19 breathtaking photos of Rio from above
With nearly 3 million international tourists visiting every year, the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South America.
And despite recent coverage of Olympic sized-troubles, Rio de Janeiro is still known the world over for its beautiful beaches, breathtaking scenery, and raucous Carnival celebration. Now, with the world watching, Rio de Janeiro is hosting the 2016 Olympic Games and is the first South American city to do so.
Catch a glimpse of this magnificent city and its famous landmarks in the aerial photos below.
The city is nestled on the mountainous shores of Guanabara Bay on the Atlantic Ocean. The entrance of the bay is guarded by the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain.Paulo Whitaker/Reuters
Over 6 million people live in Rio, making it Brazil's second largest city. Many Cariocas live in favelas, or slums.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
Boating is extremely popular in Rio, and there are numerous boat and yacht clubs dotting the coastline.Bruno Domingos/Reuters
There are nearly 50 miles of stunning beaches, and the waters stay warm year-round.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
With average temperatures never dipping below 70ºF, Rio is the perfect place to relax on the beach any time of the year.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
The sandy shores of Copacabana Beach are often used for concerts and festivals.Sergio Moraes/Reuters
Surfing is hugely popular. Beachgoers watch the waves at Vermelha beach.Sergio Moraes/Reuters
Sports are an important aspect of life in Rio de Janeiro — soccer (football) fields are everywhere.Pilar Olivares/Reuters
The city won the bid to host the 2016 Olympics. Despite optimism coming into the project, many are concerned about the state of the venues with the Opening Ceremony just days away.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
As the city prepares for the Olympics, budget and time concerns are starting to surface.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
The athletes' village will be in the western zone of Rio, in the neighborhood of Barra de Tijuca.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
The city has many beautiful parks, both old and new.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
The city's most famous landmark, the Cristo Redentor, was completed in 1931 on the peak of the Corcovado, a 2,300-foot mountain overlooking the city.Bruno Domingos/Reuters
Cable cars run over the Complexo Alemão, a large neighborhood in northern Rio.Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters
The city's southern quarter is incredibly affluent and is home to some of South America's most expensive real estate.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
Rio de Janeiro celebrated its 450th anniversary in March 2015.Ricardo Moraes/Reauters
The city's highway system is extensive and traffic is common.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
The city's most famous event, the Rio Carnival, is a lavish six-day religious celebration dating back to 1723.Ricardo Moraes/Reuters
The nearby town of Saquarema is known as Brazil's surfing capital; here, the waves break near the beautiful town church.Bruno Domingos/Reuters