This River of January (Rio de Janeiro) city was the capital of the Portuguese empire and of the country up until 1960. Called Cidade Maravilhosa (Wonderful City), Rio is renowned for its landscapes as much as its location – nestled between steep, green mountains and crystal clear seas. It is certainly ranked with San Francisco, Cape Town, Sydney and Hong Kong as an absolutely breathtaking city. Rio is one of the most important cultural and economic centers in Brazil and features some of country’s most famous attractions such as the Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain), the Corcovado and Copacabana and Ipanema beach. The city is full of energy and cariocas, the locals of Rio, are known for their care-free spirit and charm. Even among Brazilians, Rio is acknowledged as the heart and soul of this remarkable nation.