Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second largest city after Sao Paulo, world famous for its carnival, beaches (Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon) and the statue of Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado. 20% of its inhabitants, the cariocas, live in favelas (poor district on the slopes of hills (morros) and unfortunately it is the serious urban problem of the city. Rio has more than 90% of its territory covered with tropical forests and the best known is the Foresta de Tijuca which is even inside the city.
If you want to have a wonderful view of the beaches and even of the Christ, go to the Pao de Açucar (Sugar Loaf; rocky peak of almost 400 meters).
If you want to do a little road to get a good view, cross the Rio-Niteroi Bridge (13 km) you will see the Guanabara Bay and the city of Rio and its beaches. If you have a little time, Nitéroi has also beautiful beaches to spend the day.
Even though there are 2 subway lines, the best way to get around is by bus or taxi. Always ask the driver for the price because they will usually charge you a fixed price for tourist destinations. For safety, ask a taxi in the reception of your hotel. Generally, you can arrange with the same taxi to pick you up at the end of your visit.
If you like the beach, Ipanema and Leblon are more beautiful than Copacabana and a little quieter.
If you want to know a favela there are guided excursions that will allow you to know a little more of the inhabitants of the city. For your safety, do not try to go alone.