world. The traditional Brazilian attire can be seen in the country side.

Religion

As the most populated area of Brazil, it tends to offer a larger variety of religions than the city borders which remain mostly catholic. This has been the main religion of the country beginning in the 16th century and was the only religion that was observed by Portuguese settlers.

Superstitions

White butterfly brings good luck. If you see it at the beginning of the year, you’ll be happy all year.

Sea shells are a symbol of happiness, so it is good to have them with you.

Eating a mango and then drinking milk will kill you.

Never put a purse on the floor, because you will become a poor man.

Never give someone a knife, because you will have quarrel with that person.

Traditional food

Feijoada is a national dish of Brazil,it is a stew with beans and pork or beef meat. Some versions are a little spicy from the sausages, others totally mild.
Currasco is a name for Brazilian barbecue  or any kind of grilled meat. Barbecued chicken hearts are special tread.

Traditional Brazilian Food, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Traditional Brazilian Food, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Quindim is a very popular Brazilian dessert made from egg yolks, coconut and sugar.

Caipirinha is traditional Brazilian drink prepared with cachaça, sugar and lime. It is very pooular in the world, and used to be Brazil’s best kept secret.

Music

Musical symbol of the country is samba. They celebrate The National Day of Samba in December. Another music that is popular in Rio is the Bossa Nova. This is  type of music that is a combination of jazz, impressionist music and samba.

The Brazilian Carnival

The Brazilian Carnival, Rio de Janeiro / image source

The Brazilian Carnival, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Brazilians recognize the Carnival as the most important moment of the year. There are different opinions of the origin of the word Carnival. The name of Carnival seems to originate from Italian “carnivale” (or carne levare) festival, which means “to remove meet” .

The event and the parade which takes place in Rio de Janeiro is the most famous and richest Carnival in Brazil. A million tourists join millions of Rio de Janeiro residents (known as “cariocas”) in the world’s most fantastic party spanning several days and nights. From the Friday before Ash Wednesday to the following Thursday, the whole city shuts down for a wild celebration. In a city riven by poverty, Carnival represents a moment of freedom and release, when the aspirations of cariocas can be expressed in music, dances and songs.The origin of the carnival lies in the ancient African and Portuguese traditions. Most historians believe Carnival was introduced to Brazil in 1723, with the immigration from the island of Madeira, Acores and Cabo Verde. It gradually changed along the years, assimilating local elements, especially from African culture.

The highlight of the Carnival is the Parade at Marques de Sapucai, or “Sambodromo”, where different Samba schools (the collective of people from the same neighborhood, usually a working class community is designated as a “school”) fight for the title of Carnival Champion. Sambodromo is a huge stadium designed by the renowned architect Oscar Niemeyer and open only for Carnival.

Costumes are handmade, and there is no rules about them. Nudity is forbidden. They reflect the main theme of the samba school.

The term escola de samba (samba school) is credited to Ismael Silva, from Estácio. The samba gained more fluidity to be adapted to the evolution of the samba school. Mangueira, founded in 1928 is the first samba school. The nickname Estacao Primeira is because it is right at the first stop after train station Central do Brasil.

Official judges analyse the performance of each school under several criteria (rythm, costumes, timing, audience response, etc). A grade from 0 to 10 is given and the school with more points is the winner.

Animals and nature

Rio has very rich fauna unusual for urban places. It’s all thanks to “Parque Nacional de Floresta de Tijuca”. First animal that call our attention is Zamuro Negro or Black Volture. Cariocas call it Corvo(crow)  but it is twice bigger

than crow. They are very clumsy when they walk but they are real acrobats in the air. Pigeons are accustomed to living with people and they are very friendly.

Monkeys

Tufted Capuchin – you can see them in the Botanical Garden and Parque Lage.

Marmoset – most common type of monkey in Rio.

Howler Monkey – they are never seen close to the city.

Woolly spider monkey – can be found in Serra dos Órgãos National Park.

Golden lion Tamarin is an endangered species and only exists in the wild in a small region called the Poco das Antas reserve.

Monkey, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Monkey, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Mammals

Capybara – They spend a lot of time in water. You can see them in the Canal de Marapendi in Barra de Tijuaca.

Armadillo – close to Rio they can be found in Serra  Órgãos National Park.

Coati – can be found in the Tijuaca National Park and around Corcovado. They are members of raccoon family.

Agouti – it’s a type of rodent. They live in park Campo de Santana in the center of Rio.

Sloth – They are related to armadillos and and can be found in the Serra   Órgãos National Park.

Sloth, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Sloth, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Reptiles

Broad – snouted Caiman- they are common sighting in the Parque Chico Mendes and the Canal das Tachas, near the Rua Mario Faustino walk bridge and neighbourhood of Recreo dos Bandeirantes.

Tegu – lizards that can be found along every hiking rout.

Tegu, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Tegu, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Birds

Toco Toucan – they are not easy to spot, but if you are lucky you might see them in the botanical garden.

Blue and yellow Macaw – can be seen in trees by the lagoon. They belong to the restaurant Palaphitas and are let outside during the day.

Channel-billed Toucan – you can see them in Rio’s Botanical Garden.

Hummingbird – you can spot them in Botanical Garden and Parque Lage.

Toco Toucan, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Toco Toucan, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Marine life

Dolphins – you can see them in Ilha Grande. They don’t live there full time, they just pass by.

Sea Turtle – there is a chance to see Sea Turtle if you go to Mangaratiba, Angra dos Reis or Ilha Grande.

Stingray – can be found in Ilha Grande.

Stingray, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Stingray, Rio de Janeiro / image source

Butterflies

As soon as you leave the highly populated areas and enter greener areas there are a wide variety of butterflies.

Let the beautiful nature, samba rhythm and taste of fresh caipirinha seduces you. One you visit this sunny paradise you will yearn to come back again…

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