The nickname for Rio de Janeiro is Cidade Maravilhosa meaning Marvelous City. This is not just a marketing moniker. Rio is a unique blend of natural scenery with towering peaks and shaped by world-famous beaches. Brazil’s second largest city has a municipal population of 6.5 million with nearly twice as many residents (called cariocas) in the metro area. So yes, it is busy. But you will also be busy exploring one of Latin America’s top destinations. This cityscape is downtown. Centro is the historic, cultural and financial heart of Rio.