View from Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I have been to Rio de Janeiro twice and each time, I was surprised by the city’s beauty. The Portuguese settlers couldn’t have chosen a better location. In between the mountains, the bay and the sea, with islands dotted along the coast, a white city sprawls out so far, it is impossible to see its limits.

Rio de Janeiro has its problems, with high crime rates and gangs winning back favelas. I had a long discussion with my Pantanal tour guide about whether or not you should call a city like Rio beautiful. In the end, we agreed that despite everything happening in the city, its location was stunning and it is worth a long visit.

And this post isn’t about Brazil’s problems and politics.…