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Ipanema Beach

The Beach from Ipanema: Leblon Beach is one of the highlights of Rio.

This week, the New York Times reported that Discovery’s expansion into Brazil has unexpectedly catapulted TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Booto major hit status in the South American country. While the arrival of the pint-sized Southern pageant queen might be a good reason to avoid Brazil, here are a few reasons to check it out, nonetheless.

1. Rio’s Ipanema neighborhood was forever immortalized by the global mid-60s hit “The Girl from Ipanema,” a song made famous by Astrud and João Gilberto. It’s now the second most recorded popular song in history.

2. Sau Paulo, the world’s eighth largest city with 11 million people, is considered the Pizza Capital of the World. Locals devour about 1.5 millions pies per day.

3. Brazil’s Amazon jungle has more biodiversity than any country—including a third of the world’s 300 monkey species.

4. The ultra modern, sculpture-like buildings in the nation’s capital Brasilia were designed by Oscar Niemeyer, a Rio native who is considered one of the world’s most important modern architects.

5. The bondhinho, which snakes up through Rio’s artsy Santa Teresa neighborhood, is the world’s oldest operating electric tramway.


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Martina Sheehan

Martina Sheehan

Martina Sheehan is a travel, entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Time Out Chicago, the New York Times and Forbes Travel Guides, among others. Find her at

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