The name 'Rio de Janeiro' is Portuguese for 'River of January' and was given to the city by the captaincy of the Portuguese Empire in 1565, the date the city was established.

10 Interesting Facts About Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro or simply 'Rio' is the capital of the Brazilian State of Rio de Janeiro and the third largest metropolis in the country with a population of 6.3 million people. Part of the city was recognized as a world heritage site in 2012. Read the facts below to find out where and why.

1. Rio de Janeiro is behind Sao Paulo and Brasilia in population but is only behind Brasilia in GDP at US$201 billion.

2. The name 'Rio de Janeiro' is Portuguese for 'River of January' and was given to the city by the captaincy of the Portuguese Empire in 1565, the date the city was established.

3. Christ the Redeemer landmark on the top of Corcovada Mountain is one of the most recognized features of Rio and has on several occasions been named one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

4. This I didn't know...Rio has a nickname...Cidade Maravilhosa or 'the marvelous city'.

5. Brazil's most famous dance - samba - has its origins from the African slaves that worked in the plantations in the State of Rio de Janeiro.

6. With over 50 kilometers of white and golden sand beaches, Rio is Brazil's tourism capital.

7. Brazilians are apt to say that if you have not visited Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain, Ipanema Beach, Copacabana Beach, Sambodromo, Maracana Stadium, and Tijuca National Park; then you have never been to Brazil.

8. Prostitution is legal in Rio...and the girls here are as beautiful as they come...gosh! I did not just type that...but I am reliably told it is one of the adventure-seeker's highlight.

9. Do you know Rio's most popular natives? Well, here is a list; Ronaldo (soccer player), The Gracie Martial Arts Family, Anderson Silva (MMA Fighter), Tom Jobin (Musician/”The Girl from Ipanema”), Vinicius de Moraes (Musician/”The Girl from Ipanema”), and Oscar Niemeyer (architect)...the list can be longer...you just have to type it yourself.

10. There are more than 200 samba schools in Rio. The city gets more than 3 million international travellers every year.

I have already run out of space, but a promise is a promise. Rio's 'Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea' is the part which was named a World Heritage Center in 2012. Next time you are planning a South American visit; do not say that you were not well advised. If it is not in Rio, then it is not Brazilian...I daresay, it is not South American!

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