Rio de Janeiro
A vibrant haven for life-loving locals and tourists looking for carefree living, Rio de Janeiro boasts some of the world's most famous beaches – Copacabana and Ipanema – and is undoubtedly the carnival capital of the world.
Be it sight-seeing, sun-bathing, surfing, relaxing or plain old partying you are after, Rio has it all. The locals live off a diet of sport, sun and having fun, so it would be rude not to do the same when on holiday.
The carnival is not to be missed, featuring hundreds of thousands of revellers and kaleidoscopic street parades. But Rio's locals are aware of the powers that be as well, something signified by the giant, looming statue – Christ the Redeemer – which can be seen for miles around. On clear day – a visit up to the statue boasts the best views of the city – one of the most recognisable and unique city-scapes in the world. Holidaymakers should also take the cablecar to the top of the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain for views over the city – particularly at sunset when the city becomes a sea of lights, illuminating the tightly condensed favelas (slums) that cling to the steep slopes of the undulating landscape.