The state of Rio de Janeiro, although small in size, is one of the most developed and populous in Brazil. The territory of the state is located along the coast of the Atlantic ocean. The coastline stretches for over 600 km and is dotted with large bays, such as that of Guanabara, where the city of Rio de Janeiro stands, other bays are those of Sepetiba and Ilha Grande.
North of Rio de Janeiro there are numerous lagoons along the coast. Among these, the largest is Lagoa Feia. While closer to the city, between Rio and Cabo Frio, there are the lagoons of Araruama, Saquarema and Maricá. There are several islands that dot the coast, they are found especially south of the city, in the bays of Ilha Grande and Paraty. The largest island is Ilha Grande.
The state of Rio borders the state of Espírito Santo to the north-east, the state of Minas Gerais to the north and north-west and the state of São Paulo to the south-west. The most important river is the Rio Paraíba do Sul, which crosses the northern part of the state.
MOUNTAINS WITH BIZARRE AND FASCINATING SHAPES
Much of the interior territory of the state of Rio de Janeiro is made up of highlands and mountainous areas. While along the coast the territory is mostly flat, even if several mountain ranges reach the sea.
The areas below 250 meters high are part of the so-called Baixada Fluminense, and are generally flat or hilly. Above 250 meters above sea level is the area of the highlands (Planalto or Serra Fluminense). Here are the mountain ranges of the Serra do Mar, which includes the Serra dos Órgãos which reaches altitudes above 2,000 meters (Pedra do Sino 2,263 meters). The Pico Maior de Friburgo is the highest point of the Serra do Mar, with an altitude of 2,316 meters.
To the southwest, on the border with the states of Minas Gerais and São Paulo, the Serra da Mantiqueira rises. Here in the Itatiaia massif (maciço de Itatiaia), on the border with Minas Gerais, there is the Pico das Agulhas Negras (2,791 meters), which is the highest mountain in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
The state economy is based on industry. The state of Rio de Janeiro represents the second largest economy among the Brazilian states immediately after the state of São Paulo. Tourism is especially important, the city of Rio is in fact the main tourist destination in Brazil. But there are many tourist attractions in the region both from a natural point of view (Parque Nacional do Itatiaia, Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos) and historical (Paraty, Petrópolis).