Get to know Rio de Janeiro
The Metropolitan Region of the State of Rio de Janeiro is composed of 17 other municipalities - Duque de Caxias, Itaguai, Mangaratiba, Nilopolis, Nova Iguaçu, Sao Gonçalo, Itaborai, Mage, Marica, Niteroi, Paracambi, Petropolis, Sao Joao de Meriti, Japeri, Queimados, Belford Roxo, Guapimirim - which constitute the so-called "Great Rio", with an area of 5.384km.
The municipality of Rio de Janeiro covers an area of 1,255.3 Km², including the islands and continental waters. It measures 70 km from east to west and 44km from north to south. The municipality is divided into 32 Administrative Regions with 159 districts.
Rio de Janeiro skyline includes the Serra do Mar mountain range, covered by the Atlantic Forest. The city is characterized by marked contrasts, mountains and sea, forests and beaches, rocky cliffs rising abruptly from extensive lowlands, forming a landscape of rare beauty that led Rio de Janeiro to be known worldwide as the Marvelous City. Rio de Janeiro has three important mountain groups, including smaller sets of mountain ranges and isolated hills amid plains.
Extending 246.22 km, the coast is divided into three sectors: Guanabara Bay, Atlantic Ocean and Sepetiba Bay. The first mentioned is the largest, the more jagged and the first to be occupied. It extends from the mouth of São João de Meriti River to the Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf mountain). It's low and has been much altered by landfills. Numerous islands decorate this section of the coast. Other major accidents found in the sector: Pontas do Caju and Calabouço, both augmented by landfills. It includes important beaches such as Ramos, Flamengo, Botafogo and Urca.
The second sector extends from Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf mountain) to Barra de Guaratiba. The coast is high when the ramifications of Maciços da Tijuca and Pedra Branca approach the coast, and low when they depart. It becomes straight in flat regions, where beautiful beaches made of sandbanks appear and cut along the mountainous regions. From Leblon to the east, the coastal strip is the most densely occupied region by the urban population; the west is more exploited for tourism and leisure, however occupation of this area has been increasing lately. Tourist attractions encourage the concentration of high end hotels in this strip. Two beaches stand out in the ocean shoreline for their internationally famed beauty: the first due to its extension of 18km along the avenue Lucio Costa Avenue, formerly Avenue Sernambetiba, from the pier of Barra da Tijuca to the Recreio dos Bandeirantes, and Copacabana (4.15 Km).
The third sector extends from Barra de Guaratiba to the mouth of the Guandu River. It is slightly cropped and features a single major accident - Restinga Marambaia. It highlights three beaches: Sepetiba, Pedra de Guaratiba e Barra de Guaratiba. Occupation of this area is less dense, not only because of the distance that separates it from the downtown area, but also because it presents large swampy areas covered with mangroves. It is a zone of fishing colonies.
It is tropical, hot and humid, with local variations due to differences in altitude, vegetation and proximity to the ocean. The average annual temperature is 22° Celsius (72° Fahrenheit), while the daily average during summer reaches 30° to 32 ° Celsius, or 86° to 90° Fahrenheit. Rains vary between 1.200-1.800 mm annually. During the four months of summer - December to March - very hot days are always followed by bright afternoon when generally quick and heavy rain falls, bringing about cool and starry nights.
Learn more about Rio de Janeiro (in Portuguese)