Brazil has two unique claims to fame when it comes to Christmas celebrations: The city hosts the largest display of full-sized nativity scenes in the world at the annual Crib Festival (known locally as Festival de Presépios), and it has the world's largest floating Christmas tree.

Standing at 278 feet tall with a total of 3 million lights, the metal tree floats in Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.

Rio experiences some of its warmest weather — averages hover in the mid 80s— in December, making the holidays a perfect time to plan a visit.