The Portuguese established Rio de Janeiro on Guanabara Bay in January 1502. When Brazil achieved its independence in 1889, Rio was named the capital, and while Brasilia now holds that title, Rio remains the most famous city in the country. With its spectacular setting between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains of the coast, Rio is home to magnificent landscapes with white sand beaches, blue waters and rich green tropical forests. In Rio you can feel the joyful Latin vibe and discover many of the different strands of Brazil's rich culture. Visit the Christ the Redeemer Statue atop Corcovado Mountain, the exciting streets of Santa Teresa, the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and experience the biggest carnival festival on earth. Having successfully hosted a number of World Cup 2014 events, Rio de Janeiro is gearing up for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, during which golf will celebrate its return to the official Olympic program for the first time in over 100 years.
Rio de Janeiro is certainly not famous because of its golf courses, but with golf on the schedule of the Summer Olympics, the game will certainly receive a boost in the region. The Olympic competition will be played on the brand new Reserva Marapendi Golf Course designed by Gil Hanse. After the Games, the course will become open to the public in order to develop the sport in Brazil. Itanhangá Golf Club is one of the larger golf complexes in Brazil, offer a full 18-hole course and a short 9-hole track. The prestigious Gavea Golf and Country Club is located in the shadow of Pedra de Gavea and offers splendid views of the mountains and the sea as well as incredible tropical flora. The amazing combination of beaches, nightlife and golf make Rio de Janeiro a perfect holiday destination.