Why now: With the World Cup scheduled for next year in Rio and the lead-up already underway to the 2016 Summer Olympics, this is likely your last chance for a while to visit the saucy Brazilian playground before total travel mayhem ensues.
Where to stay: The beach-close and very hip Mar Ipanema
Where to eat: The loungy and samba music-filled Rio Scenarium
Where to drink: The upscale Saturday super-club The Week
Side trip: The incomparably cool, colossal and captivating Sao Paulo
Image by s.t.a.r.k.