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Cheap Flights to Rio de Janeiro

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Cidade Maravilhosa or "Marvellous City" is what cariocas call their beloved Rio and visitors coming off their Rio flights will quickly agree. Its recognisable landmarks: Sugar Loaf mountain, Christ the Redeemer and the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema provide the dramatic backdrop to the world’s most decadent city.

Nestled between 56 miles of beach and two lush green rainforests, Rio’s natural beauty is spellbinding and cariocas take full advantage of it. On any given day, come rain or shine, the locals are out jogging along Ipanema, skydiving close to Sugar Loaf or climbing a tree in Tijuca. But apart from its aesthetic beauty Rio’s cultural and historical sights are just as fascinating. The Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) and Museu Histórico Nacional are well worth a visit while the port of Paraty, a Unesco World Heritage Site, provides a glimpse into Rio’s colonial past.

Most visitors book flights to Rio during Carnaval, but this is also the busiest time, when thousands of people from all over the world fly in especially for the event, making it difficult to get around the city and finding a hotel room can be a challenge. However if you think a visit to Rio isn't complete without attending at least one Samba show, samba schools conduct pre-Carnaval rehearsals year-round.

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Rio de Janeiro climate

If you like the heat you will love Rio de Janeiro where the temperature rarely drops below 20 degrees (C). Rio has a classical tropical climate. December to March is summer, and it is very humid with temperatures topping 40 degrees. December has the most rain and July and August the least. Winter is short, lasting only from June to September. Daytime temperatures in winter are in the 20s and 30s the nights are cooler.

When to fly to Rio de Janeiro

Peak season:

Carnaval, usually in February, is “the” time to come to Rio. To take in some sights and museums, you will need to arrive a few days before the party starts and linger a few days after. Flights to Rio and hotel prices are higher during Carnaval. Book your hotel and Rio de Janeiro flight at least a year in advance.

Another grand party is New Year’s Eve, called Reveillon. Millions pack the beach for the all-night celebration, music, and fireworks.

Off season:

The city is less crowded and prices are a bit lower in winter, from May to October, with the exception of Reveillon.

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Getting around Rio de Janeiro

The Rio de Janeiro subway doesn’t reach all parts of the city, but it is air conditioned and quicker and cheaper than the buses, which can take you anywhere. You will need to learn enough Portuguese to ask for directions though, since few drivers speak English. Avoid taking buses at night; they can be a hotspot for robberies. The private Fresco buses have regular stops and can be flagged down anywhere on the way to the beach, downtown or the airport. If you’re travelling anywhere in the city at night, take a taxi to play it safe. There are plenty of taxis around, and you shouldn’t have trouble flagging one down. For a more reliable and air-conditioned cab, your best bet is one of the radio taxis and cab companies that serves hotels. It’s always a good idea to negotiate your fare before you get in the car if the meter isn’t running. If you rent a car, stay alert and keep the car doors locked. You’ll have to deal with heavy traffic, poorly labeled streets and scarce parking.

Rio de Janeiro insider information

  • Take a cable-car ride up Sugarloaf Mountain. The journey to the top is done in two stages. The first cable car climbs more than 700 feet up Urca Hill. Then, on another cable car, tourists travel 1300 feet to the summit from which there are wonderful views of Copacabana beach and over the city.
  • The world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer is 125 feet high and stands at the peak of the mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park.
  • The botanical gardens are home to about 2,600 species of plant life. The gardens were created by the Prince Regent of Portugal in 1808 as a temporary home for imported plants while they were being acclimatized. There are animals too such as toucans, tanagers, marmoset monkeys and exotic butterflies.
  • World-famous beaches include Copacabana, where Rio's New Year's celebrations take place, and Ipanema, famous in the song The Girl from Ipanema.
  • For retail therapy, check out the upmarket Rua Garcia D'Avila or for budget-conscious travelers, the hippie fair at Praça General Osorio is a good place to pick up souvenirs such as wooden sculptures, leather goods and artworks.
  • The Museu Nacional de Belas Artes was inspired by the Louvre. It dates from 1908 and is Rio de Janeiro’s main fine arts museum. It displays artifacts from the 19th century to today from several famous Brazilian artists including Victor Meirelles, Pedro Americo and Candido Portinari as well as foreign and contemporary artists.

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This is useful information about Rio de Janeiro

Photo of Rio de Janeiro   Rio de Janeiro
Avg temperature for this monthRio de Janeiro26.6 °CSource: World Weather Online
Avg monthly rainfall inRio de Janeiro2 mmSource: World Weather Online
Average flying time toRio de Janeiro13 hrs 52 mins
Foreign-exchange rate inRio de JaneiroR$1.00 = £0.25Source: Oanda
Airlines that fly toRio de JaneiroSwiss, Tap Air Portugal and British Airways
Deals available on flights toRio de Janeiro1606
Advertisers with deals toRio de JaneiroFlying Eagles, CheapOair.co.uk and Flight Centre (First & Business)
Advertisers with offers toRio de Janeiro35
Lowest flight offer toRio de Janeiro£533
Average flight offer toRio de Janeiro£893

 How much do things cost in Rio de Janeiro?

  • Imported beer (0.33 litre): £2.51
  • Petrol (1 litre): £0.78
  • Small bottle of water (0.33 litre): £0.64
  • Local draught beer (0.5 litre): £1.50
  • 1 mile taxi journey: £0.79
  • 3 course meal for 2: £25.08
  • Pair of Nike trainers: £66.09
  • Taxi - fixed fee: £1.18
  • Bottle of wine: £6.27
  • 1 bedroom flat outside of centre: £323.93
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