Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Travel Guide Rio de Janeiro is the second most populated city in Brazil with 12 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. This metropolis is located in the state of Rio de Janeiro in the south-east of Brazil and thousands of visitors go to the city each year to see its famous beaches and experience its unique natural setting. Located between the sea and a mountain with a mild climate all year round, Rio de Janeiro is a truly breathtaking city with white sandy beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema and famous landmarks such as the giant statue of Jesus on top of Corcovado Mountain, known as Christ the Redeemer. This city is home to the samba, the Brazil carnival and the people from Rio de Janeiro offer a warm, friendly welcome to tourists at any time of the year. Compare airfares and find cheap flights to Rio de Janeiro with eDreams. The city, known simply as Rio was founded by the Portuguese explorer Gaspar de Lemos in 1502 in Bahía de Guanabara and is home to many historical buildings as it was the capital of Brazil until 1960 when Brasília was formally named the capital of Brazil.