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Football, samba, carnival, barely-there bikinis on incredible beaches—Rio has made its mark on the world in a myriad of ways. And can you believe that scenery? Soaring forest-covered peaks dwarf patches of concrete jungle, tumbling down to meet a dramatic natural bay.
Away from the bustling sands of Copacabana and Ipanema, you’ll find dilapidated grandeur and resplendent street art in Santa Teresa, "Am I in Miami?" moments at Barra da Tijuca’s malls and chic restaurants, and breathing space in leafy, affluent Jardim Botannico or Gávea.
No one throws a party like Rio’s hedonistic citizens, the cariocas, whose irrepressible joie de vivre spills out into ubiquitous street parties, music halls and the legendary annual Carnival. From lyrical, jazz-influenced bossa nova to rapid-fire samba, music is this city’s lifeblood.
Though it’s no longer Brazil’s capital, its abundance of museums, hotels national monuments and nightlife would suggest otherwise. Simply intoxicating, Rio definitely deserves its "Miraculous City" moniker.