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Rio de Janeiro is the lively capital of Carnival located in southeast Brazil. The cidade maravilhosa unfolds dramatically against a backdrop of lush mountains, glorious beaches and deep blue sea, making it one of the most spectacular cityscapes on earth. Rio was the capital of Brazil from 1763 to 1960, and its longstanding history of Portuguese, Japanese, Indian and German settlers has helped to shape its multicultural vibe. Whether visitors want sun, sea, samba beats, shopping malls, natural scenery or history, trips to Rio de Janeiro offer it all. For the biggest adrenaline rush, visit in February during Carnival time to experience the world's biggest marathon party event in all its glory.
Basking on the shores of Guanabara Bay, the buzzing city centre is home to historic landmarks, the financial district and the modern Metropolitan Cathedral. Overlooking the old colonial capital, 19th century mansions conceal bohemian artists' hangouts in the hilly streets of Santa Teresa, whilst Christ the Redeemer keeps watch from atop the Corcovado Mountain, as the city throbs with samba beats beneath him. To the south, bay meets ocean at the Sugarloaf Mountain and Rio's famous beaches stretch out west along the Atlantic coast one after another, from Copacabana and Ipanema to Leblon and Barra de Tijuca.
When visiting Rio de Janeiro, be sure to:
Flights to Rio de Janeiro can land at Rio de Janeiro International Airport (also known as Galeao-Antonio Carlos Jobm International Airport) or Santos Dumont Airport. Rio de Janeiro International Airport is the second busiest airport in Brazil, with two terminals. Santos Dumont Airport operates mainly domestic flights.
Rio de Janeiro International Airport is 12 miles outside Rio de Janeiro city centre.
Access to and from Rio de Janeiro International Airport is provided by the BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) - TransCarioca Express and TranCarioca Line. Taxis and transfers can also be organised to hotels and destinations around the city.
Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport is less than two miles from Rio de Janeiro city centre with easy access to downtown areas.
There are several buses running to the city centre, and the 2145 Bus Line connects Santos Dumont Airport to Rio de Janeiro International Airport. The easiest method to reach the city centre is by taxi or transfer.