Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
Our next beautiful natural wonder of the world resides in the most popular country of South America… Brazil.
The Harbor of Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s 7 Natural Wonders and is commonly also known as Guanabara Bay which roughly translates to ‘the bosom of the sea’.
The harbor stretches 412km sq being 31kms long and 28kms wide making it the second largest bay in Brazil after the All Saints Bay however based on the volume of the water the Harbor of Rio de Janeiro technically becomes the largest bay in the world.
What draws the crowds into Brazil’s famous harbor is the picturesque scenery that the inland harbor provides. It is surrounded by some great mountain ranges known as the Granite Monolith Mountains which make excellent photos from atop of the mountains as well for those spectacular bay views.
Probably the two most popular mountains within the Granite Monolith Range include the Sugar Loaf Mountain and Corcovado Peak.
Sugar Loaf Mountain stands at a height of 1,296 feet (395 metres) and is best to be climbed during the earlier hours of the morning. Cable cars start at 8am and the mountain could be done in around 2 hours.
Earlier is also better for Sugar Loaf due to the fact the sun will be rising from the east, reducing glare and making for some amazing photographs.
Corcovado Peak however is better to be climbed during the afternoon when the sun is behind you. The views of the harbor and Sugar Loaf Mountain from Corcovado during this later afternoon time makes Corcovado one picturesque location.
You may however actually want to spend the full day on Corcovado. In the early mornings the lighting is naturally provided by the rising sun for the better shots from the famous statue – Christ the Redeemer which faces the rising sun.
The Corcovado Peak is much higher than Sugar Loaf Mountain at a height of 2,310 feet (704 metres) which may require some additional walking but is still so worth the trip if you can handle a bit of uphill walking.
In any case to view the spectacular harbor of Rio de Janeiro you will want to take it in from the air. You can choose from helicopter tours or one of the more adventurous activities like hang gliding or by micro-light flight.
You may even simply just take a cruise or go sailing across the bay to gain access to some of the islands and inlets such as Governors Island, Snake Island and Fundao.
The best time of year seems to be around September and October where the temperature is warm but is not the hot sticky humidity that the months following usually provide.
In 1932 the famous naturalist Charles Darwin came to Brazil and witnessed the beautiful scenery here and it was the evolutionists himself that named the harbor as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.