The city was the capital of Brazil for nearly two centuries, from 1763 to 1815 during the Portuguese colonial era, 1815 to 1821 as the capital of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves, and from 1822 to 1960 as an independent nation. Rio is nicknamed A Cidade Maravilhosa or "The Marvelous City." It is considered a Beta World City.
Rio has a tropical savanna climate (Aw) according to the Köppen climate classification and is often characterized by long periods of rain from December to March. The temperature occasionally reaches over 40 °C (104 °F) in inland areas of the city, and maximum temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) occur on a monthly basis. In the main tourist areas (south side, where the beaches are located), the temperature is moderated by the cool sea-breezes from the Atlantic Ocean.