Rio De Janeiro
The city is capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, which encompasses most of Brazil's major tourist attractions has been justly dubbed the "Marvellous City", mainly owing to its spectacular location, beaches, views and its world-famous carnival.
The city throbs to the infectious beat of Brazilian music and is the main source of Brazil's national culture. The annual carnival, known simply as Carnaval, draws together the population of the city from the rich to the poor who take to the streets for the world's largest samba parade on the Sambodromo. Rio is also one of the most densely populated places on earth with extreme poverty in its favellas (slums). The majority of the 7 million inhabitants put aside their povery and thrive on dance, drink, beach, sport and sun.
The international tourist crowd take advantage of Rio's ritzy side - there are innumerable opportunities to be decadent but Rio also has much to offer the budget traveller. There are cheap hotels and restaurants aplenty, and the beach is a free entertainment zone.
Rio De Janeiro is situated in SE Brazil, in the state of Minas Gerais on the Atlantic coast. Rio is 716 mls SE of the capital Brasilia, 269 mls E of Sao Paulo (the country's largest city). The city's international airport (Galeao) is in the N outskirts, about 13 mls N of the city centre.