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Rio

Revel in the pulsing life and vibrant colour of Rio

Rio’s one of the biggest and most exciting metropolises in the Americas. Founded by the Portuguese in 1565, its rich history has been shaped by the gold and diamond trade, the presence of the Portuguese court in exile, and city planners’ desire to create a modern capital equivalent to those in Europe. Though the capital shifted to Brasilia in 1960, Rio remains Brazil’s economic and cultural powerhouse, as well as a fascinating destination to explore.

The natural landscape dictates the layout of Rio, with the granite peaks of Corcovado, Sugarloaf, and the Two Brothers soaring high above the manmade cityscape. Their tropical forest cloaked slopes give way to the beaches and bays: Copacabana and Ipanema might be the most famous, forever celebrated in song, but the Prainha Beach and Praia Vermelha tend to be less busy.
 
Culture vultures will be in their element in Rio, and not just at carnival time. Make sure you visit the Imperial Palace and the Candelária Church to get a feel for the colonial period. The National Museum of Fine Arts, is unmissable and why not take in an opera at the Municipal Theatre.
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Accommodation:
Copacabana Palace
The Belmond Copacabana Palace occupies one of the best positions in Rio de Janeiro: it overlooks Copacabana Beach! This art deco masterpiece opens its doors to the public in 1923, and it has been delighting discerning guests ever since with its panache and exemplary service.
Accommodation:
Fasano Rio de Janeiro
Fasano Rio de Janeiro is one of the Leading Hotels of the World, a superb beachfront property in lively Ipanema. The first building in Brazil to be designed by Philippe Starck, its architecture pays homage to 1950s Rio and the rhythms of Bossa Nova.
Accommodation:
Santa Teresa by Sofitel
Rio de Janeiro’s Santa Teresa is known as the Montmartre of Brazil, and it’s in this lively, aesthetically pleasing location you’ll find Santa Teresa by Sofitel. Brazilian artists and designers have made their mark on this historic property, which also boasts lush gardens and a spa.
Accommodation:
Villa Santa Teresa
Villa Santa Teresa is a private estate in the heart of Rio, one of only a handful of such residences to survive. Its modernist villa dates from the 1970s and occupies a privileged position with commanding views across the gardens to the city.