There's always a story behind a name. And Rio de Janeiro´s is a funny one... In the year of 1502 Portuguese explorers sailed over to Brazil. Their mission: confirming the existence of the land a previous explorer, Pedro Alvares Cabral, claimed he'd discovered. This second journey was headed by André Gonçalves. He was the one who found the bay today known as Guanabara. Apparently he mistook it for the mouth of a river, rio, in Portuguese, the month was January (Janeiro), and the name stuck.
Rio is famous in the rest of the world for their exuberant carnival, which is held annually around February time, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and Christ The Redeemer, the statue on top of Corcovado mountain, overlooking the city. (recently named as one of the seven new wonders of the world). Rio de Janeiro has 11 million inhabitants.
The official language in Brazil is Portuguese. English is also widely spoken, especially in business.
The currency in Brazil is the Real. 1 GBP = [CCExhange base="GBP" currency="BRL"] BRL*
The time zone in Brazil is known as BRT (Brazil Time), this is GMT – 2 hours
International Dialing Codes
+55-21- (+ local number)
Rio de Janeiro is at sea level, near the Tropic of Capricorn. It has a hot and damp tropical climate. Being on the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed, as in Australia and Africa. Summers get very hot with temperatures over 40 Celsius for days on end and winters can get quite cool, especially a little further inland.
Police: 190 Fire/Ambulance: 193 Lost & Found: 159
Public Transport Information
As well as the international airport, Rio de Janiero is well served by a complex Brazilian bus network that links Rio with literally hundreds of destinations throughout Brazil and beyond. In general, Rio de Janiero is one of the most accessible cities in Latin America.
Rio's public transport system is cheap and effective. Buses are the most popular form of transport as there are lines connecting the entire city, but keep an eye out for pickpockets. Taxis are easily available and the subway system, although small, is safe and reliable. Driving around the city in a rental car is notoriously difficult so it is preferable to hire a car and driver.
Brazil's capital city is served by Rio de Janeiro-Galeão (Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport) (GIG). Rio de Janeiro´s airport is the main gateway to Brazil. From there passengers can take many connecting flights to other parts of Brazil and the airport serves 18 international destinations. Apart from this international airport, Rio has 4 more small airports which only handle domestic flights.
And Another Thing...
The people from Rio call themselves the “Cariocas”. It is a Tupi Indian term meaning “house of whites”.