In 1823, Charles Darwin declared: "the Guanabara bay exceeds anything that the Europeans can see in their own country in splendour". Rocks and small islands emerge from the sea in the chaos of the Rio bay. Even though it is polluted, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world, often compared to those of San Francisco and Hong Kong.
When the Portuguese discovered this bay on 1st January 1501, they christened the place Rio de Janeiro ('January River') because they thought they had found the mouth of a river.© Ricardo Aguiar - age fotostock
With rocks, islands, and islets emerging from the sea into the chaos that is the Bay of Rio, the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain stands majestically over the bay, under the watchful eye of Christ the Redeemer.© Ricardo Aguiar - age fotostock
Having opened in 1974, this 8 mile long girder bridge spans Guanabara Bay, connecting Rio de Janeiro and the town of Niterói.© Imageplus - age fotostock
This granite rock stands nearly 400m high and juts out at the entrance to Guanabara Bay.© Corbis / age fotostock
In 1823, Charles Darwin declared that 'Guanabara Bay exceeds in its splendour anything the European is likely to see in his native land'.© Marco Andras - age fotostock