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At 710 meters (2329 feet), this hunchback mountain is where the Christ Redeemer statue stands with outstretched arms. At night, the 30-meter (98-foot) statue seems to float as if it were a guardian angel for the city. Of course it will be crowded with many tourists, but, nothing can prepare you for the view you will witness. Stand with the statue at your back, and to your left is the soccer temple Maracanã and the northern districts. Straight ahead in the distance is Niterói with its snaky bridge and Rio's other must see, the hump of the Sugarloaf. To the right is the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in the foreground, and Copacabana and Ipanema beaches further out.
This hidden gem is located in Morro Dona Marta, a famous slum in Rio de Janeiro. It is a safe neighborhood since the police forces occupied it. Dona Marta was the set of Michael Jackson's music video clip "They don't care about us" and for the movie "Fast Five". The observation deck provides an incredible view of the whole city - it is breathtaking. You can see the Christ, the Sugar Loaf, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and the principal beaches in Rio de Janeiro. It is a must visit place that offers a different angle of the city.
If you happen to be in the area, and you surely will be after coming down the Corcovado hill, be sure to visit this little square, a small colonial haven in the middle of town. Painted in bright hues, the square's houses are a wonderful illustration of Portuguese architecture from the 18th Century. Some are decorated with picturesque azulejos (Portuguese tiles), which have a colonial edge to them. There is also a charming fountain and old-style cobbled streets.
An unmistakable landmark from the top of Corcovado and a breathtaking view as you leave the tunnel, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is largely used by locals as a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visitors to Rio should take advantage of the wonderful water-side walk and bike path or maybe the public tennis and volleyball courts, the baseball diamond and soccer grounds. At night, the many kiosks offer good food and live music - some are informal branches of great restaurants.
Botafogo is a seaside neighborhood in Rio de Janiero located in between the hills of Dona Marta, Mundo Novo and Sao Jao. The area is named after a popular Latin American dance move known as 'Botafogo'. Set in front of the Guanabara Bay, this town is considered as the glorious neighborhood of Rio as it housed the Portuguese crown in the 19th-century. Today, Botafogo attracts foodies, travelers, young professionals and hippies transforming it into a present-day melting pot of Rio de Janeiro's hip and trendy. Botafogo's major attractions include the Museu do Indio, the Public Archive for the state of Rio de Janeiro, Villa-Lobos Museum, Sugarloaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay.
A perfectly reproduced, small-scale replica of a favela (slum), this innovative arts project has brought media attention, tourism and social change to the Pereira da Silva favela. The project started life back in 1997 as the backyard hobby of two local teenagers, and today has become a 320 square meter (3444.45 square foot) model community that recreates favela life in stunning detail. Made from reclaimed bricks and recycled materials, Projeto Morrinho's government arts grant has enabled the organizers to plow money into social projects in the favela. Call or e-mail in advance to arrange a visit and you will be warmly welcomed, but don't attempt to wander into the favela alone. Transport and directions can be arranged.
This four kilometer (2.49 mile) stretch skirting the Copacabana Beach, is one of the city's most picturesque avenues. Lined with excellent hotels, restaurants and boutiques, Avenida Atlantica sees a perennial bustle throughout the day, populated not just by tourists, but locals as well. The street is a major site of the city's extravagant New Year's Eve celebrations as well.
Planetário da Cidade do Rio de Janeiro is an excellent place to get familiar with the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere, or simply to gaze at enchanting, twinkling stars. Take advantage of one of the guided tours that are available. Led in Portuguese, they are geared towards children, teenagers and adults alike. On Wednesday nights, one of the astronomers will allow peeks into his telescope. The complex offers courses, workshops and expositions, as well as a theater. Call for admission prices.