Next week, thousands of revelers will flock to Rio de Janeiro’s famous Copacabana beach to celebrate the Rio Carnival, one of the most famous shows on the planet. Throughout February, special activities and parades pack the beach including the Samba School Parade, a collection of the best Samba schools in the world.
Tourism in Latin America overall is booming. Between 1995 and 2007, the area experienced a rise in arrivals from a rise in tourist arrivals from 14.3 million to 27.9 million (about 49 % growth), and even throughout the recession, Latin America has fared fairly well by global standards. According to the UN, visitor numbers fell by 3 percent between 2008-2009, considerably less than the percentages for North America (6 percent) or Northern Europe (8 percent). This year, the UN World Tourism Organisation expects even more of a boost.
Latin America’s Most Popular Hotels
Four of five star luxury dominates the list of Rio’s top hotels. The legendary 216-room 5-star Copacabana Palace actually takes second spot on the list, following the 4-star Porto Bay Rio internacional. Guests here pr
aised the view from the top floor rooms and the proximity to Copacabana beach, home of the famous carnival.
Brazil’s largest city is a luxury hotspot, with prices to match. The average price of the top five here was the second highest of the list, with brand names Hilton and Grand Hyatt appearing in the four and five-star dominated list. The contemporary boutique Emiliano Hotel, however, takes top spot, with travelers praising its heated toilet seats, allocated butler service and view over the city’s skyscrapers.