10 Top Tours and Excursions to Enjoy in Beautiful Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is a city blessed with far more than its fair share of attractions - both natural and manmade. The landscape itself is dazzling, with curious mountain formations, dense jungle, crashing waves and white sand beaches all part of the cityscape. In addition, the city is home to innumerous iconic man-made images, of which the most famous is the statue of Christ the Redeemer, embracing the city from his lofty mountaintop perch. The beautiful hilltop neighborhood of Santa Teresa is cooled ny mountain breezes and is home to the city´s most impressive colonial buildings as well as some of its most welcoming bars and restaurants. while the farther-flung beaches of Grumari and Recreio are a far cry from the built up sands of Copacabana and Ipanema and are popular with surfers and photographers. And while Rio de Janeiro city offers so much, the wider state has still more to offer - those who can fit in a trip along the gorgeous Costa Verde (Green Coast) would be wise to do so.

Rio de Janeiro is a city divided by jungle and mountains. and finding the time to visit all those ´must-see´attractions can be a genuine challenge, ans taking an organized tour or excursion is often the best way to fit everything into one visit. Very time-pressed travellers would be wise to look out for companies offering whistle stop ´City Tours´.

Some 40-minutes bus or cab ride away from Ipanema and Copacabana, this scenic beach is a popular hangout for surfers and body boarders. Although packed at weekends and on public holidays, it is usually blissfully quiet during the week. The...  Read More

Tijuca National Park
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

The largest stretch of urban jungle in the world, Tijuca National Park is home to Corcovado mountain and the Christ statue as well as being the setting for some serious outdoor pursuits. While it isn't safe to enter the jungle without a...  Read More

Costa Verde
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

Rio de Janeiro┤s city beaches are famous the world over, and with good reason. But if you┬┤ve been partying hard during your Rio vacation and are feeling the need for a little rest and relaxation in more tranquil surrounds, the Costa Verde...  Read More

Botanical Gardens
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

This shady botanical garden is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in the fascinating flora and fauna of Rio as well as those just looking for a shady retreat from the sticky heat of the city streets. Colorful butterflies flutter...  Read More

Some 30 kilometers west of Rio, Grumari is a wonderfully unspoilt beach surrounded by dense jungle and accessible only by car or by taking a very long, arduous hike (there are no bus routes out here). The beach is as sedate and tranquil as...  Read More

Cruz the Coast Brazil operates fun, hassle-free tours between Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, as well as loops within Rio de Janeiro state. Taking in gorgeous beaches, wild jungle and natural pools as well as activities such as capoeira classes...  Read More

Santa Teresa
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

There's more to Rio de Janeiro than its beaches, and the artistic heart of the city can be found up in the jungle-clad hills of Santa Teresa. Here, pastel-colored colonial mansions have been converted into bucolic bars, friendly guest houses,...  Read More

Sugar Loaf (Pao de Acucar)
Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson

One of the most famous mountain peaks in the world, Sugar Loaf (Pao de Acucar in Portuguese) scarcely needs an introduction. But while you may be familiar with the tourist board images of the cable car making its dizzying ascent up to the top...  Read More

No visit to Rio would be complete without a trip to see 'the Big Guy', and the views from the feet of this most iconic of statues are truly breathtaking. One of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, the 'Christo Redentor' stands tall atop...  Read More

No visitor to Rio can fail to notice the favelas - communities built on the hillsides - and a tour of these complex communities can lead to a better understanding of the city itself. Understandably, many visitors have concerns about 'poverty...  Read More


Meet Lucy Bryson

Lucy is a British freelance writer living in Rio de Janeiro since 2007. While there are some things she misses about her home country, the lure of year-round sunshine has proved too powerful to resist.