Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city in Brazil, is known for its perfect mix of nature and metropolis. It boasts of clear blue waters, majestic mountains, and rich culture, making it one of the top destinations in South America.

Visiting the fun and lively Rio de Janeiro soon? Before booking that Rio de Janeiro city tour, keep in mind these five places that you must see:

Christ the Redeemer

This 38-meter sculpture of Christ, which sits on top of the summit of 710-meter high Corcovado mountain, is the most famous landmark of Rio de Janeiro. Although this statue is visible throughout the city, go for an adventure and visit the chapel inside it to get an up close and personal look.

Selaron Steps

In this time of mobile phones and selfies, the Selaron Steps makes for an excellent Instagram background! These colorful steps are designed with tiles, ceramics, and mirrors by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selaron. There are many free tours in Rio de Janeiro that include a visit to the famous Selaron Steps.

Jardim Botanico

If you are into learning more about South America’s rich and diverse greenery, a trip to the Botanical Garden is a must. Housing more than 8000 species of plants on more than 300 acres, the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden is the next best thing to walking through the Amazon forest.

Copacabana Beach

Not many beaches can boast of having a song made in their name. This 4-kilometer beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world and a trip to Rio de Janeiro is simply not compete without visiting it.

Sao Bento Monastery

Being a predominantly Catholic city, Rio de Janeiro is home to many beautiful Catholic churches. If you can only visit one, make sure to make it the Sao Bento Monastery. The church can be deceiving from outside, but you’ll be in awe at the splendor of its baroque interior.