Rio de Janeiro
Ecotourism

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Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro Ecotourism

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

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

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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Rio de Janeiro Hang Gliding Adventure

2. 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. 

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Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha Favela Walking Tour with Local Guide

3. Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha Favela Walking Tour with 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 2:20 PM. 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. In addition, part of the cost of your tour is contributed to the community to help them build a better future. Get a different perspective about life in Rio de Janeiro, and benefit from insider tips from a local guide.

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Tijuca Rain Forest Tour by Jeep from Rio de Janeiro

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

Venture into the Tijuca Rain Forest in an open jeep where you will discover a tropical forest in the middle of a large city. Drive past the "Cachoeira dos macacos" (monkey's waterfall) and learn about the history of the reforestation process and the importance of the "Mata Atlântica" (Atlantic Forrest) 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). Your tour continues with a 1-hour hike on an easy trail where you will learn more 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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Rio de Janeiro: Vidigal Favela Tour and Two Brothers Hike

5. Rio de Janeiro: Vidigal Favela Tour and Two Brothers Hike

Experience the mystique of the Vidigal favela and discover a peaceful community that emerged in the city around 1940. Get stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean from one of the most interesting locations in Rio de Janeiro. Start your hike in Vidigal, and experience the favela like a resident. Use the transport system that circulates the neighborhood and rub shoulders with the locals. Follow your guide in a group through the forest and head to the first viewpoint. Look down at the favela of Rocinha and see one of Latin America's largest slums. Continue to the next viewpoint for a breathtaking view of Pedra da Gávea and Pedra Bonita. See Corcovado in the other direction before going to the summit of Two Brothers hill (Morro Dois Irmaos). From there, it's possible to see all the famous beaches of Rio spread out before you, including Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana. Hike for approximately 4.5 hours to turn your favela tour into a true adventure. Experience the warmth of the Vidigal community and get a better understanding of the social divisions in Rio de Janeiro. 

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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.

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Rio: Half-Day Jeep Tour at Floresta da Tijuca

7. 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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From Rio de Janeiro: Arraial do Cabo Boat Trip with Lunch

8. From Rio de Janeiro: Arraial do Cabo Boat Trip with Lunch

Enjoy an early morning pickup from Rio and relax on the 3-hour drive to the city of Arraial do Cabo. A quick pit-stop on the road is made to stretch the legs, have a bathroom break, and buy a snack. Explore the Arraial sea which is special for a very particular reason. In the region, there is the phenomenon of a resurgence, which brings to the surface deep waters rich in marine life. The abundance of food turns Arraial into one of the best diving spots in the country, with clear waters and lots of life. Leave the bus upon arrival in the docks of Arraial do Cabo, around 10:00 AM, and hop on the schooner. Enjoy a schooner ride through the best beaches of Arraial do Cabo. Marvel at the waters in shades of green and blue, ready for a swim. Explore 4 different stops in places like the Forno beach, the Praia do Farol, or famous Atalaia beach. Take in the panoramic view of the Blue Groot, a hidden cave with deep blue water. Revel at the crystal-clear water and white sands before leaving the boat around 3:00 PM and have a buffet lunch. Then, it is time to leave Arraial. Hop on the bus to make the journey back to Rio where you will arrive around 8:00 PM.

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Rio Transfer to/from: Angra Dos Reis or Ilha Grande

9. Rio Transfer to/from: Angra Dos Reis or Ilha Grande

Travel from different points of Rio de Janeiro to Angra dos Reis in an executive van with air-conditioning, with the option of going to Ilha Grande in a flex boat (fast boat). The Rio de Janeiro x Angra dos Reis/Ilha Grande route includes pickups in Leme, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Barra da Tijuca and drop-offs in Mangaratiba, Conceição de Jacareí, and Angra dos Reis. The return route includes reverse pickups and drop-offs. This return trip is available by flex boat, a speedboat with an inflatable side for 30 - 60 people, from Vila do Abraão (Ilha Grande) and arrives at pier Cais de Santa Luzia (Angra dos Reis).

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Rio de Janeiro: Tijuca Forest Waterfall of Souls Hike

10. Rio de Janeiro: Tijuca Forest Waterfall of Souls Hike

Experience a mediated opportunity to connect with nature and experience nature’s healing powers. Learn ancestral knowledge and the keys that open the way for freedom and peace from a local guide, through accessing natural powers and learning about natures’ green spirits. Grow faith in nature, through its timeless and borderless deities. Brazilians carry beliefs that originated on Afro-indigenous faith which strengthens many in everyday life. Discover how knowledge within this faith is shared through generations, its original source present in natural elements, represented by different orishas or indigenous entities. Begin the experience with an introduction to the guide and spiritual healing powers of the forest. Try a breathing exercise, stretches, and open your heart through acknowledgment before beginning. Enter the trail to the waterfall, and at the first stream enter, cleanse, and refresh. Reach the “Cachoeira das Almas Fall” and stop to grab some snacks, enter the falls, take pictures, and chill out. Take a different route to close the circuit and visit the painters’ escape garden and lake and the “Mayrink Chapel”. Finish at the parks’ gate and stop for lunch or dinner. In cases of physical limitations that prevent walking longer distances, these trails can be removed from this experience and the route to the waterfalls can be done by car. After visiting the falls, head to one of the two restaurants near the park or in the Tijuca neighborhood for a traditional afro Brazilian dish.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Rio de Janeiro

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,076 reviews

Juan Aguiar was our guide and was passionate, enthusiastic, and amazing! He speaks so many languages and was able to communicate the culture and the ecosystem of the area. I was amazed at his plant knowledge. Would def request him if I was able to visit again!

It was amazing! Our guide Thalles was perfect. The trail is a little difficult, requires tennis shoes and some upper body strength but good amount of moderate activity. Wish we could have seen all the waterfalls.

Beautiful trip! The islands were amazing and the photo opportunity with the fish was awesome!

the instructor, Conrad, was really cool and friendly...and the total experience was amazing!

Great tour! You get to see and know a lot about Rio de Janeiro!