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When you live in Brazil, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches. Many residents head to towns in the Lake Region such as Buzios and Cabo Frio, both about 150km north of Rio. Around 150km south of Rio, the municipality of Angra dos Reis attracts cariocas to its hundreds of islands, including the spectacular rainforests and white sands of Ilha Grande. Inland, the mountain town of Petropolis is just 70km from Rio, once the summer residence of the royal family and now a popular weekend destination for its restaurants and resorts.

Flights to Sao Paulo are less than an hour and most fly from Aeroporto Santos Dumont, along with other domestic service to cities like Brasilia. The Aeroporto Internacional do Galeao has connections to 19 countries and regional service to other South American capitals. The flight to Buenos Aires is just more than two hours and Miami is around eight hours away.

Practical info
After a meteoric 165% rise in prices over three years, the real estate market slowed slightly in 2012, but prices continue to go up. “Overall the entire market got higher, including the low end,” Lempos said. “International buyers and wealthy Brazilians are buying in Rio to add to their real estate portfolio.”

Increased investment has also lead to the new construction of apartment blocks and commercial buildings all over the city. “Many investors are buying old houses, vacant lots and small buildings in order to build bigger and taller buildings,” Lempos said.

A 100sqm, two-bedroom apartment in Leblon or Ipanema starts at around two million reais, while renting something similar costs between 8,000 to 20,000 reais a month. Equivalent flats in less expensive Zona Sul neighbourhoods like Santa Teresa, Flamengo and Botafogo are about half that.

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