This place is in the air this season, thanks to Olympics and this is precisely why we decided to cover this world famous destination. What we found is a treasure trough for the wanderlust in us! We always knew that Rio has this pulsating aura about it yet doing this piece with our activity partner Viator was an eye opener. Rio is a huge city with lush green forests at the edge teeming with wildlife here. In this piece, we are not only giving you a peek into top things to do in Rio but also the best tours available for the travellers who come here!
Spend the morning at Sugar Loaf Mountain, one of Rio de Janeiro's most iconic sites. A breathtaking ride in a cable car to the top of the Sugar Loaf gives a great panoramic view of one of the world's most beautiful cities. Do make a brief stop at a popular vantage point at approximately 700 feet (215 meters) above sea level before you go all the way to Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Buy the Tour: Sugar Loaf Mountain Half Day Tour
This is the most famous attractions of Rio. In fact Christ redeemer statue has been synonymous to Rio for long. Take an afternoon tour to Corcovado Mountain that has statue of Christ the Redeemer at the edge. On top of Corcovado Mountain, 2,300 feet (700 meters) high, stands Christ the Redeemer. This art-deco statue was unveiled in 1931 and named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. A scenic ride through Tijuca rainforests by cog train would take you to Corcovado Mountain and the Art Deco statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain. Spend some time atop with your guide and soak in the incredible sites of Rio from dizzying heights of this mountain.
Hop in an open Jeep for a morning tour of the Tijuca Forest in Rio de Janeiro, also known as Tijuca National Park. This section of Brazil’s Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Forest) offers panoramic views from Vista Chinesa (Chinese View). You can go on a short hike with a guide, giving you the chance to spot monkeys, birds and butterflies — even sloths! Walk to the crystal-clear cascade of Cachoeira dos Macacos and pass the picturesque waterfalls of Cascatinha during your hike. This place would provide you with enough opportunities to take spectacular pictures with stops at Emperor's Table and Mayrink Chapel. You will be amazed by the remarkable contrast of a tropical rainforest right at the edge of a big city. At Vista Chinesa, capture sweeping views of Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, Guanabara Bay as far as Niteroi!
Enjoy a paragliding tandem flight in Rio de Janeiro. Come and fly a para-glider and discover how it feels to soar like a bird, and see the city of Rio from a different angle! Tandem Paragliding is amongst the most popular para-gliding tour operators in Rio. It is perfect for all ages and skill level.
Your tandem paragliding adventure begins as you meet your guide at São Conrado beach. There, you need to register at the local free flight club, and head to the Pedra Bonita take off with your instructor. The flight lasts average between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the weather conditions. You will get unforgettable views of Rio including important landmarks. And that is not all, after your flight your instructor will hand you a pen-drive with all the photos and videos of your flight too!
Buy the tour : Tandem Paragliding Tour in Rio de Janeiro
Appreciate Rio from the sea, and get a different perspective of the famous sites such as Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana Beach and the statue of Christ Redeemer. Sail along the beaches at Niteroi and take in the views. Spend half a day sailing on Guanabara Bay, for the most beautiful views of Rio de Janeiro with Sugar Loaf Mountain towering in the distance. Pass the bay's islands and forts as you cruise the idyllic waters. The trip would give you gorgeous views of Botafogo, Flamengo and Urca. Fort Sao Joao, Flagstone Island, Santa Cruz fortress and Rio-Niterio Bridge are some other attractions that you would have a chance to see on this cruise.
The fresh sea produce of Rio is something you do not want to miss so choose to conclude your half day cruise on Guanabara Bay with a delicious seafood lunch including salad, grilled filet, pasta and more in a nearby local restaurant.
Buy the tour Guanabara Bay Cruise with Optional Seafood Lunch
Head out of Rio for the day, where a schooner awaits to take you on a cruise of the turquoise blue waters and islands of Angra dos Reis. The town of Angra dos Reis lies in the heart of an archipelago of more than 300 islands. Mountainous terrain covered in lush Atlantic rainforest and sandy beaches with crystal clear water typify the landscape on your drive to the town. Angra's colonial past is clear with numerous old buildings from the 1500's.
This tour typically goes on for 5-hours, during which you will get to see many islands. Stop for a swim in the enticing clear waters and finish it all up with a spread of delicious lunch of hot and cold self-service buffet that is served onboard before returning.
Buy the tour Angra dos Reis Day Trip and Schooner Cruise
Watch the sunset bathe Rio de Janeiro in dramatic colours on a cruise in Guanabara Bay. Your sailboat outing gives you fantastic views of Corcovado Mountain with the Christ the Redeemer statue perched on top, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and two glorious stretches of sand- Copacabana and Leblon. As the sunlight fades into brilliant hues, enjoy sumptuous Brazilian barbecue fare and wash it down with beer and soft drinks — what could be a better way to end a day in Rio?
Perhaps no beach in the world is as recognizable as Copacabana, a 2-mile (4-km) semi-circular stretch of sand popular with “cariocas” (locals) and tourists alike. Sail past Leblon Beach, where the well-heeled residents of Rio like to relax. This tranquil beach in southern Rio is home to first-class hotels, restaurants, bars and boutiques.
Take a day trip from Rio de Janeiro to experience the cosmopolitan style, quaint charm and elegant architecture of Buzios. Walk through the town on a guided tour before there is free time to explore Buzios at your own leisure.
Trip to Buzios would take you to cross the Rio-Niteroi Bridge over to the peninsula of Buzios. Once there, do indulge in walking tour through cobbled streets rich in history and charm. Once a quaint fisherman's village, Buzios has become a fashionable and sophisticated address while retaining its quaint village atmosphere.
Buy the tour Buzios Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro
Petrópolis, a mountainside retreat that once served as a summer getaway for Brazil's royalty holds the treasures of the Imperial Museum, the very gothic St. Peter of Alcantara Cathedral and burial place of Dom Pedro II and his family. Marvel at the Crystal Palace, built as an extravagant gift to Princess Isabel. You must make a stop at Cervejaria Bohemia, where you will be wowed by the factory’s high-tech and interactive exhibits. Learn all about the history and science behind beer and taste Bohemia’s end result — a cold, rich lager.
Trek to the top of Pedra da Gavea, one of the highest mountains in the world that ends directly in the ocean. The panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean are breathtaking. Travel up through dense forests and back down along the rocky coast. Wildlife is again ample on this hike so be ready for some close encounters of the friendly kind!
Buy the tour Trekking at Pedra da Gavea in Rio de Janeiro
What could be better than a sightseeing tour of Rio de Janeiro from the air? From the vantage point of a helicopter, you'll have unforgettable views of this beautiful city, nestled against a backdrop of granite peaks like Sugar Loaf Mountain rising from Guanabara Bay. This kind of a tour usually starts froms 11-minutes complete with a professional pilot. You will get to capture some of the most spectacular photos of Rio imaginable, including Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, overlooking Copacabana Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.
Buy this tour Rio de Janeiro Helicopter Tour
Brazil is known worldwide as the home of Samba. But a country with continental dimensions should not be tagged for a single dance style. And so many culture and variety can be resumed in a memorable night. The historical Cais D'Oriente stands out for its 140 years of history and cultural resistance. Located near the Banco do Brasil, Cultural centre is a revitalized area of the historic downtown and part of the Cultural Corridor of Rio de Janeiro. This neighbourhood houses important theatres of the city and the new Brazilian Crafts Museum.
Ginga Tropical is a multicultural Brazil show that combines diversity and rich culture of this tropical country on stage. The Ziriguidum, the Northeast, the Amazon and the Pampas with its folklore, Bahia with its Capoeira and mystical rituals and Rio de Janeiro with its incomparable bohemian Lapa, dance halls ,the performance of the legendary tricksters, the luxurious Carnival with its fantastic drummers and beautiful Mulatas come alive on stage here!
Rio’s night life is amongst the hottest! And your visit is incomplete without heading to a night-out in Rio. But that is not all, we insist on doing it differently!
Want to feel like a VIP when you're clubbing in Rio? It starts when you breeze past throngs of people waiting to enter Rio Scenarium, the city’s hottest and best nightclub. With your skip-the-line voucher, enjoy immediate access into the samba hot spot popular with locals and visitors. Inside the former antique warehouse loft, you’re led to a private table. Absorb Brazilian beats on multiple floors and admire the decor chock-full of relics, movie props and vintage items from an old pharmacy-bar. Discover for yourself why Rio Scenarium has been ranked by TripAdvisor reviewers as the city’s best nightlife scene when you head into the spacious three-level club. The two top floors overlook the dance floor and stage at ground level, allowing you to chat with friends and still listen to the music played by popular bands and DJs who play here regularly. It is also a great place to watch the couples and families below, young and old, sing along and swing hips to samba.
Packing your bags to head to Rio already? Here is a guide on how to reach and where to stay!
How to Reach Rio
By Air: International Airport Antonio Carlos Jobim is very well connected with the world. They have another Airport that serves domestic travel- Santos Dumas Airport. It has numerous flights from all major cities in Brazil. Find the best rates for flights here
By Road: Many premium buses- Alvorada and Aeroporto Internacional operate and run between other Brazilian cities to Rio.
Getting around places:
Buses are probably the cheapest and easiest mode of transportation. If you decide to take a cab then make sure you negotiate the rates (bargain big!). You may also want to hire a car. Traffic in Rio is quite bad so driving around is not the best option except if you hire a scooter or cycle.
Where to Stay in Rio
Our top picks covering all price ranges:-
- Rio Othon Palace
- Windsor Atlantica
- Miramar Hotel by Windsor
- Hotel Astoria Copacabana
- Solar Hostel Rio
- Hotel Sao Cristovao
There are of course other options to stay at Rio.
If you are heading to Rio this Olympics season , make sure you make the most out of it with our activities and tours. Our collaboration is with the best names in the industry that is sure to add to the unforgettable experience.Here are the top tours and activities that you shouldn't miss in Rio.
Hope you liked our post on the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. Do comment and let us know. Subscribe to be the first to know of such awesome posts. Before we sign off, here's a nice infographic from our friends at mybucketlistevents.com to help you make sense of all the olympic events happening across various parts of the city. After reading this, you’ll be the most knowledgeable person at work!