The jet set and glitterati descend here year-round for the white-sand beaches, bass-forward nightlife, and five heady days of Carnival bacchanal celebrations in February or March. But you don't have to be a thong-clad party seeker to appreciate the literal highs of mountainous Rio. The breathtakingly beautiful city is home to landmark sites like the Christ the Redeemer statue and world-class art museums. Sprinkle in beach volleyball matches, samba dancing, and stunning tropical mountains meet azure sea scenery you won't find anywhere else. But there are a few things to keep in mind: Brazil no longer requires a visa for American visitors (you'll pay an airport departure tax instead); the language is Portuguese, not Spanish; and the drug-trafficked favelas are a harsh reality. This Rio de Janeiro travel guide has everything you need to get started planning an unforgettable trip. Ready, set, Rio! Read the full travel article here.