If you want to play hard and work hard then Rio de Janeiro is the city for you!  I truly love Rio, it is a beautiful city with very lovely women;-)  I have been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in Rio and I have more fun after every trip.  I love just laying on the beaches and watching the people.  It is an experience in itself just walking up and down Avenida Atlantica on a summer weekend and seeing the thousands and thousands of people walking on the closed off streets and sunning on the beaches.  While Copacabana and Ipanema beaches are the ones that are world famous from movies and songs, Leblon beach is one of the most beautiful ones.  The beaches definitely add to Rio's atmosphere but two of my favorite places to go are Pao de Acucar and Corcovado.  Taking the tram to the top of Pao de Acucar or Sugar Loaf Mountain and walking up the Corcovado or Christ Redeemer statue gives you some of the best view points of Rio (on a clear day).  Make sure you save time to visit Maracana Stadium and see where the best football (soccer) players ever played, Pele!  Rio has several great hotels, some of my favorites are the Sheraton Towers, Copacabana Palace and Le Meridian.  All three are right off the beach and offer great rooms and views.  The Copacabana Palace is a five star hotel and one of the older ones, that has a storied past with an unbelievable pool.   If you are traveling on a budget the hotel chain Othon is a nice place to stay, all five are located close to the beaches.  Whatever you end up doing your trip to Rio, it will be truly memorable.  If you do decide to visit during Carnival or Revillion (New Year's Eve) make sure you book well in advance (airfare and hotel), it is definitely one of those events that is not duplicated anywhere else in the world!  You can't go wrong with anything you do, I for one just like to sit at one of the many beach side cafes to enjoy several Skol's (local beer), a few caiparihnas and some pao de queijo (cheese bread).  Gostei Muito!!!!