South America

Harbour of Rio de Janeiro

The largest bay in the world and its name means ‘river of January’ is unparalleled in its beauty due to the unique mountains gracing its shores. It is also known as Guanabara Bay.

A natural wonder of the world situated near the carnival city of Rio in Brazil. The majestic harbor here is formed by the Oceans of the Atlantic which defined the rocks and the soil of the coast.

The ‘Harbour of Rio de Janeiro’ sits pretty on the south west coastal shore of the Guanabara Bay. It lies in between the city of Rio, the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains. The majestic mountainous formations comprise of the beauty of the Sugar Loaf Mountain, hills of the Tijuca and the Corcovado Peak. The beauty of the harbor here was thanks to the Atlantic Ocean which worked on the terrain by wearing out the coastal rocks and the soil.

The entrance of the bay is guarded by the sugarloaves which were evoked by the lopsided and the naked mountain of Pao de Acucar. These mountains lie on the island of Madeira. The humped shaped mountain found here is known as the Corcovado due to its hunchback. A new wonder of the Christ the Redeemer on stands tall at the two thousand three hundred foot high peak.

The amazing geology and locales here make the proud people of the region exclaim that god created the world in the six days time and on the 7th day all he concentrated was on making the beautiful ‘Harbour of Rio de Janeiro’. The beaches here are easily equated to paradise on earth and are free for all to enjoy. And the soothing and calming climate here is simply wonderful.
Awesome sights:

To view the best sights of the spectacular harbor one simply needs to travel above it. Yes we mean take off to the skies. Tourists and visitors discover a new perspective to the sights here by flying in a helicopter. The more adventure seeking individuals can even make use of the handy hang glider. Another great way to reap the magnificent sighting possible is to journey to the top of the nearby granite peaks.

The mountains tops that surround the harbor can provide a bird’s eye view of the action down below. The landscape in all its intricate beauty along with the harbor’s panoramic views can be seen form the Corcovado and the Sugar Loaf tops.

The Sugar Loaf mountain lies in the harbor and the sights include also includes the city and the other mountains in the vicinity. Serene views of the gorgeous beaches that align the coast can enough to fill the heart with joy.

The history of the harbor:

The Portuguese adventurers and explorers who came here and immediately enchanted by the place called the picturesque harbor here named it ‘River of First of January’. It was because the explorers believed they had found the mouth of the great river when they were moving along the narrow passage in the shores here in 1502 on New Year’s Day. Beyond the gateway they had discovered a stretch of water which spanned twenty miles inland.

In the year 1555 the French invaders created a colony here but were thrown out and expelled. The city soon grew stronger and larger in size. The capital was changed to that of Brazilia in the year 1960. The Local Tamoio people gave the name of Guanabara which means arm of the sea. Now more than 5 centuries later the names, European as well as native exist and persist. The huge waterway here is not a river but a bay which is studded with islands. These islands are home to a roaring and rocking metropolis.

Many ages ago the region was teeming with jaguars and tapir in the tropical wilderness. There has been a drastic turn around with the presence of the super tanks and the many luxury yachts that add glitter and bling to the waterfront. This stunning balloon shaped Guanabara Bay harbor has changed to welcome the modern times.

The beauty of the mountains here are still unchallenged. But the beaches and the harbor of Rio are very crowded as tourists from far and wide gather here. In few instances the beaches and the harbor are even polluted nowadays.
Experiencing the harbor:

Beaches near to the stunning harbor with the sandy soft white sands are a great way to experience the sunny climate lounging and playing around. There are many sporting venues here where one can play volley ball, exercise or enroll in a stretching program.

Visitors here are encouraged to explore the lookouts form the Corcovado and the Sugar Loaf Mountains. Both the peaks are great for their distinctive sights and views of the surrounding region and the harbor. Boat tours are great way to visit the islands beaches and the granites monoliths of the harbor.
Best time to visit:

The harbor can be viewed in all its glory in the months from September to October. This is when the climate is just perfect and nice and the humidity has not set in. The wonder of the Sugar Loaf can be traversed during the early morning hours when the sun is coming from the east. The mountain can be traveled in two hours time. The sun in the morning hours is behind you as you soak in the sights without any squinting.

Exploration of the mountains can begin after 8 am as that is when the cable cars are open for operation. The morning travel to the Corcovado Mountain can be a crowded affair with the sun in the face. Exploration of the mountain is ideal during the afternoon hours when the sun is shining towards the harbor and the Sugar Loaf.
Travel tips:

The city of Rio is the most popular and the largest in Brazil hence getting here is quite easy. Plenty of options for traveling here are available as many of the major airliners have direct flights to the city which is a major tourist attraction in the world. Traveling in the city can be fun in the many taxis and private drivers which are priced reasonably although there is no public means of transportation.

It would be great to check with your hotel for a driver or a car. Once you witness the routes here you would bless your stars that you don’t have to navigate through them yourself.
Great place to stay:

The city is known more for its carnivals, culture and character. An excellent place to find accommodation here would be the Sheraton Rio hotel. The natural wonder locations can be best explored by staying at the Sheraton hotel. It is the only hotel here in Rio which has a direct access for its guests to the beach front. It also offers easy access to the harbour of Rio de Janeiro, Corcovado and Sugar Loaf. It is ideal for those seeking an eco experience in the city of Rio.