Olympic Mania: 7 Most incredible places in Brazil

Cape Town - The world's eyes are on Rio at the moment, where thousands of athletes are competing in the Summer Olympics. 

For South Africa too, athletes are flying the flag in Brazil. 

South Africa's pride and joy at the moment is Olympian Wayde van Niekerk, who won the first gold medal for the country this year, smashing the 400m world record with a 43.03 run that broke American legend Michael Johnson's world record that had stood since 1999!

Now, all eyes are on Caster Semenya to bring home gold in the Women's 800m challenge, after qualifying for the finals. 

You can follow Sport24's LIVE Olympics coverage here

But while athletics, high jump, synchronised swimming and beach volleyball are taking centre stage, Olympic enthusiasts and travellers ought to take a second to remember just how beautiful the entire Brazil actually is... 

Take a look, and be inspired... 

1. Cristo Redentor, Rio de Janeiro

This is perhaps the most visited and well-known tourist attraction in Rio. And rightfully so. 

The statue is 30 metres tall, not including its 8-metre pedestal, and its arms stretch 28 metres wide. By comparison, it is approximately two-thirds the height of the Statue of Liberty's height from base to torch.

2. Iguaçu Falls

The largest waterfalls system in the world - the Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. 

A photo posted by Jordan Mangum (@mamagooch) on

3. Amazon Rain Forest

The Amazon rainforest, covering much of northwestern Brazil and extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries, is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, famed for its immense biodiversity. 

It’s crisscrossed with thousands of rivers, the most exceptional being the powerful Amazon. 

A photo posted by Jess (@tschusla) on

4. Ouro Preto

This former colonial mining town located in the Serra do Espinhaço mountains is a designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its outstanding Baroque architecture.

5. Fernando de Noronha and the Pernambuco Beaches

The volcanic archipelago of Fernando de Noronha lying offshore Recife's beaches form a jagged coastline, undeveloped beaches and a marine park. 

Fernando de Noronha is a volcanic archipelago about 350 kilometres off Brazil's northeast coast. It’s named after its largest island, a protected national marine park and ecological sanctuary. It's renowned for sea turtles, rays, dolphins and reef sharks that swim in its warm, clear waters, where tourists can scuba dive and snorkel.

A photo posted by Amo Noronha (@amonoronha) on

6. Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana is an area located in the South Zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is known for its 4 km Balneario beach, which is one of the most famous in the world.

At the moment, visitors to Rio are loving the vibe... 

7. Sugar Loaf, Rio de Janeiro

This peculiar-shaped peak is situated in Rio de Janeiro, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean, rising 396 meters above the harbour.

The peak's name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar.  

A photo posted by Photographer (@bskphoto) on

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