state in the Southeast Region of Brazil
South America > Brazil > Southeast (Brazil) > Rio de Janeiro (state)

Rio de Janeiro is a state in the Southeast of Brazil. It is a small coastal state wedged between São Paulo to the west, Espírito Santo to the northeast, and Minas Gerais to the north. Rio de Janeiro is most famous for the sun, sand, and samba of its eponymous capital, but the state hosts a wide range of other environments, with quaint colonial villages, rugged mountain parks, lazy coastal towns, and hip beach resort destinations.

Beach in Búzios


Regions of Rio de Janeiro
A coffee-growing region in the hills near the borders with Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo
Breathtaking mountains from Petropolis and Teresopolis to the northeast
  Lakes Region
Coastal cities such as sophisticated Búzios and the popular Cabo Frio
  Grande Rio
Includes the State's capital and neighbouring Niteroi.
  Valley Region
  Costa Verde (Green Coast)
Forest meets beaches, islands and history in Paraty, Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande.


  • 1 Rio de Janeiro
  • 2 Angra dos Reis - Beautiful two-hour coastline including 365 islands
  • 3 Macaé - Brazil's booming oil capital.
  • 4 Niterói - Just across the bay from Rio de Janeiro, go here to see Oscar Niemeyer's amazing Niteroi Museum of Contemporary Art (shaped like a UFO).
  • 5 Nova Iguaçu - Famous for its violence and crime. This city has a myth of the only Brazilian volcano (scientifically not a volcano).
  • 6 Paraty - A 18th century well-preserved colonial town on the coast, just 260km West from Rio de Janeiro on the green coast
  • 7 Penedo - A Brazilian version of "little Finland" with euro architecture, cobblestone streets, small shops and lots of trout restaurants. Just outside of Resende.
  • 8 Petrópolis - A lovely city in the tops of the mountains. A good place to cool off from the Rio sun!
  • 9 Teresópolis - A very nice city in the mountains close to Rio de Janeiro

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  • Espírito Santo — Although somewhat off-the-beaten path, the state north of Rio de Janeiro has much to offer tourists. The capital Vitória's beautiful bay and bridge; Vila Velha's Convento da Penha (a 16th-century hilltop Franciscan convent); Guarapari's beaches and summer parties; the German-colonized town of Domingos Martins; Pedra Azul State Park's beautiful blue rock; and Itaúnas's dunes and forró (a Northeastern Brazilian dance); are some of the main attractions that should guarantee tourists a good time.
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