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Rio de Janeiro Information


The cidade maravilhosa (marvellous city) is one of the most densely populated places on earth. The Cariocas - as the inhabitants are called - thrive on dance, drink, beach, sport and sun. It's a city of Dionysian spirit whose people live life head-first.


The international tourist crowd take advantage of Rio's ritzy side - there are innumerable opportunities to be decadent. But Rio also has much to offer the budget traveller. There are cheap hotels and restaurants aplenty, and the beach is a free entertainment zone.


This cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) is one of the most densely populated places on earth. The thick brew of 7 million Cariocas - as the inhabitants are called - thrive on dance, drink, beach, sport and sun. It's a city whose people grab life head-first - just think of the full-scale sensuality of Carnaval. In this city of samba, Cariocas of every shape, size and wallet carry with them a Dionysian spirit.


The international tourist crowd take advantage of Rio's ritzy side - there are innumerable opportunities to be decadent in this fast-paced environment. But Rio also has much to offer the budget traveler. There are cheap hotels and restaurants aplenty, and the beach is a free and flowing entertainment zone.


Unfortunately it's not all sweetness in exuberant Rio. Even tourists will notice the favelas (shantytowns) that blanket the hillsides, providing meager comfort to more than a third of the city's population. Rio's poor lack education and medical care; drug abuse and violence litter the streets; and police corruption is more common than not. With chronic poverty and a stubbornly high crime rate, Rio is not unlike other high-density global centers. The difference is that the extremes in Rio can be difficult to ignore.