Population: 10 million
Rent: $150-400 depending on the neighbourhood.
Languages: Portuguese, (though in the favelas the slang is so thick that it comprises another dialect)
Religion: Football, the beach, sex, oh and this thing they learnt in school called Catholicism. Also popular is the Bahia white/black magic, Macumba or candomble. Even in modern parts of Rio de Janeiro you’ll see shamans and witchdoctors on the street who accept donations to remove the evil eye or help someone get a new job or lover.
Travelling to Rio de Janeiro
Brazil is so large that often it’s as cheap to jump on a plane across the country than to take a bus. Not that flights or buses are cheap in Brazil – to go from Rio to Fortaleza in the north of the country might set you back $200-300.
The bus network is well organised and you can go anywhere in the country from the main bus station and buy tickets at any travel agency.
From the airport to the city expect to pay around 40 reais for a taxi (18 dollars).
Rio de Janeiro does, contrary to popular belief, have a winter. Temperature drop as low as 16 degrees celcius at night and one or two brave souls defy fashion by wearing a scarf. But not to the beach.
Winter arrives around June and brings with it some grey days and rain when everyone goes out armed to the teeth with cheap umbrellas whose prongs can take your eye out.
By October temperatures are climbing again and in summer daytime is around 35-40 degrees.