Rio de Janeiro
This cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) is one of the most densely populated places on earth. The thick brew of 7 million cariocas - as the inhabitants are called - thrive on dance, drink, beach, sport and sun. It's a city of Dionysian spirit whose people grab life head-first.
The international tourist crowd take advantage of Rio's ritzy side - there are innumerable opportunities to be decadent. But Rio also has much to offer the budget traveller. There are cheap hotels and restaurants aplenty, and the beach is a free entertainment zone.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track