One of the most seductive places on the planet, Rio’s sensual culture is hard not to notice. It’s in the way women habitually run their fingers through

their hair, the way lovers touch each other’s faces. It is the very sensation of the environment—the hot sun on your skin, the scent of the ocean mixing with fresh seafood, and how the lush, tropical backdrop softens the hard geometry of the city.

Rio de Janeiro is Brazil’s biggest playground, offering every conceivable delight a man could want: sprawling beaches full of bronzed bodies, jaw-dropping landscapes, extreme sports, termas, and amazing food and drinks any time of day. But the people are the main draw.

Brazilians work hard, but the beach is a funda- mental part of life, and locals abide by various codes of conduct, like playing competitive-yet-friendly games of beach volleyball before heading to the office. Rio’s layout is pretty straightforward. It is divided into north and south zones, with a mountain range serving as a barrier. Day and nightlife mainly revolves around the Ipanema area, and staying as close to the ocean as possible is critical.

After the heat and hustle of the city, take a short trip down the emerald coastline. Amid sandy coves and jungle backdrops are two perfectly charming towns: the colonial port of Paraty and the always energetic Búzios. Both are stunning and tranquil but offer different approaches to serenity. Búzios overflows with cafes, galleries, snorkeling, and surfing. Paraty is more secluded, with whole forests, waterfalls, and islands practically to oneself.

No matter where you are, Rio is all about meeting locals who will guide you in the right direction. Sensual energy mixed with living life at full tilt is what makes this Brazilian city so intoxicating.

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Shops Nestled on a quiet side street, this shop is hidden behind a bold cement facade. Inside is a welcoming concept store that carries everything from desk accessories to signed sculptures in a stylish, minimalist environment perfectly complemented by warm lighting. Duilio Sartori is a fresh (and much needed) addition to the Rio design/décor market.
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Restaurants The latest restaurant from the crack team behind Sushi Leblon and Zuka, this two-story bistro serves organic dishes in a clean, bright space on the trendy (and foody) Rua Dias Ferreira. Stop by on a late Saturday afternoon to watch the beautiful people.  
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Special Nirvana is the biggest yoga studio in Rio. Situated inside the Jockey Club, it offers saunas, a day spa, an organic restaurant, and a variety of yoga classes, including hatha and ashtanga—the yin to Rio’s capoeira and Jiu-Jitsu yang.
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Nightlife After a dinner in Leblon, walk over to Black Bar. There’s a DJ, dancing, and an easy vibe in the outdoor lounge. It’s a perfect place to go with a friend, but chill enough to go alone.
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Hotels When in Rio, stay near the beach. You can’t get any closer than the Fasano Hotel, which rises along the eastern end of Ipanema. The level of luxury and quality of service in Rio is surprisingly quaint, so the Philippe Starck-designed hotel stands out for its upmarket hospitality. Mr. Starck’s fingerprints are everywhere, from the bossa nova-chic lobby to the sexy rooftop infinity pool.
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Café Just outside of the Botanical Gardens, La Bicyclette is a French café favored by locals for its excellent sandwiches and freshly baked pain au chocolat.
City Spotlights
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City Spotlights A peninsula wedged between Ipanema and Copacabana, Arpoador Beach is the best spot to catch a sunset and a wave. Even surfers take a moment to sit on their boards and let the waves roll by as they take in the painted sky. The perfect place to end a perfect Rio day.