Rio de Janeiro
Ecotourism

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Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro Ecotourism

Rio: Tijuca Forest & Horto Waterfalls Circuit Tour

1. 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.

From Rio de Janeiro: Angra dos Reis Boat Trip with Lunch

2. 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.

Tijuca Rain Forest Tour by Jeep from Rio de Janeiro

3. 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.

Rio: Half-Day Jeep Tour at Floresta da Tijuca

4. 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.

Rio de Janeiro Hang Gliding Adventure

5. Rio de Janeiro Hang Gliding Adventure

First, listen to a short briefing from the world's most safe and experienced Hang Glider tandem pilots. They will tell you about the take-off and other aspects of hang gliding before you get airborne. Then, glide smoothly through the tropical air after about 7 steps over the edge of the platform. Any fear you may have will soon disappear and you will experience a very unique sense of tranquility. Enjoy bird's eye views of Rio de Janeiro's main attractions, including Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado, Copacabana, Ipanema, Lagoa and Niteroi city on the other side of Guanabara Bay. Land safely on a sandy beach in São Conrado and enjoy some refreshments as you watch others come in to land. The entire activity will be photographed and recorded on cameras attached to the glider so that you can share your adventure with your friends and family back home. 

Tijuca Forest Adventure Full-Day Small Group Hike

6. Tijuca Forest Adventure Full-Day Small Group Hike

The tour takes you to hike through the Tijuca Rainforest, one of the biggest urban forests on the planet, on this off the beaten track circuit of trails to discover the nature and beauty of the jungle, reaching the Taquara Hill (814m=2670ft). This peak is a 100m higher than the Christ Redeemer statue, and on clear days, you have 2 amazing views: one to the valley of the forest and another to the West part of Rio, its coastline and lagoons. After that, you will go to a deeper part of the jungle following a trail that is almost secret as it is very rare to see other people doing it. Within 1 hour of hiking up and downhill, you will reach the ruins of an old coffee farm and, with a bit more walking, you will reach a grotto and a cave in the middle of the rainforest. After this, you head to a waterfall where you can refresh yourself (bring a towel and bathing suit). This trail circuit was designed by experts in the Tijuca Forest Park using tracks and sites that are not well-known or regularly visited, so you'll be hiking in a very unusual part of the forest. The scenery of this tour is amazing and it has a lot to offer as you are visiting sites that are not featured in most tours. On the way up, you will learn the history of Brazil, Rio, the Tijuca Forest, and everything about the coffee farms that used to occupy that area before the reforestation that happened in the 1800's.

Rio de Janeiro: Ilha Grande with Boat Tour and Lunch

7. Rio de Janeiro: Ilha Grande with Boat Tour and Lunch

Begin your full day tour with a 130 km ride from Rio de Janeiro to Conceição de Jacareí. Once there, onboard your schooner to Ilha Grande. Sit back and enjoy the views of this paradisiacal landscape. Make your first stop at Cataguases Islands. Its calm blue waters are a perfect invitation for a swim. Then, discover the Blue Lagoon and its colorful fish, corals and starfish. This natural pool is perfect for snorkeling and swimming. Visit the Freguesia de Santana, a small beach that houses the first church of Angra dos Reis, built in 1843. Then, enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant in Japariz Beach. Later, take a refreshing dip in the sea. After a day in paradise, begin your comfortable return to Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro: Pedra da Gávea Guided Hike Tour

8. Rio de Janeiro: Pedra da Gávea Guided Hike Tour

Hike one of the most famous rock formations in this wonderful city, the Pedra da Gavea. Summit at 842 meters and take in the spectacular views of the Bay of Guanabara and some of the main beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Also, see majestic views of famous mountains in nearby Tijuca National Park, such as Pico da Tijuca, Bico do Papagaio, Pedra Bonita and Corcovado. During your adventure along the Pedra da Gavea trail, you may also spot some wild animals of the Carioca Atlantic Forest! There are many animal and bird species that live in the greater Tijuca National Park area. Bring your camera and capture the panoramic views this special spot has to offer.

Rio de Janeiro: Pedra do Telegrafo Hiking Tour

9. Rio de Janeiro: Pedra do Telegrafo Hiking Tour

Admire the breath taking views from the peak of Pedra do Telegrafo. This mountain stands 354 meters high and is located in the Selvagens Beaches sector of Pedra Branca State Park, in Morro de Guaratiba, near Rio de Janeiro. Discover the Praia Grande in Barra de Guaratiba, known locally as the Fisherman's Path, it was once a military station during World War ll. As you explore the trails of Pedra do Telégrafo you will travel 3.5 kilometers through moderate hiking terrain, and your expert guide will ensure you pass several viewpoints for the breath-taking of the panoramas. Once you reach the peak, you will be able to stand upon a stone that photographs well, giving the impression of a large drop into the abyss of tree tops. Hikers past have taken imaginative and super cool photos that went viral on the internet. Be assured that your guide to the Telegraph Stone is trained in photography and knows the best angles for the best photos. 

From Rio de Janeiro: Arraial do Cabo Boat Trip with Lunch

10. From Rio de Janeiro: Arraial do Cabo Boat Trip with Lunch

Enjoy an early morning pickup from Rio and relax on the 3-hour drive to the city of Arraial do Cabo. A quick pit-stop on the road is made to stretch the legs, have a bathroom break, and buy a snack. Explore the Arraial sea which is special for a very particular reason. In the region, there is the phenomenon of a resurgence, which brings to the surface deep waters rich in marine life. The abundance of food turns Arraial into one of the best diving spots in the country, with clear waters and lots of life. Leave the bus upon arrival in the docks of Arraial do Cabo, around 10:00 AM, and hop on the schooner. Enjoy a schooner ride through the best beaches of Arraial do Cabo. Marvel at the waters in shades of green and blue, ready for a swim. Explore 4 different stops in places like the Forno beach, the Praia do Farol, or famous Atalaia beach. Take in the panoramic view of the Blue Groot, a hidden cave with deep blue water. Revel at the crystal-clear water and white sands before leaving the boat around 3:00 PM and have a buffet lunch. Then, it is time to leave Arraial. Hop on the bus to make the journey back to Rio where you will arrive around 8:00 PM.

Frequently asked questions about Rio de Janeiro Ecotourism

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,076 reviews

The best guide Segrio. Excellent knowledge, and knows every corner in the forest, you will feel super safe with him. First time trying reppling and he instructed me well and because of that i had one of my best life experience. Great tour i recommended with Sergio.

Lovely tour guide and sooooo exciting to be in the forest with expert tuition and lovely walks and views. So glad we did it in a jeep. :)

A must-see experience. Guide was amazing, totally safe environment for a tour, super informative and beautiful scenery. Must-do in Rio.

Excelente experiencia, buen servicio y bonitos spots para disfrutar de las islas

Was amazing! Impressive guide we had, Carlos was absolutely fantastic!