Famous for Carnaval, Rio sits on Guanabara Bay and is dominated by Sugarloaf Mountain. Carioca beaches are well-maintained and provide an escape from the urbanization and political problems simmering in Rio itself, although many of the older buildings next to the water are being replaced with modern skyscrapers.
Rio de Janeiro is well known for the beauty of its beaches and of its peaks, ridges, and hills—all partly covered by tropical forests. The city is a centre of leisure for Brazilian and foreign tourists, and people wearing bathing suits can be seen walking in the streets and along the beaches or traveling on the city’s buses. Perhaps at no time is the city’s festive reputation better displayed than during the annual pre-Lenten Carnival, which enlivens the city night and day with music, singing, parties, balls, and street parades of brilliantly costumed dancers performing to samba rhythms.