Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Nature & adventure

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: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf, & Selaron Day Tour

2. 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

3. 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.

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

4. 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.

Rio de Janeiro: Pedra da Gávea & Garganta do Céu Guided Hike

5. Rio de Janeiro: Pedra da Gávea & Garganta do Céu Guided Hike

Hike to the cave of Garganta do Ceu for some of the best views of Rio de Janeiro from the monolithic mountain of Pedra da Gávea. Experience the world's biggest block of solid rock by the sea, and get stunning panoramas from its peak of 842 meters above sea level. While shorter than the traditional Pedra da Gávea trail, this hike is considered more difficult as it is steeper and requires good orienteering skills. First, hike through the dense forest with your specialist guide. Upon arrival at the cave of Garganta do Ceu, soak up the spectacular views. Then, continue along the trail to the summit of Pedra da Gávea. Here, you will need to complete some basic rock climbing with the aid of steel cables. All climbing equipment is provided, along with assistance from your guide. Benefit from their expertise as they help the group with all safety techniques and procedures needed. Once at the summit, look out at Guanabara Bay, the districts of Ipanema and Leblon, São Conrado, the Barra Tijuca and the Serra dos Orgaos region. Catch your breath before starting your descent. Return to the base of Pedra da Gávea via Carrasqueira. Descend using techniques similar to your climb. Rappel down the rocks as your guide keeps control of the equipment for your safety. Relax and keep your eyes open for the native wild animals of the Atlantic rainforest of Rio de Janeiro along the way.

Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha Favela Walking Tour with Local Guide

6. Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha Favela Walking Tour with Local Guide

Explore a favela of Rio de Janeiro on this guided walking tour. Immerse yourself in the daily lives of locals on this tour that is focused on education. Get a different perspective on life in Rio de Janeiro, and benefit from insider tips from a local guide. Start your favela tour with a pickup from one of the meeting points in Copacabana or Ipanema beach. Journey to the Rocinha Favela for the start of a walking tour at approximately in the afternoon. Follow your local guide through the favela and learn more about what it is like to live there. Rio's favelas are a big part of city life and the non-intrusive tour aims to educate you in a way that pays respect to the locals. Give back to the locals as part of the cost of your tour is contributed to the community to help them build a better future.

Rio de Janeiro Hang Gliding Adventure

7. Rio de Janeiro Hang Gliding Adventure

First, listen to a short briefing from the world's most safe and experienced Hang Glider tandem pilots. They will tell you about the take-off and other aspects of hang gliding before you get airborne. Then, glide smoothly through the tropical air after about 7 steps over the edge of the platform. Any fear you may have will soon disappear and you will experience a very unique sense of tranquility. Enjoy bird's eye views of Rio de Janeiro's main attractions, including Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado, Copacabana, Ipanema, Lagoa and Niteroi city on the other side of Guanabara Bay. Land safely on a sandy beach in São Conrado and enjoy some refreshments as you watch others come in to land. The entire activity will be photographed and recorded on cameras attached to the glider so that you can share your adventure with your friends and family back home. 

Rio de Janeiro: Tijuca Peak Guided Hike

8. 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

9. 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.

Tijuca Rain Forest Tour by Jeep from Rio de Janeiro

10. Tijuca Rain Forest Tour by Jeep from Rio de Janeiro

Venture into the Tijuca Rain Forest in an open jeep and discover a tropical forest in a large city. Drive past the "Cachoeira dos macacos" (monkey's waterfall) and learn about the importance of the reforestation process of the "Mata Atlântica" (Atlantic Forest) at "Vista Chinesa" (Chinese view). Tijuca National Park is the largest city-surrounded urban forest and the second largest urban forest in the world. Photo opportunities abound as you pass the "Mesa do Imperador" (Emperor's table), Cascatinha (Taunay's waterfall), and Capela Mayrink (Mayrink Chapel). Continue with a 1-hour hike on an easy trail to learn more about and have direct interaction with the flora and fauna of this unique ecosystem. This tour is highlighted by the variety of tropical fruits, trees, monkeys, and the multitude of birds and butterflies that live in this unique forest.

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Frequently asked questions about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,279 reviews

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.

Incredible!! Amazing view. Our guide was the best (Andre). 100% recommend this trip, extremely worth it if you are in Rio

Such a great day out in the forest with friendly guides and beautiful scenery.

Was an excellent experience!!! Thanks a lot, I enjoy my time, thank you

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