Rio de Janeiro
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro Outdoor Activities

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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Favela Santa Marta Tour with a Local Guide

2. Favela Santa Marta Tour with a Local Guide

Take an opportunity to catch a glimpse of life in the favelas on this guided tour. Your guide is a local from Santa Marta, who will be able to share you with you an authentic perspective of the beautiful favela they call home. Using the Santa Marta cable car, your guide will take you to the top of the favela. From here you will get to witness one of the best panoramic views of the city. Spot Christ the Redeemer, the Sugar Loaf, Praia de Botafogo, Lagoa Rodrigues de Freitas and the entire district of Botafogo. Then explore the streets and alleys held dear by both residents and the many famous visitors to Favela Santa Marta alike, from Queen Elizabeth II to Michael Jackson. Stroll through the favela, seeing the best sights and stopping at many of the local artisan shops along the way.

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Rio De Janeiro: Half-Day Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

3. 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 (average of 10 people) 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.

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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 de Janeiro: Hang Gliding Tandem Flight

7. 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.

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

8. 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.

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Rio: Half-Day Jeep Tour at Floresta da Tijuca

9. 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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Búzios Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro

10. Búzios Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro

Visit the city of Armação dos Búzios, located on a peninsula on the northern coast of Rio de Janeiro, during this 12-hour excursion. Búzios grew from a fishing village into a charming tourist destination after a visit by the renowned French actress Brigitte Bardot in 1964. Take a walk in Búzios with your guide and enjoy a schooner ride that passes the main Búzios beach. Enjoy a lunch buffet at one of the best restaurants the city. You’ll have a choice of meat, fish or chicken, with an option for vegetarians. On the schooner ride you’ll see Bones Beach, Azeda, Azedinha, João Fernandes, Tartaruga, Boi and Rasa.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Rio de Janeiro

Want to discover all there is to do in Rio de Janeiro? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro

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!

Beautiful sail around Rio. Great captain, great host and beverages. And music was awesome!

Such a great and wonderful feeling flying like the birds, it is a must do if your in Rio