Rio de Janeiro is synonymous with its glitzy Carnival, Sugarloaf Mountain, the Christ statue on Corcovado, and the "itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny" bikinis littering the beach at Ipanema. Brazil's lively cultural capital nestles between the sea and the mountains, and is home to Tijuca Forest, the world's biggest urban forest, which was completely replanted during the late 19th century. The city is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, encompassing most of Brazil's major tourist attractions.
Tourists booking flights to Rio are advised to bring their open minds and attitudes. Temptation runs rapid in Rio -- if the samba doesn't seduce you, the people will. The city moves to the music of the choro, samba and bossa nova, all of which form the principal source of Brazilian national culture. Rio's infamous annual carnival is a wild, colorful and hedonistic affair that draws together both rich and poor, who flood the streets for the world's largest samba parade on the Sambodromo.