The ensemble of white-sand beaches and verdant rainforests fronting the deep blue ocean create a sensational feast for the eyes. Even the setting of concrete skyscrapers adds special effect to the panorama.
The Corcovado Mountain peak is home to a giant statue of Christ, better known as Christ the Redeemer. The image of this 38metre-high figure, built in 1931, which enjoys the status as of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is the accepted emblem of Rio and without a doubt the most visited place in the city. It can be reached by a 20-minute train ride through a deep tropical forest, however the best location to catch sight of this statue is from the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain, accessible by cable cars.
While wandering in the city I notice a guy wearing a shirt with “Samba is life” inscribed on the back. Such a tag is nothing unusual in Rio; samba music and dance rituals are unquestionably the city’s heart and soul. This high energy and rhythmic cultural routine was introduced in Rio and subsequently spread to other parts of the country through the African slaves of the European colonisers. Like football, today it’s an indispensable part of the local lifestyle.
Rio lives with a reputation of being crime infected and therefore unsafe. It’s actually not that bad. By taking a bit of extra care and caution, it’s not too difficult to negotiate the vastly cosmopolitan city. Holding the hands of an experienced guide like Luiz makes it much easier to discover the metropolis where there are things to see and experience at almost every turn.