Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Travel/Tourist Guide
Rio de Janeiro, also known simply as Rio, is the second largest and most populous city in Brazil. It was founded during the Portuguese colonial period and became an important port for the trade of gold and precious stones. Today, the city is one of Brazil's major transport hubs and is best reached by plane. Public transportation options within the city include the subway, taxis and cheap buses. It has a nice savanna type climate with heavy rains from December to March. The huge statue of Christ the Redeemer, or Cristo Redactor, on the Corcovado Peak is Rio's distinguishing landmark. It can be seen from all of the city's four different zones.
Downtown or Centro is the historic and financial center of the city. It has many good historical sites such as the Candelária Church, the Municipal Theater, the National Museum of Fine Arts and the National Library.
The South Zone or Zona Sul is a very wealthy area. The Tijuca National Park, Sugar Loaf mountain, and the famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches can be found here.
The North Zone or Zona Norte is a middle class residential area. It is the location of the International Airport of Rio de Janeiro and the Maracanã football stadium. Cheap shopping malls are found in this zone.
The West Zone or Zona Oeste has a suburban area and an upper-class extension of the South Zone. It is a newly modernized part of the city with beaches, hills and famous sports venues.