Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio knows how to party and Copacabana Beach hosts Reveillon, the world’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration. More than two million white-clad revelers descend upon Rio’s infamous beach for a party second only to Carnaval in size. Cariocas (Rio natives) congregate on the beach starting mid-afternoon to samba in the sand and party until dawn. Revelers fill the 2.5 mile stretch of sand listening to live music and toasting in the New Year by throwing white flowers into the sea in honor of Iemanja, the goddess of the sea. A dazzling offshore fireworks display lights up the Rio sky at midnight and many celebrate by taking a dip in the ocean.
Where to stay: Copacabana Palace is an iconic hotel and the most toniest address in Rio de Janeiro. This whitewashed hotel has housed royals and celebs since opening in 1923. The service is impeccable and the expansive rooms offer incredible ocean views. Rates start at US$498 for a standard room.