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Guide to Rio de Janeiro Outdoors

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Rio de Janeiro is a bustling city surrounded by beautiful beaches and a tropical rainforest. Whether you’re a nature lover, thrill seeker, or simply just want to relax and enjoy the view, Rio is the perfect place for you to adventure outdoors.

Good for
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • LGBT
  • Beach Goer
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

10 Places

8 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Sugarloaf Mountain

Tramways, Mountains, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Lookouts

Botanical Garden (Jardim Botanico)

Gardens

Corcovado Christ the Redeemer

Monuments & Statues

Tijuca National Park

Forests, National Parks

Copacabana Beach

Beaches

Escadaria Selaron

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Morro Dois Irmaos

Observation Decks & Towers, Parks

Ipanema Beach

Beaches

Parque Lage

Historic Sites, Parks

Prainha Beach

Beaches

Jessica B's City Tips

  • The weather in Rio is pleasant all year round, so you can hit the beach at any time.
  • When it rains in Rio, it pours. The rainy season runs from late October through April (the summer months), so it's a good idea to carry a jacket with you.
  • It usually rains during the late afternoon/early evening, so there’s plenty of time to explore during the day.
  • Rio is a difficult city to navigate, so make sure you plan your journey before leaving your accommodation.
  • The metro is the quickest and easiest way to travel. Invest in a pre-loaded TravelCard, as this will save you money and time.
  • It is considered rude to bring your own food to the beach, as many people make a living selling it — you'll find everything from fresh seafood to watermelon and ice cream.
  • Umbrellas and deck chairs are available for rent all along the beaches, so it is considered bad etiquette to bring your own.
  • Bus stops can sometimes be hard to spot — look for the small blue signs attached to lampposts. Be sure to have the correct change (or close enough) ready for the driver.
  • Save
    Sugarloaf Mountain
    Tramways, Mountains, Points of Interest & Landmarks, Lookouts
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Arguably the best view of the city can be had from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain (so named for its shape). Half the fun is getting here — by cable car!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Buy your ticket beforehand to avoid the giant queues.
    • You'll get the best views at sunset, however this is also the most popular time to visit.
    • To avoid the crowds, go first thing in the morning.
    • After your visit, consider exploring Praia Vermelha, the beach just below.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very well known and a "must see" at least during good weather 22/11/2017
    • Great View 21/11/2017
    • Sugarloaf Mountain
    Address:
    Av. Pasteur, 520
    Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22290-255
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 21 2546 8433
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 19:45
    Other:
  • Save
    Botanical Garden (Jardim Botanico)
    Gardens
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    One of the biggest botanical gardens in the world and home to 140 species of birds, Rio’s Botanical Garden is breathtakingly beautiful and offers spectacular views up at Christ the Redeemer.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The garden is open everyday during daylight hours.
    • Rio’s Lake Rodrigo de Freitas is nearby, so why not check it out too?
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Botanical Gardens 20/11/2017
    • Sunday walk 19/11/2017
    • Botanical Garden (Jardim Botanico)
    Address:
    Rua Jardim Botanico 1008
    Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22460-000
    Brazil
    Phone:
    2138741808
    Price range:
    US$1 - US$1
    Hours:
    Mon
    12:00 - 17:00
    Tue - Sun
    08:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Corcovado Christ the Redeemer
    Monuments & Statues
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    One of the Seven Wonders of the World, this 40-meter-tall statue of Jesus welcomes you to Rio with open arms.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are three ways to reach Corcovado: train, taxi, or tour bus. Taxis leave from Largo do Machado, and the train from Rua Cosme Velho.
    • If you’re taking the train up, book your ticket in advance to avoid the huge queues. Sit on the righthand side, which offers the best view during the 20-minute ascent.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • One of the most favorite and known spot - so it should be clear what to expect 22/11/2017
    • Plan Your Visit 21/11/2017
    • Corcovado Christ the Redeemer
    Address:
    Parque Nacional da Tijuca
    Cosme Velho
    Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22241-330
    Brazil
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$5
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 19:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Tijuca National Park
    Forests, National Parks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    The world’s largest urban park, this rainforest is an oasis surrounding the bustling city. While some of Tijuca is accessible by road, the best way to get a feel for the ecosystem here is by taking one of the hiking routes.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Remember that this is a rainforest — so rain is very common here! Make sure you pack a jacket and sensible walking shoes if the sky looks grey. It can get muddy!
    • Listen for the Howler Monkeys. They never come into view, but you’ll know if they are close by!
    • Don’t forget to pack a picnic and take lots of water with you.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #16 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Tijcua Jeep Tour 20/11/2017
    • Hiked Pico da Tijuca 12/11/2017
    • Tijuca National Park
    Address:
    Estrada da Cascatinha 850
    Alto da Boa Vista
    Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 20531-590
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55 (21) 96864-6470
    Other:
  • Save
    Copacabana Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    One of the most famous beaches in the world, Copacabana is 4km of white sand and calm water, bordered by two historic forts.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Nightlife Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Many food vendors wander the beach, so there is no need to take food or drink with you — just buy it there. To grab a vendor's attention, just shout "Oye!"
    • There are plenty of "kioskos" (small café/restaurants) along the promenade.
    • If sunbathing is not your thing, you can rent a canoe and paddle through the calm waves. The view looking back at the beach, especially at sunset, is stunning.
    • Take a walk to Diablo Beach (Devil’s Beach), which separates Copacabana and Ipanema. It so named because of the crashing waves that land here.
    • The huge beach is separated into sections called "postos." Look out for the numbers to help you get your bearings.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #21 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Very well known and as expected 22/11/2017
    • Happening place 21/11/2017
    • Copacabana Beach
  • Save
    Escadaria Selaron
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    This colorful and crazy staircase, located in the heart of Lapa, is a must-see. Since 1990, more than 2000 unique tiles have been laid along the steps of Escaderia Selaron. Many have been donated by people from all corners of the world.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The stairs are very popular with tourists, so to avoid the crowds it is best to visit first thing in the morning.
    • At night, the stairs become a hotspot for party-goers: The street at the bottom of the stairs is one of the busiest bar areas in Rio.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #33 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Stunning 21/11/2017
    • Tile tastic 21/11/2017
    • Escadaria Selaron
    Address:
    Rua Joaquim Silva
    Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 20241-120
    Brazil
    Phone:
    21-96437-2680
    Other:
  • Save
    Morro Dois Irmaos
    Observation Decks & Towers, Parks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Morro Dois Irmaos (Two Brothers Mountain) is a hidden gem and offers views of the city good enough to rival those from Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can reach the peak by car, but the hike up is half the fun.
    • The hike is moderate and can be done by anyone in decent health (not recommended for kids under 10).
    • Pack a lot of sunscreen and water, and watch out for the spiders!
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Awesome hike 21/11/2017
    • Fantastic view of Rio's southzone 06/11/2017
    • Morro Dois Irmaos
    Address:
    Parque Do Penhasco Dois Irmaos
    Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro
    Brazil
    Phone:
    21983944928
    Other:
  • Save
    Ipanema Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Ipanema is arguably the 'coolest' beach in Rio.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • LGBT
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • If you don’t like the beach, take a walk along the famous promenade, a popular place for roller-skating and cycling. It is completely closed off to cars during the weekend.
    • The huge beach is separated into sections called "postos." Look out for the numbers to help you get your bearings.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nearly the same as Copacabana and for me very nice. 22/11/2017
    • I LOVED IT 22/11/2017
    • Ipanema Beach
  • Save
    Parque Lage
    Historic Sites, Parks
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Parque Henrique Lage is the perfect place to get a taste of the local wildlife. Look out for the monkeys!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The park is home to many monkeys. Although they are used to humans, they are completely wild, so do not attempt to touch them or feed them.
    • The Art Gallery inside the park is worth a visit and is free to enter; the colonial-style café is also great.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #27 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Take a photo and avoid the cafe 20/11/2017
    • Coffee and champagne 20/11/2017
    • Parque Lage
    Address:
    Rua Jardim Botanico 414
    Rio de Janeiro, State of Rio de Janeiro 22461-000
    Brazil
    Phone:
    +55(21) 3257-1800
    Other:
  • Save
    Prainha Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Jessica B Says:

    Located on the outskirts of the city, and popular with surfers, Prainha Beach is off the beaten track and is much quieter than the urban ones. You won’t be fighting through the tourists here!

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Keep a careful eye on the tide; when it rises (and it rises quite quickly), it swallows the beach almost completely.
    • There are no restaurants or beach-sellers here — just you and nature. Be sure to pack a picnic and take lots of water with you.
    • The huge waves make this beach perfect for surfing, but as there is no lifeguard it is recommended for experienced surfers only.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #9 of 738 things to do in Rio de Janeiro
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • great place 07/11/2017
    • A beach in Rio but out of Rio. 06/11/2017
    • Prainha Beach
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