Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
It's sultry. It's sweaty. It's samba. When a national dance is as sexy as Brazil's, imagine what happens when millions of revelers gather in one place. That place is Rio, a city that drips with sensuality, from its curved coastline and barely clad beachgoers to its hopping nightlife. Even when Carnival is over, the locals, called Cariocas, live for drink, dance, and sun, grabbing life by the hips and shaking it all night long.
Seductive Places to Stay
The Copacabana Palace (doubles from $315, 800-237-1236; orient-express.com) has hosted almost a century's worth of celebs, from Marlene Dietrich to Princess Diana. Check into a room overlooking the hotel's namesake beach and dine on your private terrace as the sun sets behind the nonstop samba party on the sand below. Over on Ipanema Beach, the Caesar Park (doubles from $285, 877-223-7272; caesar-park.com) is one of Rio's poshest properties, and a recent renovation has given it a 21st-century sheen. Take a swim in the rooftop pool or relax nearby on Ipanema's famous sands.
Pack your thong bikini: Skimpiness is practically a competitive sport on Rio's beaches—what else would you expect from the place that inspired the bikini wax? Few, however, go topless. (It's not technically legal, though it's usually tolerated.) Skip the elbow-to-elbow action on Copacabana Beach and head to the chicer, more relaxed sands of Ipanema. For sexy seclusion, catch a taxi to Grumari Beach on the edge of town.
Totally Indulgent Spa Experiences
Aromatic oils form the basis of the in-room couples' massage at the Sheraton Rio Hotel & Towers (sheraton.com). Your therapist will work these rich oils into your skin as you gaze out at the white sand and blue water.
Dancing is more than a pastime here—it's a passion. So prepare to samba. Melí-Meló is the club where the beautiful people go, with models, soccer players, and other A-listers showing off their moves. Or head to the new hot neighborhood, Lapa, where you'll find Rio Scenarium, a renovated warehouse that's become one of the city's top dance clubs.
Churrascaria may sound complicated, but it's actually quite simple: course after course of meat, meat, and more meat. Brazil boasts some of the world's best beef, and at rodizio (all you can eat) restaurants such as Porcão, the experience is like a carnivorous orgy. Waiters parade endless skewers of beef, chicken, turkey, and sausage past your table, slicing off succulent strips, then coming back with more and more and more… until you simply can't take it any longer.
The caipirinha isn't a sultry dance move, but rather a sweet, ice-laden cocktail that Cariocas sip while perfecting their samba. You'll taste mostly lime and sugar; the kick comes from cachaça, a Brazilian liquor made from distilled sugarcane juice. For a nonalcoholic shot of love, try Guarana, a soft drink made from an Amazon berry that some believe has aphrodisiacal properties.
(For more info, call 800-727-2945 or visit braziltourism.org.)