Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Outdoor activities

Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Outdoor activities

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: Sugarloaf Cable Car Official Ticket

2. Rio de Janeiro: Sugarloaf Cable Car Official Ticket

Discover the world-famous Sugarloaf Mountain with prebooked official tickets for the cable car, and explore one of Brazil's most popular attractions. Admire stunning views of Rio de Janeiro as you ride the cable car to the summit. Take incredible photos from the lookout point as you enjoy the panorama of the city and the ocean below. Make your own way to the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain, and head directly to the ticket office to exchange your printed voucher. Board the next cable car up the mountain, riding in the fully-enclosed cabin as you take in panoramic views of the city, Copacabana Beach, and Guanabara Bay.  Disembark at the top, where you can spend as much time as you wish. There is a food court and restaurant at the summit where you can purchase snacks and drinks. Once you have finished exploring the summit, your ticket is valid for any returning cable car.

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

3. 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 De Janeiro: Half-Day Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

4. Rio De Janeiro: Half-Day Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

Explore Rio’s largest favela on a half-day walking tour of Rocinha, the largest favela (shantytown) in South America. Organized by local, English speaking guides and favela hosts, the walking tour is respectful and non-intrusive to the residents. Subject of the movie "City of God," Rio’s favelas have fallen victim to unfortunate stereotypes. In order to correct this, and show you the true Rio de Janeiro, the favela tour will let you see and experience how daily life happens away from the sensationalist headlines. While other favela “zoo-tours” drive around in jeeps, you will get to walk the streets in small groups and meet the locals to hear their stories. Learn the history of the favela and its social and economic challenges. The tour cost also includes a monetary contribution to the favela community.

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

5. 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.

Rio de Janeiro: Sambadrome Rio Carnival Tickets 2023

6. Rio de Janeiro: Sambadrome Rio Carnival Tickets 2023

Watch the Rio de Janeiro samba school parades at Carnaval Rio 2023, the greatest show on earth. Buy your ticket for the Grandstand and choose between sectors 6, 7, 8 or 9. Seating is reserved in sector 9 only. The grandstands are the liveliest part of the Sambadrome, with a great view of the parade. The seats are concrete steps and the tickets are the most affordable of the event. Only Sector 9 is numbered, offering more convenience with assigned seat during the entire parade night. ACCESS GROUP PARADE - 2/17/2023 and 2/18/2023 The traditional samba schools parade on Friday and Saturday in search of top positions and a place in the Special Group in the following year's competition. SPECIAL GROUP PARADE - 2/19/2023 and 2/20/2023 Rio de Janeiro's best samba schools parade on Carnival Sunday and Monday in search of the title of champion of Rio Carnival 2023. These are the most popular days, when the biggest schools parade, six of them on Sunday and another six on Monday. CHAMPIONS PARADE - 2/25/2023 After the result, the six best samba schools of the Special Group make one last presentation at the Sambódromo. Without the pressure of the jury, the Parade of Champions has an even more special energy!

Tijuca Forest Adventure Full-Day Small Group Hike

7. 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 and Ilha Grande: One-Way Shuttle Transfer

8. Rio de Janeiro and Ilha Grande: One-Way Shuttle Transfer

Take the hassle out of transfers with a safe, comfortable, and convenient shared transfer between Rio de Janeiro and Ilha Grande. Enjoy both a boat transfer between the island and the mainland, and a vehicle transfer on the mainland.  Book in either direction, with the boat traveling between Conceição de Jacareí Pier and Abraão Village on Ilha Grande. Pick from Rio's two international airports or South Zone / Barra neighborhood hotels as your beginning or end points of the transfer. When heading to Ilha Grande, be picked up by your driver on the mainland, either from your hotel or an airport, and be dropped at right at the pier, where staff will be waiting with your boat tickets.  When heading to Rio, meet staff at the pier to collect your tickets, and then relax on the boat and vehicle transfer to your final destination. 

From Rio: Arraial do Cabo Day Trip with Boat Tour and Lunch

9. From Rio: Arraial do Cabo Day Trip with Boat Tour and Lunch

Begin your 12-hour tour through paradise with a drive from Rio de Janeiro to the region of the Costa do Sol (Sun Coast). When you arrive in Arraial do Cabo, hop aboard a majestic schooner to sail through the warm, clear waters of what’s often called the Brazilian Caribbean. Gliding through the sea, you’ll make a 40-minute stop to swim and snorkel near the Ilha do Farol, a peninsula famous for its lighthouse, and Prainhas do Pontal, a coastal zone flanked by towering cliffs and verdant mountains. Continuing on your boat tour, you’ll stop for photos at the Gruta Azul, a grotto known for its shockingly-azure waters, and the Fenda de Nossa Senhora, where a statue of a saint is placed between a massive rift in between 2 cliffs. To cap off your boat tour, you’ll enjoy another 20-minute stop at one of the region’s most famous beaches, the Praia do Forno. After working up an appetite swimming and relaxing on the boat, you’ll enjoy an authentic buffet-style lunch at a local restaurant, before hopping back aboard your transportation to Rio, arriving back in time for dinner.

From Rio de Janeiro: Angra dos Reis Boat Trip with Lunch

10. From Rio de Janeiro: Angra dos Reis Boat Trip with Lunch

Visit the islands of Angra do Reis on this boat trip from Rio de Janeiro. Sail through the archipelago of Ilha Grande. Disembark on the small islands to explore the beaches, browse the markets, and snorkel in the deep blue waters. Savor lunch on board and enjoy round-trip transfers from Rio hotels. Relax on the 3-hour drive to the city of Angra dos Reis. A quick pit-stop on the road will be made to use bathroom facilities and buy a snack. Upon arrival in the docks, enjoy a schooner ride through the hundreds of islands of Angra dos Reis.  Marvel at the beauty of the most famous island of it all: Ilha Grande. Revel at the crystal clear water and rent a snorkel on the spot to see the different species of fish. After, devour the buffet lunch in a fishermen’s village. Explore different stops during the day in places such as the Blue Lagoon, Cataguases beach, and Japariz or Araçá beaches. The captain will choose the best spots depending on crowds and weather conditions.

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Great tour. Met by Martin the guide then taken to the Favella on public bus which is an experience. You return on the subway. Felt very safe with Martin and he gave good information in English and answered questions. The tour does have a steep but short walk, about 100 meters. Apart from that it’s all downhill but a lot of uneven steep stairs are involved. The tour is definitely worth doing

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.

Hike was more difficult than we expected, but views from the top were excellent. Our guide, Sergio, was terrific. Very knowledgeable and helpful. Pedra de Gavea hike was about 2.3 miles each way with 2400 foot elevation gain. Very steep and slick. Be prepared for a lot of climbing rocks. I am very thankful that we paid for a guide.

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.

It was excellent. Thanks Alberto for showing us the other side of Rio