11 Shocking Highlights No One Has Told You About Rio de Janeiro, Brazil- Atlantic Ocean 2
Porto do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Brazil‘s 3rd busiest port especially in terms of cargo volume, Porto do Rio de Janeiro is also the center for cruise ships. It is located in a cove on the west coast of Guanabara Bay and covers the area from Maua Pier in the east to the Wharf of the Cashew in the north. Warehouses or containers are situated at Maua Pier while the Wharf of the Cashew is a roll-on-roll-off cargo terminal.
Major activities at the Port of Rio de Janeiro are pig iron, steel products and vehicles for export while main imports are wheat and zinc concentrates. It is operated by Compania Rocas de Rio de Janeiro.
On Rio de Janeiro:
Rio was settled by the Portuguese in 1502 and its foundation was laid in 1565. Since then French and of course the Portuguese invaders fought over for its possession until 1567 when the Portuguese governor, Mem de Sa overthrew the French. More immigrants from Portugal arrived in the latter years and integrated with the local tribes.
By 1769, Rio became the capital of Brazil and the boom in its coffee industry brought a huge wealth to its coffers. When the Napoleonic Wars rage on in Europe, the Portuguese Royal Family fled to Rio in 1808 which transformed the city from a mere colony into a royal seat. Until November 15, 1889, Brazil was proclaimed a republic and the Imperial Family left and sailed back to Portugal.
Important new institutions were founded in 1920 and tourism began to soar in Rio. It has unfortunately lost its capital status to Brasilia in 1960 however, it surpassed as the biggest city of Brazil more than its rival Sao Paolo. Today, Rio de Janeiro is one of the most diverse cities on the planet and enjoying its status as a major global economic player.
We arrived at Porto do Rio de Janeiro on March 2014 via the IVS Wentworth carrying wheat for discharging which we loaded the month before from St. Petersburg, Russia. The city of samba, carnival, bikini and sunga swimsuits, Rio is marked out by its stunning landscape, friendly locals and “sun’s out, butts out” culture. Accredited as one of the world’s most beautiful and captivating cities, let’s take a look on 11 shocking highlights no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
1. It’s named River of January though in reality it’s a bay.
A shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro that in English its name is River of January. When the Portuguese explorers first set their feet at the area in January 1502 they mistook Guanabara Bay as a mouth of a river, hence they named the place Rio (river) de Janeiro (of January, since they arrived during that month).
2. At some point it became the capital of Portugal.
While the war between France and Portugal raged on in the 19th century (1815-1822), the Portuguese Royal Family has moved to Brazil. Over 15,000 of their staff arrived with them in Rio in 1808 and they so they found the new “capital” of Portugal for quite some time. A shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro.
3. Their Cristo Redentor (Christ The Redeemer) is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
Both iconic to Rio de Janeiro and the whole country of Brazil, the Cristo Redentor (Christ The Redeemer) statue is also recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Also a shocking highlight on one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil since its location is at the summit of Corcovado Mountain, the holy image is frequently struck by lightning. It has in 2014 lost a thumb during a terrible storm.
4. Copacobana Beach is also famous as the “birthplace” of footvolley sport.
Acclaimed for its perfect white sand especially to tourists, Copacobana is also the hub of footvolley sport which is a mix of beach volleyball and football. A shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this sport was invented by Octavio de Moraes in the ’60s. The game is played between 2 players which is similar to beach volleyball except that you are only allowed to use your feet, chest and head to touch the ball.
5. Not just “a Cidade Maravilhosa” but the city of “cariocas” as well.
While they call their city “a Cidade Maravilhosa” ( marvelous city), the residents are known as “cariocas”, a shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Meaning “homem branco” (white man), carioca (care-ree-o-ca) is a Tupi-guarani (the native Indian) word for the Europeans who first arrived in Brazil and built the city of Rio.
6. And now, The Girl From Ipanema.
Well, the Ipanema is not only Brazil‘s pricey flip-flop but it’s the name of a beach as well where Brazilian singers and artists used to hang out in the ’60s. Helo Pinhiero, a girl from Ipanema used to pass by from the group wearing only a bikini on her way to the area when she was just 17. She became the inspiration of the ’60s hit song “The Girl From Ipanema” (Garota de Ipanema), a shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
7. Its Carnival is the world’s largest.
Starting-off 40 days before the Lenten Season, the Rio Carnival is the world’s largest (and boldest at that) street celebration of its kind. A shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said carnival attracts more than 3 million tourists in pre-COVID times. The show-off of grand samba performances from various “samba schools” in Rio, here they just not compete for the multi-million dollar reward but also for pride of their culture.
8. Where the words “brazillian” (wax) and “tanga” (bikini) were born at Rio’s famed beaches.
Although it started at a salon in New York City in the 1990s and which they called it “brazillian wax”, the practice of women removing their pubic hair around the bikini area and the use of “tanga” began at the beaches of Rio. A shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
9. It may seem too good to be true, but prostitution here is actually legal.
In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro included, paying for sex is legal and it is common to see prostitutes conducting their “trade” on the streets. A shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And motels are best avoided for it’s where hookers conduct their “business”.
10. When you beach doesn’t really matter in Rio.
In Rio, the beach is not just an area where you can spend for a few hours, it is a lifestyle. There is never a “bad hair day” at the seashore, a shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazilians are known as some of the sexiest in the world, sharing the sun and sand with them, wearing as little as possible at their beaches is just normal rather than a more modest swimsuit that is likely to draw more attention than their itsy, bitzy, weeny thongs.
11. Its emblematic Sugarloaf Mountain is the best spot for a 360-degree view over the city.
For the best 36-degree view on Rio, take the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain. Resembling to look like a heap of refined sugarloaf, it is also considered one of the world’s dramatic mountains. A shocking highlight no one has told you about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil the cable car at the Sugarloaf Mountain was once featured as the fight scene between James Bond and Jaws in Moonraker.
Lastly, Brazilians are inclined to say that if you have not explored Cristo Redentor, Sugarloaf Mountain, Ipanema Beach, Copacobana Beach and other main tourist sites, you’ve never actually been to Rio. So when the time is right and you’re planning for a South American getaway, go to Rio. And as they say: “tenha uma boa praia” (have a good beach, meaning have a nice day)!!!