International, Travel

15 breathtaking pictures of Rio

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Ask a Brazilian for a brief rundown on Creation, and the answer will be unanimous: ‘God made the world in six days; the seventh, he devoted to Rio.’ Flying into the city, over its towering granite peaks, golden beaches and blue oceans, it’s easy to see where this reverent pride comes from. But it’s not until you’ve touched down and immersed yourself in Rio de Janeiro that you’ll understand just how much there is to get excited about in the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City).

Rio has an almost unsettling ability to surprise you around every corner, making it the perfect destination for jaded travellers who feel they’ve seen it all. Open up what looks like a small papaya, and you’ll find it’s a passion fruit instead. Head off to the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, and rather than finding a domed basilica you’ll be treated to a conical giant more reminiscent of an Inca pyramid.

The city has a distinctive scent – a mixture of granadilla, garlic and other unidentifiable aromas that seem to seep from the streets themselves. It’s hard to pick one thing that defines Rio. It is shaped by contrast and, even from afar, the populous city is half urban sprawl, half mountainous jungle. It’s this embrace of nature, which is lasciviously big and bold, that is one of Rio’s most alluring attributes.

This gallery offers a glimpse into the most stunning settings in the 2016 Olympic city, sure to have the most intrepid of travellers feverishly packing their bags.

A water fountain in the botanic gardens in Rio de Janeiro A water fountain in the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden 
Atlantica Ave.Sugarlof in the background (center) Avenida Atlantica (Atlantic Avenue) with Sugarloaf Mountain in the background (centre)
A path surrounded by Palm Trees. A path surrounded by palm trees - a glimpse of Rio's tropical beauty.
Buildings at the waterfront with Christ The Redeemer statue in the background, Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Buildings at the waterfront with Rio's famous Christ The Redeemer statue on the summit of Mount Corcovado in the background.
RIO worldofwanderlust A view of the favelas (slums) in Rio. Photo: worldofwanderlust.com
View from Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil View looking down from Corcovado Mountain.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - January 8, 2016: Museum of Tomorrow in the newly rebuilt Maua Square is the latest attraction of the city. Inside the Museum of Tomorrow in the newly rebuilt Maua Square - this science institutions  is the latest attraction of the Rio and easily one of the world's most extraordinary buildings. 
Botafogo beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Yachts sit in Guanabara Bay just off Botafogo beach.
Shot of the Christ the Redeemer monument in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilhttp://195.154.178.81/DATA/i_collage/pi/shoots/783377.jpg Shot of the Christ The Redeemer monument 
Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil A lush scene in the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden 
Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sugarloaf Mountain stretches up into the sky.
natgeo A colourful snapshot of performers at the Rio Carnival. Photo: nationalgeographic.com
Rio All is belle Nature in Rio. Photo: allisbelle.com
Cable car going towards the top of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro as the sun sets over the city. Christ the Redeemer statue visible at the highest peak in the top center of the image. Cable car going towards the top of Sugarloaf Mountain as the sun sets over the city. The Christ The Redeemer statue is visible at the highest peak in the top center of the image.
shutterstock-lazyllama_192546188 People playing soccer on the beach. Photo: hurtigruten.us
andrewharper Another scene from the Rio Carnival. Photo: andrewharper.com

Read up on the architecture and design highlights in the 2016 Olympic city in our August 2016 issue