The Brazilian city, often known as the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvellous City), is recognisable for the towering granite peaks that bookend golden sand beaches, and its statue of Christ the Redeemer – the largest Art Deco statue in the world.
Rio was one of eight new sites, four natural and four cultural, added to the UN’s list on Sunday.
In granting heritage status, UNESCO commended the key features that have shaped and inspired the city’s development, such as Guanabara Bay and the Tijuca National Park – a sprawling urban forest in the west that cloaks the Corcovado Mountain down to the sea.
The Corcovado and the Christ statue were also highlighted, as were the city’s 200-year-old botanical gardens, were you can find ornamental bridges, carnivorous plants, and giant lilies. The waterfront spaces of Copacabana Bay, home to the city’s most famous beach, were honoured for contributing to the culture of outdoor living that is a defining characteristic of the city.