Rio De Janeiro is a city of many faces, situated on the South Atlantic Coastline, this South American city, the second largest in Brazil is both vibrant and loud. Carnival culture is embraced during the first few months of the year, held just before Lent, the Rio De Janeiro carnival is the highlight of the Brazilian calendar.

Not just for carnival season though Rio De Janeiro has beautiful natural landscapes stretching from the mouth of the Atlantic to the heights of Sugar Loaf Mountain, all watched over by the famous Christo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue. Stood on Corcovado Mountain the Christo statue is the icon that will forever more be seen as the symbol of Rio.

The Hotel Villa Rica is the perfect budget destination, well located in the famous Lapa historic centre this hotel offers great value for money. The small rooms each with a private bathroom and reliable air conditioning are well maintained and clean. The friendly feel and excellent inclusive breakfast make this hotel well worth considering.

For a beach side hotel look no further than the Olinda Rio Hotel in Copacabana, boasting 98 comfortable and tastefully decorated rooms, this hotel has both WiFi and cable TV in all rooms. Perfectly situated to enjoy all that the ocean has to offer.

For those wanting an upmarket feel to their hotel then the Hotel Fasano Rio De Janeiro is generally considered to be one of the best hotels in the upmarket Ipanema district. The hotel is contemporary in design with a modern sleek feeling.

The rooms are all of the highest standard with the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard. Your visit will be completed by the use of the rooftop pool with it’s staggering views over the beach giving this hotel a well deserved edge over it’s competitors.

Local Brazilian food is widely available, making use of the array of available fish and seafood, with the local deepwater fish Badejo and Namorado widely used and highly recommended.

For a truly authentic feel head to a local buffet selling ‘Comida o Kilo’ literally ‘price per kilo’, you pay for the exact amount that you eat.

Make sure you try the local specialities of Feijoda, a dish of black bean stew made with the available seasonal meats or try the cobs of corn purchased from the street vendors washed down with cups of coconut water.

Brazil has a wide variety of cuisines and perhaps surprisingly the up and coming cuisine is Japanese, particularly Sushi restaurants. Madame Butterfly in Ipanema attracts a young and vibrant crowd with it’s sleek surroundings and pleasing menu.

For the best menu and value follow the locals, a restaurant loved by the locals is Margutta, also in Ipanema. Well established, this Italian seafood restaurant is elegant and reasonably priced and is famed for beautiful food served in understated surroundings.

Visit the Christ Redentor statue on the Corcovado Mountain, officially opened in 1931 the statue is over 700 metes above sea level. The journey to the top is well worth it, not only for the magnificence of the statue but the amazing views below. For those that can’t manage the hundreds of steps there has been a series of escalators and elevators installed.

Have a day at the beach, Rio De Janeiro has many amazing beaches, perhaps most famous is the Copacabana oceanic beach. Beautifully clean with excellent surfing Copacabana beach offers miles of golden sands. Full of vendors, the beach has all the food and drink that you could want or need, with the advantage that the vendors will not approach you unless you request their services.

Although vibrant all year around Rio De Janeiro really does come alive during Carnival fortnight, usually held during the two weeks immediately before Lent, the carnival showcases groups of Samba dancers. Driven around on Sambodromo the dancers lead the festivities; the party atmosphere lasting throughout the day and long into the night.

Rio De Janeiro has a hot tropical climate. During December and January the locals are on holiday, the weather is often unbearably hot and the prices increase. The winter months of July, August and September have warm days with cheaper prices but can become quite cool during the night.

Based on a combination of climate and pricing the ideal time to visit is September or October when the weather is perfect, the pricing is cheaper and crowding is at a minimum.