Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Cruising to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The Samba City

From Copacabana Beach to Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro is chock full of iconic landmarks that need no introduction. Yet the true essence of the city lies not in the things it contains, but the nature of its inhabitants, with the fun-loving locals marching to their own samba beat and creating a vibrancy that is quite simply unmatched by any other city on the planet.

From the moment you arrive, you'll begin to feel the pulsating and intoxicating rhythm which provides the heartbeat that keeps Rio going. This can be experienced on the city's famous beaches, with the sands of Copacabana and Ipanema heaving with body-conscious Brazilians whose talent for flaunting their natural style and beauty is envied across the world; it can be felt in Lapa, one of Rio's most vibrant areas where samba bands take over the streets each evening, igniting people's dance instincts and sending the crowds into a frenzy of hip-swinging motion; it can even be seen from the Corcovado, where the famous Christ the Redeemer statue overlooks the entire city as it sways and throbs in time with a constantly-perceptible samba beat.

It's hard not to get swept up in all the excitement when visiting Rio, and the best way to enjoy the city is to just let yourself go with its irresistible rhythm. Begin your journey of exploration by enjoying a caipirinha while indulging in a spot of people-watching, and before delving deeper beneath the city's surface by paying a visit to the Instituto Moreira Salles, where you'll be able to see photographs and paintings depicting more than two centuries of life in Rio. The Palacio Tiradentes, meanwhile, contains exhibits relating to the military dictatorship of Getulio Vargas, while more information about Brazilian history and culture can be obtained at the Museo da Republica.

Brazilian cuisine is as unique and distinguished as the country's culture, so be sure to try local staples like feijoada - a type of stew - while you're here. Espirito Santo and Aprazivel are among the most popular restaurants in Rio, although you'll also find a wide array of global cuisines available throughout the city.

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