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Top Rated Attractions in Rio de Janeiro

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Avenida Atlantica

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.

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Parque Nacional & Floresta da Tijuca

The best place to visit to get an idea of what Rio once looked like, with miles and miles of tropical rain forest, walking trails, stunning views of the city, waterfalls, creeks and wonderfully varied greenery. At this huge urban reserve, it only takes about 20 minutes to immerse yourself in nature. Serious hikers can climb to the summit of Pico da Tijuca, while others can simply enjoy the waterfall, Cascatinha Taunay, at the Alto da Boa Vista.

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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.

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Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

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.

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Ipanema Beach

Named for the vibrant Ipanema neighborhood it's located in, Ipanema Beach truly embodies the Brazilian spirit that inspired Bossa Nova classic "The Girl from Ipanema". Sparkling white sand stretches as far as they eye can see here and the Dos Hermanos (Two Brothers) mountains form a picturesque backdrop. Rio's tropical weather means plenty of sun and the beach draws crowds of Brazilians and visitors looking to soak up some rays in their chic beach best. Eclectic to say the least, each of Ipanema's postos or zones has a unique spirit from the vibrant Posto 9 with its party vibe to the surf-friendly Posto 7. Beach culture at its best, Ipanema offers something for every visitor. Due to the forceful undertow, it's best to swim with caution.

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Gávea Golf and Country Club

Tracing its history back to 1926, Gávea Golf and Country Club is one of the most prestigious in the city. The club is located between the Pedra da Gávea and the Parque Nacional & Floresta da Tijuca, almost 900 metres (2952.76 feet) above sea level. Although the course is not a very long one, it hardly matters when the surroundings are so charming. São Conrado Beach is close by.

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