Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro is also known as Guanabara Bay.  The harbor is located by the city of Rio de Janeiro on the southeastern coastline of Brazil.  The harbor is surrounded by granite monoliths and welcomes visitors to the city of Rio de Janeiro.

What makes the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro a natural wonder?

This is a common question when people think of the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro as a natural wonder.  Immediately, the city of Rio comes to mind leading people to ask, what does this have to do with nature.  The answer comes from the other name – Guanabara Bay.

Statistically speaking, Guanabara Bay, or the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, is the largest bay in the world based on volume of water.  Additionally, the mouth of the harbor is unique resembling more of a river than a bay.  This is actually what contributed to the naming of the city Rio de Janeiro, which means “River of January.”

The granite monoliths and Sugar Loaf Mountain add to the natural aesthetics of the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro making the world’s largest bay even more appealing as a wonder of nature.  Corcovado mountain, which is home to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, overlooks the bay.  Copacabana beach graces the bay with her beautiful sand.

What are the best ways to see the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro?

Visitors should plan to see the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro from multiple perspectives to truly capture the grandeur this wonder has to offer.  The first view should be captured from the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, which provides views of the harbor, the city, the beaches, and Corcovado and the other monoliths.

A second view should be captured from Corcovado.  This view is high and up over the city providing more of a panoramic view of the harbor.  Travelers could also look to take to the skies with a helicopter flight over the bay.  This will allow explorers to grasp the expanse of the bay.

pan Point found on the South Rim. This is considerably easier to get to and provides an incredible view of the canyon striations and the Unkar Creek area.

What are the best ways to experience the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro?

If you can only spend the day exploring the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro, then you should plan on going to the top of both Sugar Loaf Mountain and Corcovado.  These two views of the harbor are both unique and worthwhile.

If you have more time and are more adventurous, taking a hang gliding trip off one of the granite monoliths and flying over the harbor and surrounding area will give you the most comprehensive view  as well as most exciting.

Boaters, or those that like to be on the water, can actually get out on a boat to explore the harbor from her waterways.  The harbor features a series of islands that boating will allow you to get closer looks.

When is the best time to visit the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro?

September and October are the best months to visit the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro.  The weather is fairly nice and the crowds are not as big that come with the summer months.  If you reason to go is the beaches, then coming a little later will provide you with the hot months of November through January.  These are popular months and the crowds on the beaches reflect the popularity.

Sugar Loaf Mountain should be done in the morning as early as possible.  The sun will be behind you as you look back towards the city, beaches, and Corcovado.  Corcovado should be explored in the afternoon.   The morning view will be gazing right into the rising sun and make for poor pictures and hard to view scenes.  The afternoon moves the sun off to the side allowing for better views of the city, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and the harbor of Rio de Janeiro.

What is the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro weather like?

The weather varies by season, but the location is considered tropical without much fluctuation in temperatures.  The summer months of November through February are the best time for visiting the beaches as far as temperatures.  The winter months are still nice weather wise, but often too chilly for getting in the water.

Photography Tips for the capturing the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

Taking pictures of the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro can be done at any time of the day, it just matters where you are at that time of day.  With limited time, photographers should head to Sugar Loaf Mountain in the morning.  The earlier the better. The sun will rise from in front of Sugar Loaf Mountain making it easier to take pictures back over the city, beaches and Corcovado.

As the sun moves across the sky, you should make your way to Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer.  The sun will be off to the side allowing you to take the best pictures of the city, bay, and Sugar Loaf Mountain.  However, earlier morning times are less busy and easier for taking pictures of the front of Christ the Redeemer.  There are photographic reasons to visit Corcovado in both the morning and the late part of the day.

Travel tips for visiting the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro

Yes, the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro is one of the Seven Wonders of Nature.  Although home to one of the most vibrant and celebratory cities in the world, the harbor is a wonder of nature.  The city just provides travelers with exciting night life and other festive activities to enhance a vacation experience.  As far as properties on the beach, all hotels are across the street from the beach except for the Sheraton Rio Hotel and Resort.  However, this hotel has its own private beach versus access to the popular Copacabana beach.