Rio de Janeiro, Brazil National parks

Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro, Brazil National parks

Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket by Cog Train

1. Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket by Cog Train

Go all the way up to the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer by the Corcovado Train. The train rides through a railway inside Tijuca National Park, the largest urban forest in the world, making a unique view over Rio de Janeiro city. Enjoy an amazing ride on a train that takes you right up to the foot of the statue of The Christ, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and one of the most famous sights in Brazil. Besides admiring one of the most beautiful landscapes of the city, you will take a walk through Brazil's history. The Corcovado Railroad was the first electrified railroad in Brazil. Inaugurated in 1884 by D. Pedro II, it is older than Christ the Redeemer itself. In fact, it was the train that, during four consecutive years, transported pieces for monument’s construction. Your visit starts on the century-old electric locomotive, riding across the preserved Atlantic Forest, part of the Tijuca National Park. At the foot of the statue of Christ, you'll be able to take in the most beautiful view over the city, and see from above what makes Rio de Janeiro so special.

Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

2. Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

Start your adventure with a pickup in the morning from hotels located in the South Zone and head towards your first stop at Christ the Redeemer.  Enjoy great jungle views in the minivan ride through the Tijuca Forest that surrounds the Corcovado Mountain. Reach the peak of the mountain and meet the statue of the Christ the Redeemer with its arms right open over the city. Admire the sweeping views and take breathtaking pictures. Head to a nice walk outside the Maracanã Stadium and find out more about the passion of the Brazilians for football. Learn about the samba tradition in Rio by visiting the Sambadrome, the place with the biggest Carnival parade on the planet. Marvel at the beautiful street art of the Selarón Steps, a gigantic mosaic work of the Chilean artist Jorge Selarón. He started dedicating himself to decorate the stairs in the early 90s. The 250 steps have become a monument and an icon of Rio. Stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro to revel at the biblical passages on the stained-glass inside it, following a stop for lunch in an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant. With the batteries recharged, there is still one place left.  Head to Urca neighborhood and marvel at the beauty of the Sugarloaf Mountain and be amazed by the cable ride to the top. From 220 meters above sea level take in the breathtaking 360-degree view of Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara Bay, the city of Niteroi, and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, & Selaron Day Tour

3. Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, & Selaron Day Tour

Discover the landmarks of Rio on a full-day guided tour, including pickup and drop off at hotels in Rio. Start with a visit to Corcovado Mountain. Ride by van to the top or board the train, both through the Tijuca Forest. Then, marvel at the main monument of Brazil, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, as you take in panoramic views of Rio. Next, head towards the mythical Maracanã football stadium and observe its imposing façade. Continue to the legendary Sambódromo where the annual Carnival parade takes place. Visit the modern Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, influenced by Mayan pyramids. Check out the brightly colored tiles of the world-famous Selarón Steps at Lapa, before enjoying a typical Brazilian steakhouse lunch. After lunch, visit Sugar Loaf. Take the cable car to the top in two stages and see one of the most iconic natural landmarks in Rio.

Tijuca Forest Adventure Full-Day Small Group Hike

4. Tijuca Forest Adventure Full-Day Small Group Hike

The tour takes you on a challenging hike, uphill and on rough terrain, through the Tijuca Rainforest, one of the biggest urban forests on the planet, on this off-the-beaten-track circuit of trails to discover the nature and beauty of the jungle, reaching the Taquara Hill (814m=2670ft). This peak is a 100m higher than the Christ Redeemer statue, and on clear days, you have 2 amazing views: one to the valley of the forest and another to the West part of Rio, its coastline and lagoons. After that, you will go to a deeper part of the jungle following a trail that is almost secret as it is very rare to see other people doing it. Within 1 hour of hiking up and downhill, you will reach the ruins of an old coffee farm and, with a bit more walking, you will reach a grotto and a cave in the middle of the rainforest. After this, you head to a waterfall where you can refresh yourself (bring a towel and bathing suit). The hike covers a total of approximately 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) and will take around 5 hours. Go up and downhill with an elevation gain of 651 meters (2,135 feet). The trail circuit was designed by experts in the Tijuca Forest Park using tracks and sites that are not well-known or regularly visited, so you'll be hiking in a very unusual part of the forest.  The scenery of this tour is amazing and it has a lot to offer as you are visiting sites that are not featured in most tours. On the way up, you will learn the history of Brazil, Rio, the Tijuca Forest, and everything about the coffee farms that used to occupy that area before the reforestation that happened in the 1800's.

Rio de Janeiro: Tijuca Peak Guided Hike

5. Rio de Janeiro: Tijuca Peak Guided Hike

Hike inside the urban rainforest of Rio de Janeiro and get back to nature in Tijuca National Park. Climb Pico da Tijuca for stunning views at the highest point in the forest at an altitude of 1,021 meters above sea level. Experience one of the most beautiful trails of Rio de Janeiro, starting at the entry gate to Tijuca National Park and travel through several sections before arrival at the summit. Discover the amazing waterfall of Cachoeira das Almas and get breathtaking views from the peak of Tijuca Mirim. See a legendary staircase carved into rock and more.

Rio: Tijuca Forest & Horto Waterfalls Circuit Tour

6. Rio: Tijuca Forest & Horto Waterfalls Circuit Tour

Experience the Horto Waterfall Trail and the Secret Waterfall Circuit! The tour consists of hiking trails with a moderate level of difficulty and some natural obstacles that you have to overcome. The place is beautiful and extremely pleasant, offering beautiful flora and wild animals for you to observe. Start the Horto Waterfall Trail and the Secret Waterfall Circuit towards the Jequitibá Waterfall, following trails and waterfalls until arriving at the famous Waterfall of the Shower, also known as Box Waterfall by the design and format that the rock presents. The Horto Waterfall Trail and the Secret Waterfall Circuit are an excellent alternative to get away from the overcrowded beaches of the city.

Rio: Christ the Redeemer Early Access and Sugarloaf

7. Rio: Christ the Redeemer Early Access and Sugarloaf

Be picked up early in the morning to head to the most incredible landmark in Rio de Janeiro: The Christ the Redeemer statue on top of Corcovado Hill. Start at Copacabana Beach and pass Botafogo Beach and the Palácio Guanabara, the official residence of the State Governor. See the old mansion houses of the coffee barons in the Laranjeiras and Cosme Velho districts. Arrive at Tijuca Forest and board the vehicles of the National Park Authority at Paineiras. Then, go to the top of the Hill to see the Christ the Redeemer statue and be amazed by the magnificent landscape. If you wish to visit Sugar Loaf, continue along Botafogo Beach to reach Praia Vermelha. Then, board the cable car to ride up Sugarloaf Mountain for a 30-minute stop to enjoy the views and its natural beauty. You can also choose to be dropped off at the same pickup point and enjoy the rest of your day. Upgrade your visit to include a downtown city tour and visit all of the well-known landmarks in Rio de Janeiro in a full day sightseeing tour.

Rio de Janeiro: Hang Gliding Tandem Flight

8. Rio de Janeiro: Hang Gliding Tandem Flight

Benefit from pickup from your hotel, São Conrado Subway station, or make your own way to the Brazilian Confederation of Hang Gliding headquarters to meet your instructor.  Then take a 15-minute jeep ride into Tijuca National Park, arriving at the Pedra Bonita Ramp, 1,700 feet (520 meters) above sea level. After a safety briefing and a rehearsal, it's time for takeoff. Take the leap and experience incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean, Rio’s famous beaches, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, Guanabara Bay and much more.  Your tandem flight ends with a smooth landing on the beach at São Conrado and the entire adventure will be captured by GoPro cameras attached to the wing. Enjoy an unforgettable sightseeing experience in Rio de Janeiro.

Rio: City Sights Van Tour with Christ the Redeemer

9. Rio: City Sights Van Tour with Christ the Redeemer

Embark on a guided tour of Rio and see important highlights, including Christ The Redeemer and Selaron Steps. Ride a cable car to Sugar Loaf and take in the sunset views overlooking Copacabana Beach. Begin your tour with a visit to the Corcovado Mountain. After a 20-minute drive to the base of the statue of Christ the Redeemer through the Tijuca Forest, enjoy a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding landscape. This 710-meter-tall (about 2,330 feet) statue is Brazil's main monument and a World Heritage Site. Next, head towards the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro and Selarón Stairs before reaching Sugar Loaf by sunset. Located in the Urca neighborhood, it is one of Rio's icons. Board a cable car and ride to the Urca Mount station before continuing on in a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf. At the top, enjoy the beautiful and panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro. Enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world while overlooking the Copacabana Beach from the top of Sugar Loaf.

Rio: Half-Day Jeep Tour at Floresta da Tijuca

10. Rio: Half-Day Jeep Tour at Floresta da Tijuca

Explore Tijuca National Forest in meticulously restored ex-military open-air off-road vehicles. After hotel pick-up, cut to the Lagoa with the striking view of the Christ statue and head to the rainforest. Stop at the famous Vista Chinesa to discover the history of this unique monument as you'll soak in the views of the Christ Statue in the distance. Move on to the Cascatinha Visconde de Taunay waterfall, and take a quick dip in the crystal clear refreshing water. Continue to a charming chapel constructed in 1855, and start the first of 2 trails. See coatis, toucans, and monkeys! Take a restroom stop and start the second trail of the tour, passing through the Atlantic forest with the sounds of waterfalls following your footsteps. Hop back into your top-down Jeep and head to the famous São Conrado Beach to watch the hand-gliders, before your scenic drive back to your hotel.

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Frequently asked questions about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil?

The best day trips and excursions from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are:

Petrópolis

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,266 reviews

Picked up from hotel and travelled between sights in a modern air conditioned 20 seater small coach, which was great. Guide was charming and knowledgeable. It was a great way to see lots of Rio top sights. Sugarloaf cable cars and views were the highlight for us. Lunch stop was in a great local canteen with a wide range of fresh food.

Amazingly organizer trip. All the tickets were there already so we did not have to wait in line. Juan was an excellent guide and took care of all members of his group.

Excellent tour. Our guide Sergio was very informative and funny. we saw a lot in an efficient manner. Highly recomendable

Turns out the ticket was with expedited entry which wasn’t mentioned before. A most welcome surprise!

Excelente servicio, el guía Adonai muy amable y servicial, la pasamos grandioso. Gracias