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The excitement is building for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the people of Brazil are putting everything they can into making this dynamic city the best it can be before they present it to the world later this year. They’ve had a head start of course, having hosted the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament which was attended by over 3 million people. In terms of logistics though, that was just a practice run, since there will be 7.5 million people attending the Olympics, with double the number of athletes and almost 5 times the number of volunteers. All these people will need to be housed, transported around, fed and entertained. So the pressure is on to get the planning right and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Over the past few years Rio has undergone a complete transformation with the aim of making it a comfortable, easily accessible and safe place to visit. The transportation system has been vastly improved, with new routes ensuring that all areas of the city are connected, as well as increased bike lanes. The number of hotel rooms available has doubled since 2010 and there are now 372 hotels to choose from, 70 of which are brand new. The city’s CCTV network has been increased to 560 cameras running 24/7, and street lighting has been improved, ensuring better security for tourists and locals alike. To top all of that, construction is almost complete onSantiago Calatrava’sMuseu do Amanhã – the Museum of Tomorrow. This architectural innovation has been built not only with its stylish design in mind, but also its environmental credentials – it is constructed from recycled materials, it uses solar energy for internal power and it is cooled by the water of Guanabar Bay which is filtered in the process to preserve marine life.
In addition to central Rio, close attention has been paid to the city’s famous ‘Favelas’. Responsibly-managed development and numerous community projects have ensured that quality of life for the residents has improved and that they are able to benefit from the increase in visitors to the city. On offer to tourists are several community tours where you can explore the favelas and listen to stories told by the people who live there. You can learn how the favelas have been used as sets in numerous films and enjoy the breath-taking views from the elevated neighbourhoods. You can also visit important community buildings, such as the schools and churches.
Overall, these extensive improvements mean that whether during the Olympic Games, or afterwards, Rio is now the ideal city for tourists to visit. The vibrant character of the city and its cultural attractions have been preserved, but it is now easier to explore and has an extensive choice of modern places to stay. With better transport links you can explore up and coming parts of Rio that were previously bypassed by tourists, such as Barra da Tijuca with its range of new hotels, pristine beach and shopping malls or São Conrado with its extensive opportunities for golfing, paragliding and trekking. Then return back to downtown and southern Rio for the excellent museums, nightlife, gastronomy and iconic beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon.
If you’re considering a holiday to Brazil we can take care of all the details, planning a full itinerary that incorporates the best of Rio as well as other Brazilian highlights such as Iguazu Falls and the Pantanal. Contact us today and we’ll turn that dream Brazil holiday into a reality.