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Rio de Janeiro ("River of January", ; ) is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiromarker, the second largest city of Brazilmarker, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America. The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, from 1763 to 1822 during the Portuguesemarker colonial era, and from 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. It is also the former capital of the Portuguese Empire (1808–1821). Commonly known as just Rio, the city is also nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa.

Rio de Janeiro is famous for its natural settings, its carnival celebrations, samba, Bossa Nova and hotel-lined tourist beaches, such as Copacabanamarker, Ipanemamarker and Leblonmarker, along with its slums. Some of the most famous landmarks in addition to the beaches include the giant statue of Christ, known as Christ the Redeemermarker ('Cristo Redentor') atop Corcovadomarker mountain, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World; Sugarloafmarker mountain (Pão de Açúcar) with its cable car; the Sambódromomarker, a giant permanent parade stand used during Carnival and Maracanã stadiummarker, one of the world's largest football stadiums. Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics, and will be the first South American city to host the event and the second in Latin America 48 years after Mexico City hosted in 1968.

The city also boasts the largest and second largest urban forests in the world: Floresta da Tijuca, or "Tijuca Forestmarker." and (almost connected to the first) the forest in Parque Estadual da Pedra Branca, or White Stone State Park. The Galeão-Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airportmarker, commonly known simply as Galeão connects Rio de Janeiro with many Brazilian cities and also operates several international flights.

Despite its charm and beauty, Rio is reputed to be one of the most violent cities in the world. Much of the violent crime is concentrated in the or shantytowns but it also spills into middle- and upper-income neighborhoods.


Downtown Rio.
Rio de Janeiro is located at 22 degrees and 54 minutes south latitude, 43 degrees 14 minutes west longitude. Rio lies on a strip of Brazil's Atlantic coast, close to the Tropic of Capricornmarker, where the shoreline is oriented east-west. The city largely faces south. It was founded on an inlet of this stretch of the coast, Guanabara Bay (Baía de Guanabara), the entrance to which is marked by a point of land called Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar), a "calling card" of the city.

The Centre "Centro," the core of Rio, lies on the plains of the western shore of Guanabara Bay. The greater portion of the city, commonly referred to as the North Zone "Zona Norte," extends to the northwest on plains composed of marine and continental sediments and on hills and several rocky mountains. The South Zone "Zona Sul" of the city, reaching the beaches fringing the open sea, is cut off from the Centre and from the North Zone by coastal mountains. These mountains and hills are offshoots of the Serra do Mar to the northwest, an ancient gneiss-granite mountain chain that forms the southern slopes of the Brazilian Highlands. The large West Zone "Zona Oeste," long cut off by the mountainous terrain, had been made accessible by new roads and tunnels by the end of the 20th century.

The population of the City of Rio de Janeiro is about 6,136,652, occupying an area of . The population of the greater metropolitan area is estimated at 11-13.5 million. It was Brazil's capital until 1960, when Brasíliamarker took its place. Residents of the city are known as Cariocas. The official song of Rio is "Cidade Maravilhosa."


Rio has a Tropical savanna climate (Aw) according to the Köppen climate classification and is often characterized by long periods of rain from December to March. The temperature occasionally reaches over 40°C (104°F) in inland areas of the city, and extreme maximum temperatures above 30°C (86°F) can happen every month. In the main tourist areas (south side, where the beaches are located), the temperature is moderated by the cool sea-breezes from the oceanmarker.

Along the coast, the breeze, blowing alternately onshore and offshore, modifies the temperature. Because of its geographic situation, the city is often reached, especially during autumn and winter, by cold fronts advancing from Antarcticamarker, which cause frequent weather changes. But it is mostly in summer that strong showers may provoke catastrophic floods and landslides. The mountainous areas register greater rainfall since they constitute a barrier to the humid wind that comes from the Atlantic.

The average annual minimum temperature is 20°C (68°F), the average annual maximum temperature is 26°C (79°F) and the average annual temperature is 23°C (73.5°F). The average yearly precipitation is 1,086 mm. The minimum temperature recorded was 4.8°C (40°F) in July 1928, but temperatures below 10°C (50°F) are very rare in the city. The absolute maximum reached 43.2°C (110°F) in January 1984. The temperature varies according to elevation, distance from the coast, and type of vegetation. Winter (June–September) is particularly pleasant, both because of its mild temperatures and because it is, in general, less rainy than the summer (December–March).



Foundation of Rio de Janeiro.
Europeans first encountered Guanabara Bay on January 1, 1502 (hence Rio de Janeiro, "January River") by a Portuguese expedition under explorer Gaspar de Lemos who was a captain of a ship in Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet. Allegedly the Florentine explorer Amerigo Vespucci participated as observer at the invitation of King Manuel I in the latter's expedition. The region of Rio was inhabited by the Tupi, Puri, Botocudo and Maxakalí peoples.

The Portuguese mariners named Rio thus because they thought the bay was the mouth of a big river that they did not explore at the time and provisionally called "the river of January" ("Rio de Janeiro"), and where they eventually erected a settlement. The small colony that dealt with the native tribes grew and became a more permanent urban center. The city proper was founded on March 1, 1565.

Until early in the 18th century, the city was threatened or invaded by several, mostly French, pirates and buccaneers, such as Jean-François Duclerc and René Duguay-Trouin.
In the late 17th century, still during the Sugar Era, the Bandeirantes found gold and diamonds in the neighboring captaincy of Minas Geraismarker, thus Rio de Janeiro became a much more practical port for exporting wealth (gold, precious stones, besides the sugar) than Salvador, Bahiamarker, which is much farther to the northeast. And so in 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained primarily a colonial capital until 1808, when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbonmarker nobles, fleeing from Napoleon's invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro. The kingdom's capital was transferred to the city, which, thus, became the only European capital outside of Europe. As there was no physical space or urban structure to accommodate hundreds of noblemen who arrived suddenly, many inhabitants were simply evicted from their homes. There was a large influx of African slaves to Rio de Janeiro: in 1819, there were 145,000 slaves in the captaincy. In 1840, the number of slaves reached 220,000 people.

When Prince Pedro I proclaimed the independence of Brazil in 1822, he decided to keep Rio de Janeiro as the capital of his new empire. Rio continued as the capital of Brazil after 1889, when the monarchy was replaced by a republic.
XV Square.
Until the early years of the 20th century, the city was largely limited to the neighborhood now known as the historic Downtown business district (see below), on the mouth of Guanabara Bay. The city's center of gravity began to shift south and west to the so-called Zona Sul (South Zone) in the early part of the 20th century, when the first tunnel was built under the mountains located between Botafogomarker and the neighborhood now known as Copacabanamarker. That beach's natural beauty, combined with the fame of the Copacabana Palacemarker Hotel, the luxury hotel of the Americas in the 1930s, helped Rio to gain the reputation it still holds today as a beach party town (though, this reputation has been somewhat tarnished in recent years by favela violence resulting from the narcotics trade). Plans for moving the nation's capital city to the territorial centre had been occasionally discussed, and when Juscelino Kubitschek was elected president in 1955, it was partially on the strength of promises to build a new capital. Though many thought that it was just campaign rhetoric, Kubitschek managed to have Brasíliamarker built, at great cost, by 1960. On April 21 that year the capital of Brazil was officially moved from Rio de Janeiro to Brasília.

Between 1960 and 1975 Rio was a city-state under the name State of Guanabara (after the bay it borders). However, for administrative and political reasons, a presidential decree known as "The Fusion" removed the city's federative status and merged it with the State of Rio de Janeiromarker, the territory surrounding the city whose capital was Niterói, in 1975. Even today, some Cariocas advocate the return of municipal autonomy.

It was announced on October 2, 2009 that Rio would host the 2016 Olympic Games, beating competitors Chicagomarker, Tokyomarker, and Madridmarker.

City districts

The city is commonly divided into the historic downtown (Centro); the tourist-friendly South Zone (Zona Sul), with its world-famous beaches; the residential North Zone (Zona Norte); and the West Zone (Zona Oeste), with the newer Barra da Tijucamarker district.


( )
Central Business District.
Centro (Downtown in American English or CBD in other English use) is the historic centre of the city, as well as its financial centre. Sites of interest include the Paço Imperialmarker, built during colonial times to serve as a residence for the Portuguese governors of Brazil; many historic churches, such as the Candelária Churchmarker, the colonial Cathedral and the modern-style Rio de Janeiro Cathedralmarker. Around the Cinelândiamarker square there are several landmarks of the Belle Époque of Rio, such as the Municipal Theatremarker and the National Library building. Among its several museums, the Museu Nacional de Belas Artesmarker (National Museum of Fine Arts) and the Museu Histórico Nacionalmarker (National Historical Museum) are the most important. Other important historical attractions in central Rio include its Passeio Públicomarker, an 18th-century public garden, as well as the imposing arches of the Arcos da Lapamarker, a Roman-style aqueduct built around 1750. A bondinho (tram) leaves from a city center station, crosses the aqueduct (converted to a tram viaduct in 1896) and rambles through the hilly streets of the Santa Teresa neighbourhood nearby.

Downtown remains the heart of the city's business community. Some of the largest companies in Brazil have their head offices here, including Petrobras, Eletrobrás and Vale (formerly Companhia Vale do Rio Doce), the three largest Brazilian corporations.

South Zone

( )
The South Zone of Rio de Janeiro (in Portuguese: "Zona Sul") is composed of several districts, amongst which are São Conradomarker, Leblonmarker, Ipanemamarker, Arpoadormarker, Copacabanamarker and Leme, which compose Rio's famous Atlantic beach coastline. Other districts in the South Zone are Glória, Catete, Flamengomarker, Botafogomarker and Urcamarker, which border Guanabara Bay and Santa Teresa, Cosme Velhomarker, Laranjeiras, Humaitámarker, Lagoamarker, Jardim Botânico and Gáveamarker. It is the richest region of the city and the most famous overseas.

The neighbourhood of Copacabana beach hosts one of the world's most spectacular New Year's Eve parties ("Reveillon"), as more than two million revelers crowd onto the sands to watch the fireworks display. As of 2001, the fireworks have been launched from boats, to improve the safety of the event. To the north of Leme, and at the entrance to Guanabara Bay, is the district of Urcamarker and the Sugarloaf Mountainmarker ('Pão de Açúcar'), whose name describes the famous mountain rising out of the sea. The summit can be reached via a two-stage cable car trip from Praia Vermelha, with the intermediate stop on Morro da Urca. It offers views second only to Corcovado mountain.
One of the highest hills in the city is the 842 metres (2,762 ft) high Pedra da Gáveamarker (Crow's nest Rock) near the botanical gardens. On the top of its summit is a huge rock formation (some, such as Erich von Däniken in his 1973 book, "In Search of Ancient Gods," claim it to be a sculpture) resembling a sphinx-like, bearded head that is visible for many kilometers around.

Hang gliding is a popular activity on the nearby Pedra Bonita (Beautiful Rock). After a short flight, gliders land on the Praia do Pepino (Cucumber Beach) in São Conrado.Since 1961, the Tijuca National Parkmarker (Parque Nacional da Tijuca), the largest city-surrounded urban forest and the second largest urban forest in the world, has been a National Park. The largest urban forest in the world is the Floresta da Pedra Branca (White Rock Forest), which is also located in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The Pontifical Catholic University of Rio (Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiromarker or PUC-Rio), Brazil's top private university, is located at the edge of the forest, in the Gávea district. The 1984 film Blame it on Rio was filmed nearby, with the rental house used by the story's characters sitting at the edge of the forest on a mountain overlooking the famous beaches.

North Zone

The North Zone of Rio (in Portuguese: "Zona Norte") is home to the Maracanã stadiummarker, once the world's highest capacity football venue, able to hold nearly 199,000 people, as it did the World Cup final of 1950. In modern times its capacity has been reduced to conform with modern safety regulations and the stadium has introduced seating for all fans. Currently undergoing renovation, it has now the capacity for 95,000 fans; it will eventually hold around 120,000 people. Maracanã was site for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and football competition of the 2007 Pan-American Games, and will host the final match of 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and football matches of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Besides Maracanã, the North Zone of Rio also holds other tourist and historical attractions, such as 'Manguinhos', the home of Instituto Oswaldo Cruzmarker, a centenarian biomedical research institution with a main building fashioned like a Moorish palace, and the beautiful Quinta da Boa Vistamarker, the park where the historic Imperial Palacemarker is located. Nowadays, the palace hosts the National Museummarker, specializing in Natural History, Archaeology and Ethnology.

The International Airport of Rio de Janeiromarker (Galeão – Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport, named after the famous Brazilian musician Antônio Carlos Jobim), the main campus of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiromarker at the Fundão Island, and the State University of Rio de Janeiro, in Maracanã, are also located in the Northern part of Rio.

This region is also home to most of the samba schools of Rio de Janeiro such as Mangueira, Salgueiro, Império Serrano, Unidos da Tijuca, among others. Some of the main neighbourhoods of Rio's North Zone are Tijucamarker, which shares the Tijuca Rainforestmarker with the South Zone; Grajaú, Vila Isabel, Méier, São Cristovão Madureira and Penha among others.

West Zone

The West Side (in Portuguese: "Zona Oeste") is the region furthest from the centre of Rio de Janeiro. It includes Barra da Tijucamarker, Jacarepaguámarker, Recreio dos Bandeirantesmarker, Vargem Grande, Vargem Pequena, Realengomarker, Padre Miguel, Bangumarker, Campo Grandemarker, Jardim Sulacap, Paciência and Santa Cruzmarker. Neighbouring districts within the West Zone reveal stark differences between social classes. The area has industrial zones, but some agricultural areas still remain in its wide area. In this zone we found Terra Encantada, an amusement park.

Westwards from the older zones is Barra da Tijuca, a flat expanse of formerly undeveloped coastal land, which is currently experiencing a wave of new construction. It remains an area of accelerated growth, attracting some of the richer sectors of the population as well as luxury companies. High rise flats and sprawling shopping centres give the area a far more American feel than the crowded city centre. The urban planning of the area, made in the late 1960s, resembles that of United States suburbs, though mixing zones of single-family houses with residential skyscrapers. The beaches of Barra da Tijuca are also popular with the city's residents. Barra da Tijuca is the home of Pan-American Village for the 2007 Pan American Games.

Beyond the neighbourhoods of Barra da Tijuca and Jacarepaguá, another district that has exhibited economic growth is Campo Grande. Some sports competitions in the Pan American Games of 2007 were held in the Miécimo da Silva Sports Centre, nicknamed the 'Algodão' (Cotton) Gymnasium, and others in the Ítalo del Cima Stadiummarker, in Campo Grande.


One of Rio's many beaches.
According to the IBGE of 2008, there were 14,387,000 people residing in the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro. The population density was 6180 people/km² (in the urban area). The last PNAD (National Research for Sample of Domiciles) census revealed the following percentage: 6,319,890 White people (53.4%), 2,964,725 Pardo (Brown) people (33.5%), 991,210 Black people (12.6%) and 59,175 Asian or Amerindian people (0.5%).

Different ethnic groups contributed to the formation of the population of Rio de Janeiro. Before European colonization, there were at least seven different indigenous peoples speaking 20 languages in the region. A part of them joined the Portuguese and the other the French. Those who joined the French were then exterminated by the Portuguese, while the other part was assimilated.

Rio de Janeiro is home to the largest Portuguese population outside of Lisbonmarker in Portugalmarker. After the independence from Portugal, Rio de Janeiro became a destination for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Portugal, mainly in the early 20th century. The immigrants were mostly poor peasants who subsequently found prosperity in Rio as city workers and small traders. The influence of Portugal is still seen in many parts of the city, including architecture and language.

The black community was formed with residents whose ancestors had been brought as slaves, mostly from Angolamarker or Mozambiquemarker. The carnival and samba first appeared under the influence of the black community in the city. Today, nearly half of the city's population is black or part black.

As a result of the influx of immigrants to Brazil from the late 19th to the early 20th century, one may find in Rio de Janeiro communities of Jews, Arabs of Lebanese and Syrian origin, Italians, Spaniards, Germans, and people from different parts of Brazil.

Self-reported ancestry of people from Rio de Janeiro, by race or skin color (2000 survey)
Ancestry White Brown Black
European only 48% 6% -
African only - 12% 25%
Amerindian only - 2% -
African and European 23% 34% 31%
Amerindian and European 14% 6% -
African and Amerindian - 4% 9%
African, Amerindian and European 15% 36% 35%
Total 100% 100% 100%

Population growth

Changing demographics of the city of Rio de Janeiro

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 bar:1980 from:0 till: 5090700
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 bar:1872 at: 274972 fontsize:S text: 274.972 shift:(-8,5)
 bar:1890 at: 522651 fontsize:S text: 522.651 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:1900 at: 811443 fontsize:S text: 811.443 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:1920 at: 1157873 fontsize:S text: 1.157.873 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:1940 at: 1764141 fontsize:S text: 1.764.141 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:1950 at: 2377451 fontsize:S text: 2.377.451 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:1960 at: 3281908 fontsize:S text: 3.281.908 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:1970 at: 4251918 fontsize:S text: 4.251.918 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:1980 at: 5090700 fontsize:S text: 5.090.700 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:1991 at: 5336179 fontsize:S text: 5.336.179 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:2000 at: 5851914 fontsize:S text: 5.851.914 shift:(-10,5)
 bar:2007 at: 6093472 fontsize:S text: 7.143.472 shift:(-10,5)

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Source: Planet Barsa Ltda.


Religion Percentage Number
Catholic 60.71% 3,556,096
Protestant 17.65% 1,034,009
No religion 13.33% 781,080
Spiritist 3.44% 201,714
Umbandist 0.72% 72,946
Jewish 0.4% 23,862
Source: IBGE 2000.

Tourism and recreation

The City of Samba (Cidade do Samba) is the latest tourist attraction in Rio de Janeiro, occupying an area of 114.000 sq. meters, built in the port district by the City Hall, at Rua Rivadávia Corrêa 60, Gamboa, a district neighboring downtown. There is a reason for this choice of location for the thematic city, since it is here, considered to be "Sacred Ground," that the Carioca samba was born. The triangle, which includes the neighborhoods of Saúde, Santo Cristo and Gamboa has a great concentration of the City's popular culture, notably the personalities and entities, linked to the Carioca Carnaval. The design of The City of Samba forms a geometrical figure, with factories surrounding the main square. They seem like parts of a group, linking hands, forming a large circle. It is as if the world of the samba were embracing its ancestors, who were around here during the 17th and 18th centuries, bringing the art of African dance and music, to be incorporated today to Brazilian cultural traditions. The thematic city will transform samba school activities into a permanent practice. More than a tourist attraction, The City of Samba has become a production center of genuine Brazilian art.
Christ Redeemer, symbol of the city of Rio de Janeiro, is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This iconic post card subject stands 38 meters high, and had its corner stone set in 1922 and its opening on October 12, 1931. From its 38 meter of height, and 710 meters of the Corcovado Hill, the Christ is the image of the carioca people faith and sympathy and celebrates, in 2008, 77 years of existence. Since May 2000, when it received new lighting, the monument and its accesses have been modernized. The high point was the opening of the mechanized access in 2002, with panoramic elevators and escalators. Thus, there is no longer the need to climb 220 steps of stairs that lead to the statue's feet.

The Christ Redeemermarker (Cristo Redentor) counts now on three panoramic elevators, each one capable of taking 14 people. The access is through an area that assists both the visitors that arrive by car and the visitors that come from the railroad platform of the Corcovado station. Metallic footbridges were also built, sustained by another structure with approximately four meters wide and four escalators, with traffic capacity of 9 thousand people per hour. The trip starts there, for the tower, with 31 meters in height, will uncover the first view of the city. To complete the access to the statue, four escalators were installed.
Sugar Loaf cable car. An idea of Brazilian engineer Augusto Ferreira Ramos inaugurated on October 27, 1912, had its ninetieth anniversary in 2002. The first installed in Brazil and the third in the world, it is a major icon of Rio tourism and has become a trademark of the city. From the inauguration to the above-mentioned anniversary it transported 31 million tourists. In December, January, February and July, high season, daily attendance goes to three thousand people. In the nine decades during which it has operated, the cable car has received tourists from all over the world, including internationally known personalities, authorities and artists. Considered to be one of the safest in the world by international agencies of passenger cable cars, it has never had an accident with casualties. The current lines have safety devices with alarm at all points. Every morning, before receiving the first tourists, the cable cars have a trial run. The route is entirely programmed by electronics that checks 47 safety items. The tourist complex includes three stations, Praia Vermelha, Morro da Urca and Pão de Açucar which are joined by four cable cars, two going between Praia Vermelha to Morro da Urca and two between Morro da Urca and Pão de Açucar. Urca Mountain (Morro da Urca) is 220 m high and Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açucar), 396 m high.

The Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar) is surrounded by vegetation characteristically tropical, with vestiges of the Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica) containing native species that have disappeared from other areas of the Brazilian coast. It also boasts rare vegetal species, such as the orchid "laelia lobata" that can only be found in two places on the planet, Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açucar) and Gávea Rock (Pedra da Gávea), both in Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian mountain with the greatest number of climbing tracks (in 1997 there were 38), the Sugar Loaf is visited daily by hundreds of Brazilian and foreign climbers, mountaineers and ecologists.
Ipanema. Even more irresistible than the muse who inspired the "Girl from Ipanema," the song which immortalized both her and her neighborhood, there is no doubt that Ipanemamarker is a famous meeting point in Rio de Janeiro. This sophisticated neighborhood offers a lively night life scene with an enticing blend of beach, bars and boutiques.

A major attraction throughout the day, its sands also welcome countless after-dark visitors, including joggers and other athletes who cluster at its kiosks, pedal along the bicycle path and make good use of special lighting to exercise and relax. Thanks to its multi-faceted lifestyle, Ipanema truly reflects the Carioca spirit of the people of Rio, welcoming visitors eager to join in the fun.

Copacabana. Framed by the wavy black and white mosaics of Atlantic Avenue, Copacabana is one of the main reasons for this fascination. In fact, there are two separate beaches here: Leme (one kilometer) and Copacabana, (just over three kilometers).
center of activity both night and day, the beach is lined with modernized kiosks, a bicycle path and racks, lifeguard posts, public showers and bathrooms, hotels, bars and open-air restaurants. Built in 1914 to defend Guanabara Bay, the Copacabana Fort offers visitors many interesting attractions. Outstanding events are recorded for posterity at the Army Historical Museum through displays, video exhibitions, maquettes and even a hi-tech multi-media terminal that is a favorite with visitors to the Fort.

All this is set against a panoramic view of one of the loveliest points on the Brazilian coastline. One of the first hotels in Rio to be built on the seashore, the Copacabana Palacemarker still reflects the Cultural influences of Europe offering sophisticated service and accommodations. Inaugurated in 1923, this hotel became a symbol of Rio, welcoming a steady flow of famous artists and performers, politicians, executives and international celebrities. Declared part of Brazil's Historical Heritage, its colorful history includes many fascinating episodes.

Tijuca Forest. (Parque Nacional da Tijuca) Home to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife, found only in the Atlantic Forest, this is the world's largest urban forest replanted by man, covering 3.972 hectares. Its historical attractions and enchanting nooks are well worth a leisurely visit. Just a short drive from the financial center downtown, the North Zone and Rio's smart beach neighborhoods, its attractions include the Cascatinha Waterfall, the Mayrink Chapel, the Excelsior Lookout Point, the Paul and Virginia Grotto, Fairy Lake and, all favorite destinations for weekend family outings.
The Tijuca Forestmarker was reforested in the middle of the 19th Century after years of intense deforesting and planting (specially coffee plantations). The replanting was a pioneer initiative in all Latin America. The person responsible for the replanting, nominated by the Emperor D. Pedro II in 1861, was Major Gomes Archer, the first forest administrator who worked initially with 6 slaves and, later, with 22 paid workers, planting in 13 years 100 thousand seedlings. The replanting was made with species, in its great majority, natives of the Atlantic Forest ecosystem. The second administrator, Baron Gastão D' Escragnole continued the replanting from 1874 to 1888. In addition to introducing more 30 thousand seedlings, transformed the forest in a leisure area, a park for public use, including exotic species, creating bridges, fountains, lakes and leisure areas with the orientation and help of the Frenchmarker landscaper Augusto Glaziou.


Rio de Janeiro Stock Exchange.
Rio de Janeiro became an attractive place for companies to locate when it was the capital of Brazil, as important sectors of society and of the government were present in the city. The city was chosen as headquarters for state-owned companies such as Petrobras, Eletrobrás, Caixa Econômica Federal and Vale do Rio Doce (which was privatized in the 1990s). After the transfer of the capital to Brasíliamarker, in 1960, it kept attracting more companies, especially after the discovery of oil in the Campos Basin, which produces most of the total oil production of Brazil. This made many oil and gas companies to be based in Rio de Janeiro, such as the Brazilian branches of Shell, EBX and Esso. The headquarters of BNDES, an important state institution, is also in Rio de Janeiro. The city is also the headquarters of large telecom companies, such as Intelig, Oi and Embratel. Big multi-national companies such as Coca-Cola, IBM and El Paso also have offices in the city.

Rio ranks second nationally in industrial production and second financial and service center, trailing only São Paulomarker. The city's industries produce processed foods, chemicals, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, metal products, ships, textiles, clothing, and furniture. The service sector dominates the economy, however, and includes banking and the second most active stock market in Brazil, the Bolsa da Valores do Brasil. Tourism and entertainment are other key aspects of the city's economic life and the city is the nation's top tourist attraction for both Brazilians and foreigners. Because it was once the national capital, Rio de Janeiro was chosen as the site for the headquarters of many private, national, multinational, and state corporations, even when their factories were located in other cities or states. Despite the transfer of the capital to Brasília, many of these headquarters remained within the Rio metropolitan area, including those of Petrobrás, the state oil company, and the National Economic and Social Development Bank, a federal investment bank.
A newer electronics and computer sector has been added to the older industries of metallurgy, engineering, and printing and publishing. Other manufacturing sectors focus on the production of shipyard-related materials, apparel and footwear, textiles, nonmetallic mineral products, food and beverages, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Construction, also an important activity, provides a significant source of employment for large numbers of unskilled workers and is buoyed by the number of seasonal residents who build second homes in the Greater Rio area. To attract industry, the state governmentmarker has designated certain areas on the outskirts of the city as industrial districts where infrastructure is provided and land sales are made under special conditions. Oil and natural gas from fields off the northern coast of Rio de Janeiro state are a major asset used for developing manufacturing activities in Rio's metropolitan area, enabling it to compete with other major cities for new investment in industry.
As with manufacturing, Rio is an important financial centre, second only to São Paulo in volume of business in financial markets and in banking. Its securities market, although declining in significance relative to São Paulo, is still of major importance. Owing to the proximity of Rio's port facilities, many of Brazil's export-import companies are headquartered in the city. In Greater Rio, which has one of the highest per capita incomes in Brazil, retail trade is substantial. Many of the most important retail stores are located in the Centre, but others are scattered throughout the commercial areas of the other districts, where shopping centres, supermarkets, and other retail businesses handle a large volume of consumer trade.

Major Brazilian entertainment organizations are based in Rio de Janeiro like TV Globo (Globosat, Globo News, SportTv, Telecine, Tv Brazil), NET, Sky and WayBrazil and also some of Brazil's major newspapers: Jornal do Brasilmarker, O Globo, O Dia, and Business Rio. Major international pharmacuetical companies have their Brazilian headquarters in Rio such us Merck, Roche, Arrow, Darrow, Baxter, Mayne, and Mappel.

The GDP for the city was R$ 127,956,075,000 (2006).

The per capita income for the city was R$ 20,851 (2006).


There are also international schools, such as the American School of Rio de Janeiromarker, Our Lady of Mercy School, the Corcovado German School, and the British School of Rio de Janeiro.

Educational institutions

Notable higher educational institutions include:

Educational system

Primary schools are largely under municipal administration, while the state plays a more significant role in the extensive network of secondary schools. There is also schools and high school under federal administration, like for example Colégio Pedro II, that are consider to be the best public schools. Rio has a large number of private schools that are know to offer better education than public schools, with some exceptions. Rio is the home of many colleges and universities.

The Rio de Janeiro State University (public), Federal University of Rio de Janeiromarker (public) and Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiromarker (private) are among the country's top institutions of higher education. The Rio de Janeiro State University is also located in the city. The literacy rate for Cariocas age 10 and older is nearly 95 percent, well above the national average. In Rio, there were 1,033 primary schools with 25,594 teachers and 667,788 students in 1995. There are 370 secondary schools with 9,699 teachers and 227,892 students. There are 53 University-preparatory schools schools with 14,864 teachers and 154,447 students. The city has six major universities and 47 private schools of higher learning.


Modern Art Museum of Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro is the cultural capital of Brazil. Over its nearly 500 years of history, it has been the spring board for all the country's principal cultural exports, and the port of entry for major international art exhibitions or musical events bringing top names from the classical to the contemporary. Rio's architecture embraces churches and buildings dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, blending with the world renowned designs of the 20th. Rio was home to the Portuguese Imperial familymarker and capital of the country for many years, and was influenced by Portuguese, English and French architecture. Today, these wonderful old buildings contrast with the high rise ultra-modern intelligent structures, in a city that knows how to progress while at the same time preserving its past.


There are more than 50 museums, with collections that help to relate Brazil's 500 year history. They can be found in buildings listed as national historic heritage, or in award-winning buildings, illustrating the creativity of Brazilian architecture. The principal cultural centers, such as the Modern Art Museum, the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Bank of Brazil Cultural Center are geared today to show international exhibits under conditions of safety and conservation identical to the best museums in the world. There are several significant museums in Rio as well. Among them are the Quinta da Boa Vistamarker, the Native Art Museum (primitives, with the largest collection of native paintings in the world), and the Indian Museum.


The National Library in Rio de Janeiro ranks as the eighth largest library in the world. It is also the largest library in all of Latin America. Located in Cinelândiamarker, the National Library was originally created by the King of Portugal, in 1810. As with many of Rio de Janeiro's cultural monuments, the library was originally off-limits to the general public. The first collections of the library were actually brought to Rio from Lisbonmarker by the Royal Family in 1807. The Royals were fleeing from the French armiesmarker and carried with them; close to 60,000 items that had previously been housed in the Royal Library in Lisbon. The Royal Library was destroyed in 1755 by an earthquake.

Guided tours of the Library are available and include information on the architecture, and history of the building as well as information on the works collected beneath it's roof. The most valuable collections in the library include: 4,300 items donated by Barbosa Machado including a precious collection of rare brochures detailing the History of Portugal and Brazil, 2,365 items from the 17th and 18th century that were previously owned by Antônio de Araújo de Azevedo, the "Count of Barca," including the 125 volume set of prints "Le Grand Théâtre de l'Univers," a collection of documents regarding the Jesuítica Province of Paraguay and the "Region of Prata," and what is considered the most impressive, the Teresa Cristina Maria Collection, donated by Dom Pedro II. This collection contains 48,236 items. Individual items of special interest include: an extremely rare first edition of Os Lusíadas by Luis de Camões published in 1584, two copies of the Mogúncia Bible, and a first edition of Handel's Messiah-to name just a few.


Rio de Janeiro at night.
The official song of Rio de Janeiro is "Cidade Maravilhosa," which means "marvelous city." The song is considered the "civic anthem" of Rio, and is always the favourite song during Rio's Carnival in February. Rio de Janeiro is a very important place when studying the urban music of Brazil. They are responsible for the creation of Funk Carioca, which means funk from Rio de Janeiro. This music became a representation of the current problems residents faced in Rio. It became the largest movement in the city because it gave an outlet to many young people to voice their feelings and make money at the same time.

Rio was eternalized in the hit song "Garota de Ipanema" (The Girl from Ipanema) composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and recognized worldwide and recorded by Astrud Gilberto & João Gilberto, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald. This is also the main key song of the bossa nova, a musical genre that was born in Rio. A genre unique to Rio and Brazil as a whole is Funk Carioca. While samba music continues to act as the national unifying agent in Rio, Funk Carioca found a strong community following in Brazil. First introduced in the 1970s to refer to modern black pop music from the United States, such as James Brown, it evolved in the 1990s to describe a variety of electronic music associated with the current US black music scene including hip hop, modern soul, and house music. Recognizable by the bass of the beat box, funk music could be heard in the alley ways of lower-class neighborhoods in Rio throughout the mid-1990s. Dancing and interclass mixing were significant in the "funk movement."

Although no longer the capital city of Brazil, Rio has always been the symbol of Brazil's nationality and diverse social structure. While samba is the national unifying agent, as Brazilian national politics developed in Rio, other forms of music were implemented into the national Culture of Brazil.Brazil's return to democracy in 1985 after over 20 years of military authoritarian rule, and the subsequent end of rampant censorship, allowed for a new freedom of expression which promoted creativity and experimentation in expressive culture. This new expressive ability facilitated to access to better economic conditions and relative economic stability. This economic stability allowed for the consumption of imported goods such as hip hop. Commercial and cultural imports from Europe and North America have often influenced Brazil's own cultural output. For example, the hip hop that has stemmed from New Yorkmarker is localized into various forms of musical production such as Funk Carioca and Brazilian hip hop. Thus, Rio has been the most important site as the melting pot of talented composers and performers of all different musical backgrounds. Democratic renewal also allowed for the recognition and acceptance of this diversification of Brazilian culture.

In some cases, Funk Carioca is also connected to gang territorial dominance in Rio's slums. The gangs fund dance parties, known as bailes, to recruit new members, update each other on local news, and engage in selling drugs. Rio de Janeiro, representing one of the largest urban areas in Brazil, is populated with a medley of ethnic types and identities. This diversity allows for it to be the major site for the country's music industry to thrive. Many active scholars in the study of pop culture, such as Livio Sansone, Samuel Araújo, and Martha Ulhoa and internationally renown recording artists such as Rick Devin are located in the heart of this city, proving it to be an imperative place for any aspiring pop culture artist to be.

More recently, Rio has been an important center for the revival of traditional samba music, especially around Lapa, an old bohemian neighborhood. This has come closely associated with a revival in Choro music, a traditional form which is mainly instrumental. This revival caters mostly to college students and college educated people and has spun a new generation of mainstream musicians as well as generating renewed interest in a previously marginalized old generation of composers.


After Brazilian independence from Portugal in 1822, Rio de Janeiro quickly developed a European-style bourgeois cultural life, including numerous newspapers, in which most nineteenth-century novels were initially published in serial. Joaquim Manuel de Macedo's A moreninha ("The little brunette" in 1844) was perhaps the first successful novel in Brazil and inaugurates a recurrent nineteenth-century theme: a romantic relationship between idealistic young people in spite of cruelties of social fortune. The first notable work of realism focusing on the urban lower-middle class is Manuel Antônio de Almeida's Memórias de um sargento de milícias ("Memoirs of a constable" in 1854), which presents a series of picaresque but touching scenes, and evokes the transformation of a town into a city with suggestive nostalgia. Romantic and realist modes both flourished through the late nineteenth century and often overlapped within works.


Rio Janeiro 's Theatro Municipal is, without a doubt, one of the most resplendent buildings in the downtown area of Rio de Janeiro. Home of one of the largest stages in Latin America and hands down one of Brazil's most well known venues for opera, ballet, and classical music, the Municipal Theater is a showplace that is a must stop for anyone visiting this mecca of history and culture. The magnificent building was inspired by the Paris Opera of Garnier, and built in 1905 by the architect Francisco Pereira Passos. The statues on the top, of two women representing Poetry and Music, are by Rodolfo Bernadelli, and the interior is rich with lavish furnishings and fine paintings. Founded in 1909, the Teatro Municipal was designed after the famed opera house in Parismarker with close to 1,700 seats. It's sumptuous interior includes turn-of-the-century stained glass from France, ceilings of delicate rose-colored marble and a 1,000 pound crystal bead chandelier surrounded by a painting of the "Dance of the Hours." The exterior walls of the building are dotted with inscriptions bearing the names of many famous and significant Brazilians as well as many other internationally known celebrities . Ticket prices range from R$480 (US$270) for a box to R$5 (US$2.80) up in the gods. On Sundays at 11am performances and workshops are put on for only R$1 (US$0.55), but people can’t buy in advance, the only option is to turn up and queue. They are enormously popular with locals, and you are unlikely to get a good seat unless you turn up at 9am and prepare to wait.
2008 Carnival.


Carnival or Carnaval, from Latin "Carnevale," meat festival or valley, is an annual celebration in the Roman Catholic tradition that allows merry-making and red meat consumption before the more sober 40 days of Lent penance which culminates with Holy or Passion Week and Easter. The tradition of Carnival parades was probably influenced by the French or German courts and the custom was brought by the Portuguese or Brazilian Imperial families who had Bourbon and Austrian descents. Up until the time of the marchinhas, the revelry was more of a high class and Caucasian-led event. The influence of the African-Brazilian drums and music was more noticeable from the first half of the 20th century on. Rio de Janeiro has many Carnival choices, including the famous samba school (Escolas de Samba) parades in the sambadromemarker exhibition centre and the popular blocos de carnaval, street revelry, which parade in almost every corner of the city. The most famous ones are:
  • Cordão do Bola Preta: Parades in the centre of the city. It is one of the most traditional carnavals. In 2008, 500,000 people attended in one day.
  • Suvaco do Cristo: Band that parades in the Botanic Garden, directly below the Redeemer statue's arm. The name, in English, translates as 'Christ's armpit', and was chosen for that reason.
  • Carmelitas: Band that was supposedly created by nuns, but in fact it is just a theme chosen by the band. It parades in the hills of Santa Teresa, which have very nice views.
  • Simpatia é Quase Amor: One of the most popular parades in Ipanema. Translates as 'Friendliness is almost love'.
  • Banda de Ipanema: The most traditional in Ipanemamarker. It attracts a wide range of revellers, including families and a wide spectrum of the gay population (notably spectacular drag queens).

In 1840, the first Carnaval was celebrated with a masked ball. As years passed, adorned floats and costumed revelers became a tradition amongst the celebrants. Carnaval is known as a historic root of Brazilian music.

New year

Every December 31, 2.5 million people gather at Copacabana Beach to celebrate New Year's in Rio de Janeiro. The crowd, all dressed in white, parties all night at the hundreds of different shows and events along the beach. It is the second largest celebration only next to the Carnival. People celebrate the New Year by sharing chilled Champagne with total strangers. It is considered good luck to shake the Champagne bottle and spray around at midnight. Chilled Champagne adds to the spirit of the festivities.
Entrance is free, peace is absolute, and security is guaranteed. There are four kilometers of fireworks exploding in the sky. The people, mostly dressed in white, coming from the four corners of the world, bid farewell to the year that is ending and toast the arrival of the new year. People from all social classes, side by side, in peace, in manifestations that mix magic and devotion. One of the largest fireworks in the world with about 22-minute duration, illuminates the beauty of Copacabana Beach in various colors. Hotels and restaurants present the most varied party options, with menus prepared by great chefs or tropical buffets. Always entitled to the greatest attraction: the magnificent fireworks display at midnight, which illuminates the sky in different forms and colors. Stages are erected the length of the beach at which live shows take place. It is undoubtedly the greatest open-air party in the world.

Cultural events

Rio has an extensive nightlife scene. Clubs like Baronneti, Hideaway, Icy, Nuth, Zero Zero, and Catwalk are some of the country's and world's best known and frequented by celebrities such as Madonna, Ronaldo, Calvin Klein, Mick Jagger, and Naomi Campbell.



The City of Rio de Janeiro is served by the following airports:
  • Public use:

Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airportmarker: used for all international and most of the domestic flights. Since August 2004, with the transfer of many flights from Santos-Dumont Airport, Rio de Janeiro International Airport has returned to being one of the main doorways to Brazilmarker. According to data from the official Brazilian travel bureau, Embratur, nearly 40% of foreign tourists who visit Brazil choose Rio as their gateway, meaning Galeão Airport. Besides linking Rio to the rest of Brazil with domestic flights, Galeão has connections to more than 18 countries. It can handle up to 15 million users a year in two passenger terminals. Located only 20 km (12 mi) from downtown Rio, the international airport is served by several quick access routes, such as the Red Line "Linha Vermelha" and "Linha Amarela" Yellow Line freeways and Brazil Avenue "Avenida Brasil," thus conveniently serving residents of the city's southern, northern and western zones. There are special shuttle buses linking Galeão to Santos-Dumont, and bus and taxi service to the rest of the city. The airport complex also has Brazil's longest runway at 4,000 m (13,123 ft), and one of South America's largest and best equipped cargo logistics terminals.
Santos Dumont Airportmarker: used mainly by the services to São Paulomarker, some short- and medium-haul domestic flights, and general aviation. Located on Guanabara Bay just a few blocks from the heart of downtown Rio, during the 1990s Santos-Dumont began to outgrow its capacity, besides diverging from its specialization on short-hop flights, offering routes to many destinations in Brazil. For this reason, in late 2004 Santos-Dumont returned to its original condition of operating only shuttle flights to and from Congonhas Airportmarker in São Paulo, along with regional aviation. The passenger terminal is presently undergoing extensive renovation and expantion to offer more convenience and comfort to users of the Rio-São Paulo shuttle service.

Jacarepaguá Airportmarker: used by general aviation and home to the Aeroclube do Brasil (Brasil Flying club). The airport is located in the district of Baixada de Jacarepaguá, within the municipality of Rio de Janeiro approximately 30 km (18 mi) from the city center. Baixada de Jacarepaguá lies between the Atlantic Oceanmarker and the Pedra Branca and Tijuca rocky massifs. The airport is bordered on the north by Jacarepaguá Lagoon, on the south by the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Biological Reserve (Bosque da Barra), and on the east and west by land owned by third parties.

  • Military use:

Galeão Air Force Basemarker: Base of the Brazilian Air Force, sharing some facilities with Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport;

Santa Cruz Air Force Basemarker: Base of the Brazilian Air Force. Formerly called Bartolomeu de Gusmão Airportmarker, it was built by the Luftschiffbau Zeppelinmarker. Today it is one of the most important Air Force Bases in Brazil;

Afonsos Air Force Basemarker: Base of the Brazilian Air Force. It is also the location of the University of the Air Force, of the Aerospace Museum, and where air shows take place.

Transport system

In Rio de Janeiro, buses are the main means of mass transportation. There are nearly 440 municipal bus lines serving over four million passengers each day, in addition to intercity lines. Although cheap and frequent, Rio's transportation policy has been moving towards trains and subway in order to reduce traffic congestion and increase capacity. Driving in Rio de Janeiro, as in most large cities of Brazil, might not be the best choice due to the large car fleet. The city is served by a number of expressways though traffic jams are very common.


Rio de Janeiro has two subway lines (Metro Rio) with and 32 stations plus several commuter rail lines. Future plans include building a third subway line to Niteróimarker and São Gonçalomarker, including an underwater tunnel beneath Guanabara Bay to supplement the ferry service currently there. The Metro is Rio's safest and clean form of public transport. Two lines serve the city seven days a week. The first line runs from Cantagalo in Copacabanamarker to Saens Peña in Tijucamarker. The second line runs from Estácio in Downtown to Pavuna in northern Rio. The Metro runs services from 05:00 to 24:00, Monday to Saturday, and from 07:00 to 11:00 on Sundays and public holidays. People can only buy tickets for the Metro at train stations and can either buy single tickets or a book of ten. An integrated Metro and bus ticket for a single journey is available and is known as a Metro/Bus.


Rio de Janeiro has the oldest operating electric tramway, now mainly used by tourists and less by daily commuters. The Santa Teresa Historic Tramway or bondinho, has been preserved both as a piece of history and as a quick, fun, cheap way of getting to one of the most quirky parts of the city. The tram station is near Cinelândia and the Municipal Theatre. Trams leave every half an hour between 6am and 11pm. A ticket is just BR$0.60 (US$0.35), one way or return, and people pay as people go through the barrier to the right of the entrance. The Santa Teresa Tram (known locally as the "bonde") in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro commenced electric operation in 1891, replacing horse-drawn trams and expanding the horse-drawn route. At this time the gauge was altered to 1100mm, which remains the case today. The tram cars which are currently in operation are Brazilian-built, are of the cross-bench open sided design, and are fitted with trolley poles.


The city has 74 km (46 miles) of cycle paths that, wherever they exist, are very much preferable to riding in the city's traffic. Most paths run alongside beaches and extend intermittently from the Marina da Glória, Centro, through Flamengo, Copacabana and Ipanema, to Barra da Tijuca. Six km (4 miles) of cycle paths traverse the Tijuca National Parkmarker.


Typical yellow taxi of the city.
Yellow taxis operate with a meter and can be hailed on the street. The flag (bandeira) indicates the tariff and usually reads 1. However, after 2300, on Sunday and on holidays the tariff will be 2, which indicates a price hike of about 20%. Taxis are fairly priced, although some late-night drivers might quote excessive fixed prices. People should check that the meter is reset and indicates the correct tariff. There is a minimum fare, plus a charge per kilometre. Tourists are strongly advised to only use taxis that have an official identification sticker in the window. Special taxis (either blue or red) operate from the airports. Payment is by pre-paid vouchers, which are available at airport kiosks. Radio taxis are safe and reliable but 30% more expensive than yellow taxis.


In Brazil, most interstate transportation is done by road. A large terminal for long-distance buses is in the Santo Cristo neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. There are also two port facilities for cargo and passenger ships (Rio de Janeiro and Sepetibamarker port). Rio has roads to all neighbour States. Some roads (like Via Dutra, to São Paulo, and a stretch of the BR-101 which covers the Rio-Niterói bridge) were chartered to private enterprises. The quality of the highways improved much, but was accompanied by a significant increase of the toll fees. From São Paulomarker: take the BR-116 (Presidente Dutra Federal Highway) or the BR-101 (Rio-Santos Federal Highway). From Belo Horizontemarker: BR-040. From Salvadormarker: BR-101 or BR-324/BR-116/BR-393/BR-040.


City bus is a very inexpensive form of travel which costs about R$2.20 to ride. They come in both non air conditioned (R$2.20) and air conditioned versions (R$2.25 - R$2.40). During the day, it is a decent transportation option if people know the routes and are in safer areas of the city. However, they are not as safe at night.

There is also another type of local bus called the "Frescão." This bus runs on a route from Centro through Botafogo, Copacabana, Ipanema and to Leblon (and vice versa). It is more upscale/comfortable and is air conditioned and costs R$3.50. However, it is only available during the week. The buses also run more frequently during the rush hours in the morning and evening. Going in the direction of Centro (Downtown), the bus can be flagged down on the beach road (Buses with plaques showing "Castelo"). Coming from Centro, the bus starts off from the Menezes Cortes garage and runs on a road parallel to the beach (but one or two blocks in). It runs on Barata Ribeiro through Copacabanamarker, Prudente de Morais through Ipanemamarker and Av. General San Martin through Leblonmarker. You do have the executive buses going every where in Rio de Janeiro and not just on the rush hours but all the time during the week. It is very easy and safer to get the executive buses than the regular one, especially for non-locals. The price does vary depending on the distance; for example, it is not the same price to go to Copacabana from Downtown as to go to Barra da Tijucamarker or Recreio from Downtown.

Ferry boat

The sister city to Rio and on the other side of Guanabara Bay is Niteróimarker. There are many people who live in Niterói and commute to Rio to work. There are several ferry services that operate between the Rio Centro (XV Square) and Niterói (Centro and Charitas). There is a traditional boat as well as several "fast cat" hydrofoil boats. The price is about BR$5.


The Port of Rio de Janeiro is Brazil's third busiest port in terms of cargo volume, and it is the center for cruise vessels. Located on the west coast of the Guanabara Bay, it serves the States of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulomarker, Minas Geraismarker, and Espírito Santo. The port is managed by Companhia Docas de Rio de Janeiro. The Port of Rio de Janeiro covers territory from the Mauá Pier in the east to the Wharf of the Cashew in the north. The Port of Rio de Janeiro contains almost seven thousand meters of continuous wharf and an 883-meter pier. The Companhia Docas de Rio de Janeiro administers directly the Wharf of the Gamboa general cargo terminal; the wheat terminal with two warehouses capable of moving 300 tons of grains; General Load Terminal 2 with warehouses covering over 20 thousand square metres; and the Wharves of Are Cristovao with terminals for wheat and liquid bulk.

At the Wharf of Gamboa, leaseholders operate terminals for sugar, paper, iron and steel products. Leaseholders at the Wharf of the Cashew operate terminals for roll-on/roll-off cargoes, containers, and liquid bulk. In 2004, the Port of Rio de Janeiro handled over seven million tons of cargo on almost 1700 vessels. In 2004, the Port of Rio de Janeiro handled over two million tons of containerized cargo in almost 171 thousand TEUs. The port handled 852 thousand tons of wheat, more than 1.8 million tons of iron and steel, over a million tons of liquid bulk cargo, almost 830 thousand tons of dry bulk, over five thousand tons of paper goods, and over 78 thousand vehicles. In 2003, over 91 thousand passengers moved through the Port of Rio Janeiro on 83 cruise vessels.


São Paulomarker:
Belo Horizontemarker:
Campo Grande:
Porto Alegremarker:


On October 2, 2009, the International Olympic Committeemarker selected Rio de Janeiro to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. This is the first time that the city advanced to the Candidature phase of the bidding process, after failed attempts in 1936, 2004 and 2012. Rio would become the first Brazilian and South American city to host the games. In July 2007, Rio successfully organized and hosted the XV Pan American Games.

On October 30, 2007, Brazil was chosen as the official host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Rio de Janeiro is one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the final is most likely to be held at Maracanã Stadiummarker.

The most popular sport is football. Rio de Janeiro is home to five traditional Brazilian football clubs: América Football Club, Botafogo, Fluminense, Vasco da Gama and Flamengo, the latter according to a national survey and to FIFA numbers, is the team with the largest number of supporters in the world.
Other notable sports events in Rio include the MotoGP Brazilian Grand Prixmarker and the world beach volleyball finals. The raceway in Jacarepaguámarker was the site for the Formula One Brazilian Grand Prixmarker from 1978 to 1990 and the Champ Car event from 1996 to 1999. WCT/WQSmarker Surfing championships were contested on the beaches from 1985–2001. The Rio Champions Cup tennis tournament is held in the spring. As part of its preparations to host the 2007 Pan American Games, Rio built a new stadium, Estádio Olímpico João Havelangemarker, to hold 45,000 people. It was named after Brazilian ex-FIFAmarker president João Havelange. The stadium is owned by the City of Rio de Janeiro, but it is rented to Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas for 20 years. Rio de Janeiro has also a multi-purpose arena, the HSBC Arenamarker.

The Brazilian dance/sport/martial arts capoeira is very popular. Other popular sports are beach football, beach volleyball, beach American football, surfing, kitesurfing, hang gliding, motor racing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, recreational sailing, and competitive rowing. Another sport that is highly popular in beaches of Rio is called "frescobol" ( , or matkot), a type of beach tennis. Rio de Janeiro is also paradise for rock climbers, with hundreds of routes all over the town, ranging from easy boulders to highly technical big wall climbs, all inside the city. The most famous, Rio's granite mountain, the Sugar Loafmarker (Pão de Açúcarmarker), is an example, with routes from the easy 3rd grade (American 5.4, French 3) to the extremely difficult 9th grade (5.13/8b), up to 280 metres.

Horse racing events are held Thursday nights and weekend afternoons at the Jockey Club. An impressive place with excellent grass and dirt tracks, it runs the best horses in the nation for your pleasure. Hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro started in mid-1970s and quickly proved to be perfectly suited for this town, because of its geography: steep mountains encounter the Atlantic Oceanmarker, which provide excellent take-off locations and great landing zones on the beach.

One of the most popular sea sports in the city is the Yachting. The main yacht clubs are in Botafogomarker area that extends halfway between Copacabana and the center of town. Though the most exclusive and interesting is probably the Rio Yacht club, where high society makes it a point to congregate. Most yacht clubs are open to members only and gate crashing is not easy. Copacabana is also a great place to do surfing as well as "Arpoador of Ipanema" beach and "Praia dos Bandeirantes." The sea at these beaches is rough and dangerous, the best surfers from Brazil and other sites of the world come to these beaches to prove themselves.

Social exclusion

Precarious houses in the favela of Dona Marta, and luxurious buildings.
There are significant disparities between the rich and the poor in Rio de Janeiro. Although the city clearly ranks among the world's major metropolises, a large proportion of the city's inhabitants live in poverty. The poorest of the areas are the slums and shanty towns known as favelas. The slums are often crowded onto the hillsides, where sturdy houses are difficult to come by, accidents from heavy rainfall are frequent, and access to sanitation and electricity is inconsistent.The North Side, the poorest area of Rio that tourists rarely see, gathers the vast majority of the impoverished masses.

The favelas nonetheless are located closely to the wealthiest districts in the city. Upper-class neighbourhoods such as Ipanemamarker and Lagoamarker and others, like Jardim Botânico, Joá and Gávea are squeezed in between the beach and the hills, the latter of which are covered with poor neighbourhoods. Poor public education and health system, combined with the saturation of the penitentiary system, contribute to the poverty. The social disparity creates a clash between rich and poor.


Rio has high crime rate, especially homicide, in poor areas dominated by drug lords, primarily in the North Zone. As of 2007, the homicide rate of the greater metropolitan area was nearly 30 victims per week, with the majority of victims falling to mugging, stray bullets or narcoterrorism. In 2006, 2,273 people were murdered in the city giving it a murder rate of 37.7 cases for every 100,000 people. According to federal government research, the city itself ranks 206th (out of a total of 5,565) in the list of the most violent cities and municipalities in Brazil and first in total number of firearm-related deaths. Between 1978 and 2000, 49,900 people were killed in Rio. The Urban Warfare involves drug-traffic battle with police fighting against outlaws, or even corrupt policemen on their side. In 2007, the police allegedly killed 1,330 people in the state, an increase of 25 percent over 2006 when 1,063 people were killed. In comparison the U.S. police killed only 347 people in whole of the United Statesmarker during 2006.

In 2009, two policemen have been killed after their helicopter was shot at in Rio de Janeiro during clashes involving police and drug gangs. The helicopter came down and burst into flames, after the pilot was hit in the leg by a bullet. It was the worst outbreak of violence since the city was awarded the 2016 Summer Olympic Games two weeks ago. The attack on the helicopter followed an outbreak of fighting between rival drug gangs in a shanty town in the north of the city. The police helicopter exploded after trying to make an emergency landing on a football field. Authorities were not able to confirm if it was the first time that one of their helicopters had been brought down by gunfire. On 7 July 2005, the city of Londonmarker suffered the same problem, the "7 July 2005 London bombings," in the London Underground and London Buses. Exactly one day before London was elected as the host city on 6 July 2005 of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The London attacks were motivated by Britain's involvement in the Iraq War. The difference of Rio's attacks to London (2005), New Yorkmarker (2001), and Madridmarker (2005), is due to the exclusion of people and not by foreign terrorism.

Human development

The human development of Rio varies greatly by locality, reflecting the spatial segregation and vast socioeconomic inequalities in the city. In 2000, there are neighborhoods with very high human development index equal to or greater than the indexes of some Scandinavian countries, but also those in the lower range in line with, for example, North Africa.

Top neighborhoods and localities
  • Gáveamarker (0.970) - (Greater than , - 0.968)
  • Leblonmarker (0.967) - (Greater than - 0.962)
  • Ipanemamarker (0.962) - (Greater than - 0.961)
  • Lagoamarker (0.959) - (Equal to - 0.959)

Neighborhoods and localities in last place

Notable Cariocas

Aerial view of Rio.
Pedro Ernesto Palace.
Botafogo Neighborhood.
Cariocas, as residents of Rio de Janeiro are called in Brazil, have made extensive contributions to Brazil's history, culture, music, literature, education, science, technology etc. – particularly when Rio de Janeiro was the federal capital and a great hub of Brazilian growth and innovation in all these areas. Some famous cariocas, who were born in Rio, are:

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Rio de Janeiro's is twinned with:

  Americas   Europe   Asia and Africa
Mexico Citymarker, Mexicomarker Istanbulmarker, Turkeymarker Batangas Citymarker, Philippinesmarker
Managuamarker, Nicaraguamarker Saint Petersburgmarker, Russiamarker Kobe, Japanmarker
Caracasmarker, Venezuelamarker Warsawmarker, Polandmarker Tunismarker, Tunisiamarker
Puerto Varasmarker, Chilemarker Santo Tirsomarker, Portugalmarker Seoulmarker, South Koreamarker
La Pazmarker, Boliviamarker Barcelonamarker, Madridmarker, and Santa Cruz de Tenerifemarker, Spainmarker Ramallahmarker, Palestinian National Authority
Miamimarker, United Statesmarker Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugalmarker Lagosmarker, Nigeriamarker
Oklahoma Citymarker, United Statesmarker Liverpoolmarker, United Kingdommarker -
- - Montpelliermarker, Francemarker - -

See also


  1. R.L. Forstall, R.P. Greene, and J.B. Pick, "Which are the largest? Why published populations for major world urban areas vary so greatly", City Futures Conference, (University of Illinois at Chicago, July 2004) – Table 5 (p.34)
  2. UN list of largest agglomerations The United Nations. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  3. City Population agglomeration list. City Population. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  4. Floresta da Tijua
  5. Folha de S. Paulo website, "Número de homicídios cai no Brasil", published 30 January 2008, retrieved 14 February 2008. See the.xls file linked in the article.
  6. Rio de Janeiro Destination Guide from The Weather Channel. The city experiencies hot summers and warm winters. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  7. Precipitation in Rio
  8. Average Conditions, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. BBC Weather Center. Retrieved 2007-12-03.
  9. índios Rio
  10. History of Rio
  11. Real Portuguese Family in Rio
  12. A África civiliza
  13. Juscelino Kubitschek and the city of Rio de Janeiro
  14. Cariocas and Municipal Autonomy
  15. Carioca Dream and Autonomy
  16. Rio Reveillon
  17. Portuguese in Brazil and Rio
  18. Portuguese descent in the city of Rio de janeiro and Brazil
  19. Barsa Planeta Ltda
  20. History of economy
  21. IBGE - Economy of Rio de Janeiro
  22. Tourism in Rio
  23. Economy of Rio
  24. Education in Rio
  25. Educational system in Rio
  26. Museums in Rio
  27. Museum home page
  28. Museum home page
  29. National Library of Rio de Janeiro
  30. Official website - National Library of Rio
  31. Behague, Gerard. "Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985–1995)." Latin American Music Review 27, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 79-90
  32. Sansone, Livio. "The Localization of Global Funk in Bahia and Rio." In Brazilian Popular Music & Globalization, 135-60. London: Routledge, 2002.
  33. Behague, Gerard. "Globalization/Modernization: Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985–1995)" Latin American Music Review 27, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 79–90.
  34. Music in the city
  35. Maxwell, Roberto. "Tá Tudo Dominado." You Tube. February 12, 2006. You Tube, LLC. February 13, 2008
  36. Music in the city of Rio
  37. Behague, Gerard. "Rap, Reggae, Rock, or Samba: The Local and the Global in Brazilian Popular Music (1985–1995)." Latin American Music Review 27, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2006): 79–90.
  38. Rio's novel history
  39. Teatro Municipal do Rio
  40. Cordão do Bola Preta in Rio
  41. New Year - Rio
  42. Rio New Year facts
  43. Madonna in Rio de Janeiro
  44. International celebrities in Rio
  45. International Airport of Rio de Janeiro - Infraero
  46. National Airport of Rio de Janeiro - Infraero
  47. Jacarepaguá Airport - Infraero
  48. Metro Rio
  49. Santa Tereza Tram
  50. Bycicle transport in Rio
  51. Taxi in Rio City
  52. Bus Transport in Rio
  53. Ferry Boat/Rio-Niterói
  54. Port of Rio de Janeiro
  55. FIFA numbers
  56. Sports in the city of Rio
  57. Disparities between rich and poor
  58. Accidents from heavy rainfall in favelas
  59. Favelas in rio de janeiro
  60. Social contrast in rio
  61. North Zone of Rio and Violence
  62. Lula: Onda de violência no Rio não é crime comum, é terrorismo - O Globo Online
  63. Terra Notícias - Informações em tempo real sobre Brasil, Mundo, Esportes e Gente
  64. O DIA Online - Rio no mapa da morte
  65. O Dia Online
  66. O Dia Online
  67. Blog da Renajorp: Polícia do Rio mata 41 civis para cada policial morto
  68. UOL - área restrita
  69. Police Helicopter Attack of 2009 - BBC News
  72. Sister cities
  73. Sister cities
  74. Sister cities
  75. Sister cities
  76. Sister cities
  77. Sister cities
  78. Sister cities
  79. Sister cities
  80. Sister cities
  81. Sister cities
  82. Sister cities
  83. Sister cities
  84. Sister cities
  85. Sister cities
  86. Sister cities
  87. Sister cities

External links


Photos and films


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