Travelling to Brazil without going through Rio de Janeiro is like visiting Paris for the first time and forgetting to greet the Eiffel Tower. The second most populated city in the country after São Paulo, the "wonderful city" as the Cariocas affectionately call it, its inhabitants, Rio is the undeniable tourist capital of Brazil. A fiery and feverish metropolis founded in one of the most beautiful settings of all, between bays, heavenly beaches, hills and lush tropical forest under the protection of the famous statue of the Redeeming Christ up there on the Corcovado. An urban jungle that can be explored for days with a Rio tour guide without feeling like you're going in circles.
Going to Rio is like strolling in havaianas on the miles of beach of the mythical Copacabana and Ipanema, sipping a caïpirinha in the bohemian and arty district of Santa Teresa, dancing samba until the end of the night outside the 4 days of the Carnival in Lapa, is to climb the cable car on the Sugar Loaf mountain, to attend the great football mass in the Maracana stadium where the 2014 World Cup final took place, to hike and swim in the waterfalls of the Tijuca National Park. It also means, above all, meeting a warm and colourful population.
When to go to Rio De Janeiro?
The best time to leave for Rio de Janeiro is in the early southern autumn (mid-March to mid-May), when the heat is becoming less severe, while maintaining a very bright sunshine and still (relatively) long days. Of course, the summer period, from the beginning of December to the end of February, is advisable if you want to experience the Rio 40° graus (Rio 40°C!) and if you don't want to miss anything of the tourist season, whose peak takes place of course during the four days of the Carnival (February or March depending on the year). But expect to have strong sweat (the atmosphere is full of humidity, we are in the Tropic of Capricorn, by the sea)... and not to be alone: the months of January and February are synonymous with large crowds on the beaches of Rio. On the other hand, if possible, avoid the months of October and November, which are certainly the rainiest, and, if you suffer from heat, those of July and August, when the thermometer does not exceed 20°C during the day and 15°C in the evening.