Best things to do in Rio De Janeiro and sightseeing in Rio De Janeiro
Ilha Grande - Rio De Janeiro
Lopes Mendez is a cruisey 30 minute boat ride from the main village, but if you really want to earn your relaxing dip in the ocean you can opt for a 3 hour hike through the jungle. This beach is absolutely huge, so even in the high season you can look forward to carving out some space for yourself.
From Paraty we were island bound for Ilha Grande, a truly gorgeous island with remote beaches in the south. We found an immaculate private room at Espaço Nativo Pousada & Hostel for less than the price of a hostel, with a smart TV and a fridge to boot. Would highly recommend staying here, a superb breakfast and friendly receptionist. Only downside of staying on an island with lots of recent development is that the power supply hasn’t been updated in decades. As a result we watched a firework display when one of the main control boxes caught fire. Maybe not the safest of situations to be near an electrical fire on an island but the electricity was back within a day. The museum in Dois Rios is well worth a visit, the story behind the prison is absolutely fascinating in the tiny museum. The walk is worth it just don’t be put off by the loud howler monkeys.
Christ the Redeemer - Rio De Janeiro
Standing at a height of 700m above the hill top of Corcovado Mountains is the world famous statue - Christ The Redeemer. This and the Dona Marta's point gives the most stunning view and vista of what I see as the most beautiful city! It's one of the top "must-see" spots on my tour!
Santa Teresa - Rio De Janeiro
The tour continues towards downtown area, where we'll see the historical buildings and monuments from the colonial and imperial 19th century. We'll walk through the old cobbled stones streets quarters, staring at the old colonial buildings which today hold restaurants, workshops, discos, etc to the "still riding since the 19th century". Further, we'll head to the SANTA TERESA street car station, where we'll ride the trolley over the old acqueduct known as ARCOS DA LAPA(Lapa arches), up to SANTA TERESA NEIGHBORHOOD to visit its colonial architecture and pretty workshops and handcrafts stores. The street car riding the old Santa Teresa streets gives an amazing view too.
Located on a hill overlooking the city centre, Guanabara Bay and the Zona Norte, Santa Teresa is at once a window onto Rio and a neighborhood apart. Not only does it boast the only surviving tram network in the city but it also plays host to Rio's most vibrant artistic community. Ageing mansions and cobbled streets combine with the clatter and rattle of the 19th-century trams to lend Santa Teresa the air of a bygone age.
Paraty - Rio De Janeiro
From Sao Paulo it was off to Paraty for a little longer than planned once again thanks to the colossal rain. But we managed to meet some fab hostel mates and venture out to the giant slip and slide waterfalls at Cachoeira do Toboga where the locals skidded down on their feet. I saw one guy slip and cut his eyebrow open but this didn’t stop anyone. Further up the falls was an 8m jump spot, something I couldn’t attempt but Seb managed it twice. We managed to get a group together to charter a boat trip around the islands on the final day with some snorkeling and sunburn!
Leblon - Rio De Janeiro
Copacabana Beach - Rio De Janeiro
Promising to give you the most beautiful view of Rio, the Copacabana beach is one of the most colourful and lively places to be in Rio, and all those who've been here will agree with me. While you have the old stones of the Copacabana Fort standing on one side, the view of the other side gives away to the city's expanse, along side the waters of the ocean hitting the shores of the beach.
Copacabana - Rio De Janeiro
As we walk to the end of the Copacabana Beach, we'll reach the magnificent yet archaic entrance to the Copacabana Fort. This old army fort, with its preserved rooms and cannons, also brings along exhibition halls and live cafes where we can learn and share the history of the city with the friendly locals. The view to Pao de Acuacar and the Sugar Loaf mountains just adds to the scenic beauty of the place.
Tijuca - Rio De Janeiro
Tijuca is a neighborhood with the most buzz around the city. You'll get to shop in the sprawling arena of South America's biggest shopping mall in Barra da Tijuca, at the Bara Shopping, along with Rio Design Barra and many others. There are also numerous famous churrascaria and cafes and restaurants where we can stop for a quick bite of Brazilian delicacies! Other attractions include Taunay waterfall at the Tijuca National Park visitors center, along with the serenity of the old bridge from the 18th century, keeps the colonial and bucolic atmosphere at this beautiful place. The Barra da Tijuca and Recreio beaches are truly surfers paradise on the west zone of the city. And finally, we'll get to the Urca hill, in the second part of the trip is to ride up to the sugar loaf mountain. And after the sunset, hills give way to the rewarding view of the city lights.
Corcovado - Rio De Janeiro
Corcovado is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. At 2230 feet, this hunchback mountain is crowned with the famous Christ Redeemer statue. By night, the 100 foot tall, 1,000 ton statue appears to float above the city like an angel, guarding Brazil's most famous and beloved city. The view from this perch surpasses the imagination, and many visitors are awed by the spectacle. Whether shrouded in mist, or spotlighted by the blazing sun, Corcovado is a spectacular site to visit and wonder at. Tours are available, and the tram to the top provides a casual but breathtaking experience. No trip to Rio would be complete without a trip to the top.
Morro da Urca - Rio De Janeiro
Morro da Urca is one of the most popular destinations for scenic views and hiking. You'll find it near Morro Cara de Cão, beyond Botafogo beach. The 215 high Morro da Urca is also very popular among mountain climbers who enjoy the challenge of the sheer side of the hill. For less experienced hikers the best trail on Morro da Urca would be the one that goes up to the first cable car station of Sugarloaf.
Lapa - Rio De Janeiro
As we walk along Santa Teresa's colonial streets, we'll head to the old bohemian district of LAPA. This visit will be incomplete without visiting the famous "tiles covered staircase" by JORGE SELARÓN, the chilean artist who lives in Rio. At the old district of LAPA, you'll enjoy the centennial buildings. The bucolic and picturesque LAPA district, with the street car riding over the arches of the old aqueduct, is hence also called ARCOS DA LAPA. In the Lapa district, we'll also get to visit the beautiful architecture and mosaics of 1909 at the Municipal Theatre, and Master Valentim Water Fountain, which has been preserved in the heart of this downtown area since 1789.