Rio de Janeiro

Geography of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro
IOC President Jacques Rogge opens the envelope announcing that Rio de Janeiro has won the bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games on October 2, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images

Rio de Janeiro is the capital city of the state of Rio de Janeiro and is the second largest city in the South American country of Brazil. "Rio" as the city is commonly abbreviated is also the third largest metropolitan area in Brazil. It is considered one of the main tourist destinations in the Southern Hemisphere and is famous for its beaches, Carnaval celebration and various landmarks such as the statue of Christ the Redeemer.

The City of Rio de Janeiro is nicknamed "the Marvelous City" and has been named a Global City. For reference, a Global City is one that is considered to be a significant node in the global economy.

The following is a list of the ten most important things to know about Rio de Janeiro:

1) Europeans first landed on present-day Rio de Janeiro in 1502 when a Portuguese expedition headed by Pedro Álvares Cabral reached Guanabara Bay. Sixty-three years later, on March 1, 1565, the city of Rio de Janeiro was officially founded by the Portuguese.

2) Rio de Janeiro served as the capital city of Brazil from 1763-1815 during the Portuguese Colonial Era, from 1815-1821 as the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal and from 1822-1960 as an independent nation.

3) The City of Rio de Janeiro is located on Brazil's Atlantic coast near the Tropic of Capricorn. The city itself is built on an inlet in the western portion of Guanabara Bay.

The entrance to the bay is distinct because of a 1,299 foot (396 m) mountain called Sugarloaf.

4) Rio de Janeiro's climate is considered tropical savanna and has a rainy season from December to March. Along the coast, temperatures are moderated by sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean but inland temperatures can reach 100°F (37°C) during summer.

In the fall, Rio de Janeiro is also affected by cold fronts advancing north from the Antarctic region which can often cause sudden weather changes.

5) As of 2008, Rio de Janeiro had a population of 6,093,472 which makes it the second largest city on Brazil behind São Paulo. The population density of the city is 12,382 persons per square mile (4,557 people per sq km) and the metropolitan area has a total population of around 14,387,000.

6) The City of Rio de Janeiro is broken down into four districts. The first of these is downtown which consists of the historic downtown center, has various historic landmarks and is the financial center of the city. The south zone is Rio de Janeiro's tourist and commercial zone and it is home to the city's most famous beaches such as Ipanema and Copacabana. The north zone has many residential areas but it is also home to the Maracanã Stadium, which was once the world's largest soccer stadium. Finally, the west zone is the farthest from the city center and is thus more industrial than the rest of the city.

7) Rio de Janeiro is Brazil's second largest city in terms of industrial production as well as its financial and service industries behind São Paulo.

The city's main industries include chemicals, petroleum, processed foods, pharmaceuticals, textiles, clothing and furniture.

8) Tourism is also a large industry in Rio de Janeiro. The city is Brazil's main tourist attraction and it also receives more international visits per year than any other city in South America with around 2.82 million.

9) Rio de Janeiro is considered the cultural capital of Brazil because of its combination of historic and modern architecture, its more than 50 museums, popularity of music and literature, and its yearly Carnaval celebration.

10) On October 2, 2009, the International Olympic Committee selected Rio de Janeiro as the location for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. It will be the first South American city to host the Olympic Games.


Wikipedia. (2010, March 27).

"Rio de Janiero." Wikipedia- the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from: