James Bond holiday destinations #5 – Brazil

If you think of Brazil then probably a few things come to mind; the carnival in Rio de Janeiro, beaches and football for instance; or Sugarloaf mountain, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, Bossa Nova rhythms and the Amazon rainforest; or, more recently, the pro-reform protests.

James Bond touched down there in Moonraker, after finding Drax’s Venice laboratory to be empty of all signs of the nerve gas production he had uncovered and learning that Drax was moving his operations to Rio. When Drax learns of Bond’s arrival he quickly sends Jaws out to eliminate him, leading to a fight on the cable cars of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Sugarloaf mountain cablecar

Rio was one of the most popular cities in the southern hemisphere and in 2016 will become only the third city from the southern hemisphere to host the Olympic Games, with the FIFA World Cup taking place there two years previously.

The city spectacularly nestles between the surrounding mountainside, including Sugarloaf Mountain, while perched on top of Corcovado mountain, whether you are religious or not, is the impressive statue of Christ the Redeemer and is well known for its beaches, including the four kilometres of sand that form Copacabana beach.

Although the climate is fairly even throughout the year, rainfall is lowest in the period from June to August, making it fairly ideal for a summer holiday although, being south of the equator, this is actually the cool period of the year; however, average peak temperatures still reach 25 degrees Celsius.

At other times of year the Carnival and New Year’s Eve get packed out so you may want to avoid the city during these periods and if you do go at these times beware of pickpockets.

City

Naturally you’ll want to take the cable car up to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain. The cable car is in two stages, with the station for the second stage (Urca Hill Station) apparently demolished by the cable car in which Jaws was riding after the fight with Bond. The service operates every 20 minutes from 8 am, with the round trip taking around four hours; however, it is well worth it for the spectacular views of the city below.

Inland

When 007 learns of Drax’s research facility in the Amazon he arrives by boat, using a hang glider to escape when his boat goes over the spectacular Iguaca Falls. The falls are not actually in the Amazon, but can be visited from Foz do Iguaçu, which is accessible from Rio by plane.

Beach

Copacabana beach

As well as the city, Rio de Janeiro is also well known for its beaches, including Copacabana, Ipanema, and Barra are the cleanest, while Flamengo and Botafogo beaches are too polluted.

Getting there

Flying from Europe usually requires a stop in the United States, but a variety of airlines offer services to and from Rio.

Further reading

on-the-tracks-of-007In On the Tracks of 007, Martijn Mulder and Dirk Kloosterboer take a comprehensive look at locations that appear in the films up to Quantum of Solace.

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Note: currently there are ongoing protests in a number of cities in Brazil. Although mainly peaceful, if you are visiting Brazil while these demonstrations are ongoing then the best advice is to steer clear of them as best you can; you can keep up to date with the latest advice from the British Foreign Office here or US Department of State advice here.

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