Rio de Janeiro
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro Off the beaten track

Rio de Janeiro Hang Gliding Adventure

1. 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. 

Rio de Janeiro: Hang Gliding Tandem Flight

2. 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.

Tijuca Forest Adventure Full-Day Small Group Hike

3. 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: Eco City Tour

4. Rio de Janeiro: Eco City Tour

Head out into the lush natural surroundings of Rio on this day trip. Over the course of the day, discover a variety of different ecosystems: a tropical rainforest, mountains, waterfalls, secluded beaches, lagoons, and more. Take part in a tour for those who love nature but are not in the mood to hike. Enjoy an easy walking tour that takes you to visit the South, North and West of Rio in one day. Begin your tour at the Penhasco Dois Irmãos Park for a great view of the Leblon and Ipanema beaches. Afterwards, head to the Tijuca Forest National Park, where you’ll visit the Chinese View summit, Taunay Waterfall, and Canoas Summit. After a quick break for snacks and lunch, it’s off to Chico Mendes Lagoon Park, a mangrove lagoon where you may see caimans and capybaras. Continue on to Prainha Beach Park, a tiny, secluded beach beloved by surfers and surrounded by mountains and rainforest. Cap things off with a trip to Prainha beach, a beautiful, secluded, and protected beach in a park on the West side of Rio. Afterwards, enjoy transported back to your accommodation.

Rio de Janeiro: Tandem Paragliding Flight

5. Rio de Janeiro: Tandem Paragliding Flight

Benefit from pickup from your hotel, meet at São Conrado Subway station, or make your own way to the Brazilian Confederation of Hang Gliding headquarters to meet your instructor (depending on option selected). After a comprehensive safety briefing from your instructor, take off from Pedra Bonita Ramp inside the Tijuca National Park, one of the biggest urban forests in Brazil.  Once off the ground, observe the spectacular natural landscape of Rio de Janeiro. Take in sights such as Rio’s famous beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon. Spot natural landmarks such as Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, the Guanabara Bay, and much more. Your flight finishes with a smooth landing on the beach of São Conrado. The whole adventure can be captured in video and photos from GoPro cameras attached to the paraglider.

Rio de Janeiro: Sugarloaf Mountain Hike and Climb

6. Rio de Janeiro: Sugarloaf Mountain Hike and Climb

Join the select few people who have hiked up the legendary Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) and experience Rio de Janeiro from a fresh perspective. Follow the same path that the first person to walk up the mountain used in 1817. Set off from the Pista Claudio Coutinho to reach a beautiful lookout with spectacular views of the entrance to Guanabára Bay and the city of Niterói in just 20 minutes. Then, brave the more technical trail and hike across stone ramps to discover some beautiful belvederes. Get the perfect introduction to basic rock climbing as you face the challenge of a 20-meter high vertical wall. Reach the viewpoint of the Pedra Filosofal to soak up the magnificent vistas of Copacabana Beach, Pedra da Gávea, and Morro Dois Irmãos. Continue to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain before the descent on the cable car back down Urca Hill.

Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Cooking Class with 7 Recipes

7. Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Cooking Class with 7 Recipes

Learn to make the delicious Brazilian food you love yourself, from simple recipes using ingredients found worldwide with this fun, hands-on cooking class in Centro. Choose from 2 mouth-watering menus (vegetarian menu available as well), and make your own delicious Brazilian meals and traditional cocktails. Choose the Bahian Seafood Moqueca menu to learn how to make Moqueca, a seafood coconut stew, and cassava sticks, or Aipim Frito. You'll wash these dishes down with 2 different Brazilian cocktails: the famous Caipirinha, made with limes, and Batida de Coco, a coconut cocktail. Feijoada, a black bean and meat stew, is the main dish of your 2nd menu choice. You'll also learn to make Aipim Frito, or cassava sticks, as well as the Brazilian Caipirinha cocktail made with limes, and Batida de Coco, a coconut cocktail. Once you've mixed your cocktails and cooked your first traditional Brazilian meal, enjoy eating what you've made with your cooking class.

Rio de Janeiro: Pedra da Gávea 7-Hour Hike

8. Rio de Janeiro: Pedra da Gávea 7-Hour Hike

Get spectacular views of Rio de Janeiro on an approximate 3-hour hike of Pedra da Gávea. Follow the challenging nature trails of the largest monolith in the world, starting at sea level and ascending through Tijuca National Park to an altitude of around 840 meters. Trek through the Carrasqueira section using the safety equipment provided by your instructor, and face the challenge of basic rock climbing of approximately 30 meters in height. Once past the Carrasqueira, continue to the mountain summit, and get rewarded with amazing views of the south and west areas of Rio de Janeiro before the walk back down.

Búzios Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro

9. 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.

Niterói 1-Day Tour: The Hidden Gem Across Rio de Janeiro

10. Niterói 1-Day Tour: The Hidden Gem Across Rio de Janeiro

Discover the beauties of Niterói, the charming and lesser known side of Guanabara Bay, on a full-day tour. Leaving Rio de Janeiro, drive across Rio-Niterói Bridge, the largest reinforced concrete bridge in the Southern Hemisphere. Visit the Niemeyer Pathway, the architectural complex composed of the Teatro Popular (Popular Theater), the Roberto Silveira Memorial, and the Niemeyer Foundation building, all signed by Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil's most famous architect. Up next, admire the façade and pay a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC), the famous round and futuristic structure overlooking the Guanabara Bay, also designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Stroll along the waterfront areas along the Guanabara Bay beaches, passing through Icaraí, São Francisco, Charitas, Jurujuba, and Adam and Eve beaches. Enjoy the lunch break in front of the São Francisco beach, one of the city's most famous culinary centers. After passing by all the bay beaches, arrive at the Santa Cruz Fort. Notice the other side of the entrance of the Guanabara Bay, the main route of arrival to the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói until mid-20th Century. Finally, head up to the peak of Parque da Cidade (City Park), 270m (885 ft) high, and enjoy a complete panoramic view of Niterói: the ocean beaches to the left and the beaches of Guanabara Bay to the right. At the same angle, you can also see Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf, the two most famous points in the mountain range that gave Rio de Janeiro the title of UNESCO World Heritage site as Urban Cultural Landscape. Return by the waterfront path back to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 730 reviews

I had an amazing experience. It was my first time flying and I was traveling solo. The entire staff made me feel very comfortable. They were professional, well trained, and made an anxious person like me laugh quite a bit lol. I won’t forget that memory

Thank goodness that i chose their service. It was organized from beginning till the end. Another thing is that I felt at ease as the pilot is so professional during the preflight. He explained really well the do’s and dont’s.

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

Lovely tour. A must do if you are interested in truly Brazilian history.

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