Just 68 kilometres outside of Rio de Janeiro lies Petrópolis, also known as The Imperial City. It's a beautiful drive out of Rio, away from all the overwhelming hustle and bustle of the city. The drive up into the mountains isn't for the weak hearted with all the twists and turns but the coconut pit stops and the views make it worth it.
The town's name ("city of Peter") honors Emperor Pedro II, the nation's second monarch. The city was also the summer residence of the Brazilian Emperors and aristocrats in the 19th century, it was the official capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro between 1894 and 1902. Currently it's a very popular winter holiday spot with my Rio de Janeiro locals owning holiday homes here.