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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Garden & park tours

Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Garden & park tours

Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

1. Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

Begin your tour at Downtown (“Centro”), where you will get the tram (“bondinho”) to the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa. You will drive over the Arcos da Lapa, the aqueduct used to connect water from Santa Teresa to Downtown and one of Rio’s most traditional postcards. At Santa Teresa, you will experience an interesting local atmosphere. Walk through the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, a bucolic area in Rio de Janeiro. Located on a hillside, Santa Teresa has become a district of cultural interest because of its architectural value and prime location, famous for its winding, narrow cobblestone streets and a favourite spot for artists and tourists. A flair similar to Montmartre, in Paris. You will visit the Ruins Park, a public park with an art gallery built around the ruins of a mansion. Take a minute to enjoy the city’s landscape, in particular the Downtown area and the Sugarloaf Mountain. Up next, you will walk down the colorful Selarón Steps, one of Rio’s landmarks, and arrive at the district of Lapa, the zone with the most traditional nightlife. Take a stroll in the Passeio Público, the oldest public park in South America, to reach Cinelândia, a lively spot in Rio thanks to its bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Among many remarkable constructions in the area, you will notice the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro’s most traditional theatre and opera house, as well as the Biblioteca Nacional, Brazil’s most important library. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo, a permanent member of all must-see cafés rankings around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decoration with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks – such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’) – or desserts – such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in what was one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Rio: Olympic Boulevard, Museum of Tomorrow & History Tour

2. Rio: Olympic Boulevard, Museum of Tomorrow & History Tour

Begin your tour by being picked up from your hotel and discover the many hidden gems in Rio’s Downtown area with a tour guide. Start at the Valongo Wharf (the latest Unesco World Heritage site in the city) and learn more about the African influence in Brazil. Then head to the Kobra Mural — one of the largest graffiti walls in the world — created by the Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra, to admire the five ethnic groups portrayed in a colorful geometric background. After a few pictures, you will walk along the Olympic Boulevard towards the Museum of Tomorrow. This is a modern and technological science museum dedicated to exploring and questioning all the possibilities for constructing the future of the planet and mankind. Discover its remarkable architecture, and pay a visit to the most visited museum in Brazil. After exploring the future, travel to the past in the Monastery of Saint Benedict, where you will experience the contrast of the simple façade, with the interior covered with golden ornaments, a heritage from the Baroque period. Before heading towards the historical streets of Rio, you will see the Rio 2016 Olympic Cauldron created by the American artist Anthony Howe. You will notice the reflective-kinetic-sphered-structure is a reminder of the Games. At the Praça XV, you will see one of the former headquarters of the Brazilian empire and learn more about important facts of Brazilian history that happened in the area. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo (closed on Sundays), one of the “must-see cafés” from around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decorated with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’), or desserts such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th century.

Rio de Janeiro: Botanical Garden Guided Tour & Parque Lage

3. Rio de Janeiro: Botanical Garden Guided Tour & Parque Lage

After pickup head straight to the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, the oldest such garden in Brazil. The gardens were founded in 1808, around the same time that the Portuguese Royal Family arrived in Brazil. Dom João VI, then a prince, wanted to see if Caribbean spices would adapt to Rio’s climate. Start with a visit to the Environment Museum before walking around the grounds and admiring the native vegetation. Enjoy the beauty of Frei Leandro Lake and victoria amazonica, a species of flowering plant and the largest of the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies from the Amazon Rainforest. Admire the orchids and the bromeliads collections. Learn about 19th-century Brazilian history from your guide as you stroll amongst the buildings in the garden. Marvel at the beauty of Musas Fountain and explore Pedro Cachimbo rose garden. Take photos between palm trees and make a stop at the Japanese Garden, created in 1935 from the donation of 65 species of typical Japanese plants. As a bonus, enjoy complimentary access also to the Parque Lage. Explore the English-style gardens, forested trails, artificial caves, and the stunning mansion at the center of this beautiful park.

Rio de Janeiro: Guided Bike Tours in Small Groups

4. Rio de Janeiro: Guided Bike Tours in Small Groups

Choose from 3 different itineraries to best fit your time in Rio and your preferences. Explore some of the city's highlights on a small-group bike tour with an expert guide and learn about the historical background of the city. • 3-Hour Urban Tour: Praia Vermelha, Botafogo & Lagoa Visit several of Rio's famous sites and some of its traditional neighborhoods on this tour that focuses on the southern part of the city. Start at Copacabana beach to experience where locals spend a large part of their social life. From there, bike to Sugarloaf Mountain to view its imposing vastness up-close, and make a stop at nearby Vermelha Beach, a tiny oasis of quietness. Next, pedal to the lively neighborhood of Botafogo to get a glimpse of the back lanes of Rio. This stretch of the bike tour will give you a closer look at how real Cariocas live when they’re not on the beach. Finally, head to Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, and admire its surrounding green hillsides and fancy neighborhoods. • 4-Hour Panoramic Tour: Botafogo, Flamengo Park & Old Rio Get a panoramic perspective of Rio on this tour that goes from Copacabana to the shores of the Bay of Guanabara, Lapa, and Rio’s historical center. Making use of the new cycle paths, bike through the lively backstreets of iconic neighborhood Copacabana to Botafogo. There, pass by Rio’s “celebrity” cemetery, São João Batista, the resting place of several Brazilian presidents, writers, singers, actors, and renowned Brazilian architect, Oscar Niemeyer. Pedal on to the Bay of Guanabara along the beach of Flamengo, the site of the first European settlement after the discovery of the city. Continue to the historical center of Rio, with stops at Cinelândia and the bohemian neighborhood Lapa, well-known for its nightlife and the Selarón steps, 250 steps covered in more than 2000 tiles from different countries. On the way back, cycle along the paths that wind through Flamengo Park, designed by famous Brazilian landscaper, Burle Marx. The last stretch of the tour will pass along Copacabana beach. 7-Hour Ultimate Tour: Urban Tour + Panoramic Tour + Lunch Discover the best of Rio de Janeiro in just one day. As well as exploring the popular South Zone, famous for the iconic Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, pedal through less well-known but equally fascinating neighborhoods such as Botafogo and Urca. After taking these in, head to the old city center where you’ll stop in the Bohemian quarter of Lapa. Take a step back to Rio's colonial past at the historic Cinelândia Square, and visit Jorge Selarón’s psychedelically decorated staircase to see how art can be truly public in this city. Savor a typical Brazilian lunch — included in the tour — at a local restaurant. The last stretch of the cycle tour passes by the beautiful lake, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, surrounded by hills clad with lush Atlantic rainforest. Last, soak up lots of great views of Rio’s most famous landmarks, the Sugarloaf and Christ the Redeemer.

Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

5. Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

Following pickup from your accommodation, head to the historic center of Rio de Janeiro. Consisting of centuries-old buildings and roads, the historic center of Rio best illustrates the most important chapters of Brazil’s history.  See the contrast of new and old architecture at XV de Novembro Square. Continue to Cinelândia Square until you reach the famous Carioca Aqueduct (Arcos de Lapa) in Lapa. Admire the historic beauty as you continue to Santa Teresa by car. Enjoy the winding narrow streets and colorful buildings of bohemian Santa Teresa, famous for its bars, galleries, ateliers, and the 19th-century Santa Teresa tram. From the top of Santa Teresa Hill, enjoy some of Rio’s finest views and look across Guanabara Bay.  Take in the panoramic views of the city from the Parque das Ruínas, located in the ruins of an old mansion belonging to Laurinda Santos. The mansion has been partially restored and is now used as a cultural center hosting various exhibitions and events.

Private Tijuca Forest & Botanical Garden Guided Tour

6. Private Tijuca Forest & Botanical Garden Guided Tour

Discover the natural wonders of Rio de Janeiro on a guided tour that visits Tijuca Forest, Rio’s botanical garden, Cascatinha Taunay, and the Chinese Viewpoint, including round-trip transportation from your hotel. Walk along a trail and immerse yourself in all the nature of Rio. After pickup, your trip starts at the Chinese Viewpoint. At an altitude of 388 meters, admire panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro, filled with mountains, forests, and the sea. In the distance, you can also see Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain. Later, go on an adventure through the Tijuca National Forest, one of the largest urban forests in the world. Be enchanted by the Cascatinha Taunay (waterfall) as you walk along a simple trail and learn more about the Atlantic Forest, its flora, and its fauna. Admire breathtaking panoramic views en route back to your hotel. Your tour ends at the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, with a visit to the sensory garden. Finish off your trip by learning more about local and international flora at the gardens. Spot the redwood tree, from which the country received its name, and stroll among the bicentennial imperial palm trees as you walk to the orchidarium and the bromeliad greenhouse.

Rio de Janeiro: 4-Hour Botanical Garden & Tijuca Forest Tour

7. Rio de Janeiro: 4-Hour Botanical Garden & Tijuca Forest Tour

Experience the diverse nature of Rio de Janeiro up close. Begin your tour at the Botanical Garden and visit the Sensory Garden. See the Brazilwood tree after which the country is named, the Turtle Lake and floating giant water lilies. Walk through the bicentenary imperial palm trees as you go to the Orchidarium and Bromeliad house.   Then, climb up to the Vista Chinesa gazebo and enjoy a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro with mountains, forests, and ocean at 388 meters (about 1,273 feet) above sea level. In the distance, you can also clearly make out Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain.   Next, go on an adventure through Tijuca National Forest, one of the largest urban forests in the world. Gaze up at the Taunay Waterfall and follow a simple trail as you learn more about the Atlantic Forest, its flora and fauna.   Once back in the vehicle, pass by the famous São Conrado beach to observe the hang gliders and paragliders. Take in breathtaking panoramic views on route back to the hotel.

Rio: Olympic Boulevard, AquaRio and Museum of Tomorrow Tour

8. Rio: Olympic Boulevard, AquaRio and Museum of Tomorrow Tour

Take an insightful excursion through Olympic Boulevard, the city's port area that houses the newest of Rio's attractions. Enjoy an informative commentary from your guide and visit the modern Museum of Tomorrow, as well as the AquaRio aquarium, depending on the option you choose. Take advantage of a hotel transfer and head out on your exciting Rio adventure. Visit the Museum of Tomorrow, a technological applied science museum dedicated to exploring and questioning all the possibilities for building the future of the planet and the human race. Take photos of the unusual architecture before walking in to explore the exhibits. Afterward, make a stop at the Kobra Mural, one of the largest graffiti murals in the world, created by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. Observe five ethnic groups depicted realistically before a colorful background. If you book the AquaRio option, you'll have the chance to visit the largest marine aquarium in South America. See more than 5,000 animals from 350 different species from around the world in 28 saltwater tanks. Get up close and even interact with an immense variety of fish, rays, sharks, and corals.

Rio de Janeiro: Christ the Redeemer Guided Hike

9. Rio de Janeiro: Christ the Redeemer Guided Hike

Discover the UNESCO-listed Tijuca National Rainforest and the famous Christ the Redeemer statue. The hike will start at Parque Lage at the base of Corcovado Mountain, a park covered with Atlantic Rainforest, with a beautiful and imponent old mansion and many century-old palm trees. The ascent lasts about two hours and goes through some beautiful waterfalls with plenty of freshwater. Experience the marvelous view of one of Rio’s most privileged belvederes.

Rio de Janeiro: Museum of Tomorrow and Olympic Boulevard

10. Rio de Janeiro: Museum of Tomorrow and Olympic Boulevard

After pickup from your accommodation begin your tour at the Museum of Tomorrow, one of the most highly rated attractions in Brazil. Admire the architecture of the museum from the exterior as you explore the reflective pool and gardens. Enter the building and see the main exhibit, created by physicist and cosmologist Luiz Alberto Oliveira.  The museum studies the future of the world and its possibility for transformation. Explore the five major areas: Cosmos, Earth, Anthropocene, Tomorrow, and Now. Marvel at the experiments and experiences that encourage you to consider the fundamental questions of existence. After exiting the museum, continue to the Olympic Boulevard. The walls measure an area of almost 3,000 square meters in total and were painted for the Rio Olympics in 2016. Get up close to the Ethnicities Mural by Eduardo Kobra, one of the world’s largest piece of graffiti art.

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Frequently asked questions about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 17 reviews

An excellent half day tour with Meilin who customised the tour to our interests and my walking ability. Lovely architecture in the historic centre, we saw the first library in Brazil which was stunning and had a coffee at the Cafe Colombo which is a local institution. Meilin is full of interesting facts and tells the history of Rio like a story. A must to do.

A beautiful walk through the forest, although you can only see a few places since it is very large and I think that if you want to walk more, look for a hiking tour, but in this one you can enjoy the landscape and the botanical park if you go all the way

Great day. G the tour guide was so informative. Took us to off the beaten tracks to areas with no tourists which was wonderful. Explained the diffferent architecture and hidtory of the area. Loved the whole day.

Top very beautiful and very unformative our tour guide had a lot of background knowledge and so we learned a lot of historical and also a lot about the botanical garden and its plants..

Our tour guide spoke English well, he also have good knowledge of plants. It is a fun tour.