The harbour defining Rio de Janeiro, on the south-western shore of the Guanabara Bay, has been dubbed one of the natural wonders of the world. It was discovered by early Portuguese explores in 1502, and named Rio de Janerio which means “River of January”, in honour of the month it was discovered.
The ever-growing city of Rio spreads itself around the 143km circumference of the awesome Guana-bara Bay, along a narrow alluvial strip between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. The dark blue waters are studded with rocky outcrops the best known of which is the Sugar Loaf Mountain (perhaps named after the shape of the mould used when refining sugarcane), jutting out at 404 metres high.
The locals are so proud of their geologically defined home that they say, “God made the world in six days and on the seventh, he concentrated on Rio.”
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