1. RIO DE JANEIRO
Known as the Cidade Maravilhosa, or the Marvelous City, Rio de Janeiro has more than 20 beaches and many dramatic landmarks, including the much-photographed Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the city. The thriving metropolitan area, with its exceptional architecture, museums, galleries, and restaurants, sits on the magnificent Guanabara Bay against a rugged backdrop of forested mountains, making for one of the most stunning settings in the world.
Insider Tip: Rio de Janeiro’s annual Carnival is world-famous, and it’s not just hype. Imagine two million people partying to samba music over five days of debauchery. But regardless of whether you visit during the festival, the spirit of the exuberant Carioca people is evident year-round.