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Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s secret magnet, drawing in settlers and visitors alike since its European discovery. The capital city of Brazil offers some interesting destinations for tourists.  When most people think of Brazil, they imagine Rio de Janeiro – a city with a sizzling hot beat and rich history.

 

Brazil’s bustling gem: Rio de Janeiro

The first European’s landed in Rio de Janeiro, which means the River of January, in 1502. The Portuguese settlers settled down, largely co-existing with native Tamoio Amerindians. A French fleet disturbed the relative peace in mid 1550s and by the end of the 16th century; Rio was steadily growing with a mixed European heritage.

The capital becomes a cultural icon

Rio was Brazil’s most famous and politically important cities, even after the Portuguese Empire was driven out. Brazil’s independence in 1822 didn’t change the status of the city, with Rio controlling the new republic’s economic and political scenery.

But in 1960, president Juscelino Kubitschek moved the capital city to Brasília – a purpose-built city in the center of the country. As Rio lost its role as the nation’s capital, it lost some of its economic and political power as well. From then on, the city’s been the cultural icon, drawing in tourists from all over the world.

Troubled city in constant move

Rio’s darker side is marked with violence and social inequality, but the city’s always welcoming and trying to work through its troubles. The city offers plenty of historical and cultural attractions, with a hot and varied climate. You can find the Tijuca rainforest right next door, visit Sugarloaf Mountain for a breath of cool air and worship the sun at Ipanema Beach.

Rio successfully hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2014, even though the nation’s favorite team ended their tournament in tears. The iconic city’s next challenge will be the Summer Olympics, when millions of fans and athletes will enjoy the hustle and bustle of Brazil.

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