Portuguese Origin of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

You are arriving in Rio de Janeiro. How exciting! Imagine being the first European to see this incredible horizon. That exhilarating experience happened to a Portuguese fleet led by Gaspar de Lemos on January 1, 1502. Thinking they had discovered a river, the explorer named the waters Rio de Janeiro meaning January River. 63 years passed before the Portuguese returned on March 1, 1565. The new settlement was christened São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro as a tribute to Saint Sebastian. Overtime, the city’s name was shortened to Rio de Janeiro and Brazil’s second largest bay was renamed Guanabara. This means “bosom of the sea” in the Tupi language. This travel guide will direct you to the city’s highlights. Have a wonderful time exploring Rio de Janeiro.

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