Tourism Information and advice on some of the
best tours, trips, hikes, and little known jewels around the city are
laid bare to visitors of the city. I LOVE RIO brings detailed and
specialized tips on how to best enjoy the diverse landscapes -
mountains, beaches, parks, and more. From the perfect photo opportunity,
to the best way to spend a rainy day in Rio, as well as classes and
Famous landmarks as much as minor and virtually
unknown treasures are discovered and presented. Detailed information on
how to reach any part of Rio, or where to find the best guides, is
offered throughout the Portal.
WORLD PATRIMONY AND HERITAGE SITE
World famous for its beaches, carnival, and the
iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro is a city rich of
history, culture, traditions, and nature that go well beyond what is
commonly known. Gorgeous shores, monolithic mountains, waterfalls,
untouched urban forests, islands, and even lakes can all be found within
Rio's city borders.
Military forts, beautiful churches, museums,
historical buildings, and cultural centers scattered across
neighborhoods deeply different from one another, tell the story of a
city as rich in soul as it is in beauty, and provide a fascinating
addition to Rio's spectacular nature.
Named by UNESCO world patrimony and heritage site in
2012, the institution awarded the title to Rio de Janeiro in recognition
of the exceptional way the city's natural settings merge with the urban
landscape, and in recognition of its diverse and exceptional beauty.
Further to highlighting several local landmarks such
as the Christ statue, Copacabana beach, the botanical gardens, the
Tijuca Forest, and the military forts, UNESCO also recognized the
ongoing artistic inspiration that Rio de Janeiro provided to musicians,
landscapers, and artists through the years.
The most famous landmarks in Rio are the statue of
Christ the Redeemer, and the Sugar Loaf - iconic symbols of Rio de
Janeiro for nearly a century. Yet, the city features many other
attractions that, while not as famous, can be just as unforgettable.
World icon of Rio de Janeiro, the 30 meter high
Christ statue stands on the Corcovado Mountain, in the Tijuca Forest
National Park. Visitors can reach the statue through panoramic elevators
and visit the chapel established at the base of the monument.
Across from the statue, Right on the opening of
Guanabara Bay, and rising nearly 400 meters high, the Sugar Loaf
mountain is one of the signature visions of Rio de Janeiro. This
wonderful rocky formation gives all visitors the opportunity for some
magnificent views and experiences. Hikers can explore its monolithic
heights and visitors can travel via cable car right to the top of the
mountain, for one of the most incredible views in the continent,
including aerial views of the city of Niterói, Christ the Redeemer and
Copacabana beach - another major landmark in the city.
One of the most visited beaches in the world,
Copacabana beach is home to a wide offer of restaurants, bars, shops,
fashion boutiques, theaters, galleries and shows - with the main
attraction here being the clear blue ocean and all the activities it
allows, such as aquatic and beach sports, jogging, biking, or simply
relaxing on the fine sands and enjoying the views.
Nearby, Ipanema is the center of Rio's deluxe
universe - loved by poets, musicians and millions of visitors, this
neighborhood is home to one of the very best urban beaches in the world
and the place for some of the most renowned and glamorous shops,
boutiques and galleries in the country. It's a wonderful place to enjoy
the views, such as the Morro Dois Irmãos mountain, the turquoise waters
and the beautiful beach goers.
Located in one of the most accessible and touristy
areas of Rio, The Morro Dois Irmãos mountain is not often visited but
offers a great view of the districts of Ipanema and Leblon while,
directly across from it, the Cagarras islands make for a great half-day
tour and offer a unique view of the city. This archipelago, located just
a few kilometers from Ipanema beach, is a great place to visit in the
search of a close encounter with nature and Brazil's biodiversity. As a
wildlife refuge, many species of marine animals, from the water or the
air, can be seen here.
Today, Over 1.6 million people visit Rio annually,
and while tourism in Rio de Janeiro has thrived for over a hundred
years, what attracted visitors to the city evolved dramatically.
Originally, the Sugar Loaf was not accessible via cable-car, the
Christ statue did not exist on Corcovado mountain, and the beaches
were seen as dangerous and only used for therapeutic baths. Things
sure have changed - yet, still many wonderful places remain
virtually unexplored by today's visitors.
People from all over the world are attracted and
enchanted by the unique blend of beaches, mountains, parks, culture and
lifestyle, all of which have provided inspiration for many forms of art,
literature, poetry and music.
Museums, galleries and theatres are surrounded by an
exceptionally dramatic landscape where nature meets urban metropolis and
the striking ingenuity of favelas. The array of hostels and apartments
make visits as comfortable and fun, while a variety of transportation
options allow visitors many easy ways of discovering and experiencing
From atop Rio's mountains one can take in
magnificent views of the surrounding cityscape and capture its
textural interplay - between mountains and sea, forest and city,
high-rise glamour and sprawling favelas - in a way that it is hard
to visualize from the ground.
Sugar Loaf, Corcovado and Dois Irmãos are amongst the
most celebrated of these slopes, while Pedra de Gávea offers a somewhat
more strenuous excursion with equally arresting views.
The Tijuca National Park is one of the largest urban
forests in the world, located very close to the heart of Rio. Rich of
rocky hills and small mountains, it offers exhilarating hikes along
steep crevices and hidden trails, allowing pauses to enjoy a waterfall
or to marvel at the exotic fauna, jungle vines, jutting rock formations
and endemic wildlife. From its mountainous peaks visitors can see the
great breadth and vastness of the forest, and take in commanding
panoramas of the city below.
Rio has an exceptional abundance of great green
expanses, including city parks, forests and state parks. Along the coast
between Botafogo and Centro is a lush green expanse called "Parque do
Flamengo," or Flamengo Park. Large, exotic trees line the path where
people can be found running, exercising, skating, bicycling, walking or
For towering trees and exotic species, the "Jardim
Botânico," or Botanical Garden, is the ideal location. Created in 1808
by the royal family predominantly for the cultivation of therapeutic and
medical plants, the garden and greenhouses now play host to an
impressively varied selection of plants - Oriental spices, such as
vanilla and cinnamon, vegetables from Portugal and Guiana, and plants,
trees and cacti from all over the globe.
The "Parque Natural Municipal de Marapendi," or
Marapendi Municipal Park, accessible via the Western Zone of Rio,
provides visitors with an array of activities, including hiking,
picnicking and frolicking in the playgrounds. The "Lagoa de Marapendi,"
or Marapendi Lagoon, situated in the district of Barra da Tijuca is rich
in scenic views, clear waters and an array of birds and wildlife.
Visitors can also enjoy a scenic boat trip along the lake.
The most famous lagoon in the city is the "Lagoa
Rodrigo de Freitas," also known as the "heart of Rio de Janeiro." This
placid lake is a great place to enjoy the views of the city, as well to
exercise and practice all kinds of aquatic and land sports. From rowing,
to biking, trekking, jogging or practicing yoga and sun bathing, the
path surrounding the lagoon offers many options to relax and work out,
enjoying the usually fresh and bright days in Rio.
As a precious reminder of the rich history,
culture, and evolution of Rio de Janeiro, a number of military forts
enrich the shores and the skyline of the city, as well as dozens of
churches and monuments scattered throughout dozens of districts.
The iconic and truly unique Cathedral de São
Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro is a very modern and breathtaking building
home to the faith of the Carioca people and the thousands of visitors
who find in its magical design, the secret rewards of art and sunlight.
Famous for its conical shape and the painted glass art in its windows
which go from the floor to the ceiling forming a cross, this gem of the
architecture is located in the financial center of the city, where it
opened its doors to the world in the 70's. With standing room for 20,000
people, it can be easily coined as one of the largest temples in South
Not far, between the beaches of Copacabana and
Arpoador stands the Copacabana Fort, bravely facing the Atlantic Ocean.
Built in 1914, this armed bunker guarded Rio's shores until deactivated
for coastal defense in 1987, but visitors can still admire the strength
of its walls and the Krupp cannons that defended it. Nowadays it is used
as the Museum of Army History and it gives visitors beautiful sightings
of the beaches and the whole bay, as its location was strategically
picked to oversee the area with 360° vision.
The beautiful and historically significant "Parque
Lage" on the outskirts of the district of Jardim Botânico is a key
historical landmark from the time of Brazilian colonization, and home to
a beautiful garden. The palace on sight exhibits the sophisticated
beauty of early 19th century architecture, side by side with
contemporary art from the "Escola de Artes Visuais", the School of
Rio de Janeiro has been acclaimed over the past
decades for its contribution to the artistic world. This is partly
due to government investment in galleries and exhibitions across the
city. The "Museu de Arte do Rio," or Rio Art Museum, was inaugurated
in 2013, and hosts delightful exhibitions and events throughout the
year. The "Museu de Arte Moderna," or Museum of Modern Art, as well
as the "Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil," or Bank of Brazil Cultural
Center, also schedule internationally recognized exhibitions
throughout the year.
Another aspect of Rio's cultural repertoire is its
theatre, and the widespread appreciation of performing arts. The "Teatro
Municipal," or Municipal Theatre', is one of the most striking buildings
in the city. Built in the baroque style in 1909, it primarily exhibits
classical concerts, operas and ballets, as well as some musical theatre.
Rio's nightlife is wholly unique and accepting -
welcoming into its fold people of all tastes, backgrounds and
orientations. It is filled with passion for life, happiness, vibrant
music, a spectrum of colors, and glitter.
Renowned for the white arcs that mark the entrance to
Rio's bohemian district, and home to the brightly tiled steps that
ascend to the neighborhood of Santa Teresa, Lapa is like no other place
in the world. Colorful stalls selling cocktails, beers and street food
pepper the walkways, while the roads are lined with bars projecting
vibrant, traditional music, such as Samba, Forró and Funk.
Stylish and sophisticated establishments can be found
in the districts of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, while bars and
squares pepper every neighborhood, abuzz with the happy music and
chatter of Rio's residents.
As the affordable lodging industry has expanded in
Rio, owners have worked tirelessly to make their establishments as
charming and unique as possible. They tend to create an exciting
ambience, enhanced by the communality of shared bars, living rooms
There are also a significant number of luxury
accommodations available in the city. Some of the plushest hotels can be
found in the fashionable districts of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon,
providing guests with gourmet cuisine, swimming pools, bars, saunas and
The landmark Copacabana Palace is at the top of South
America's list of 5-star hotels, and it is definitely a must-see in Rio
de Janeiro. It opened its doors to tourists from all over the world in
1923, and since then it has lodged some of the wealthiest and most
famous visitors in the Carioca capital, such as Marilyn Monroe, Lady
Diana and Luciano Pavarotti, to name a few.
For those visiting Rio on business, there are many
stylish hotels in the emerging commercial and modern district of the
city, Barra de Tijuca. There are also agreeable and inexpensive hotel
options dotted around the centre of the city, and the districts that
surround it, such as Catete, Flamengo, and Lapa.
Another pleasant option is apartment rental. With the
arrival of several highly successful on-line enterprise, there has been
an unprecedented surge in this kind of holidaying. Travelers are able to
select their home away from home by renting out fully decorated and cozy
rooms in apartments and houses.
Public transport round Rio de Janeiro makes any
part of the city easily accessible. An authentic visit to Rio would
not be complete without taking a ride on one of the fast-riding
buses. Alternatively, the metro is quick and reliable and attends
the most popular tourist districts in the city.
Renting a bike can be a very pleasant option,
particularly on a sunny day. There are excellent bike paths all along
the main stretches of beach in Leblon, Ipanema, Copacabana, Leme,
Botafogo and Flamengo. Similarly, the paths that surround the Rodrigo de
Freitas Lagoon, are ideal for a delightful and picturesque bicycle ride.
Whether it's a quick, traffic-free ride across the
city, or a sightseeing excursion that's in store, conventional taxis and
moto-taxi rides are some of the most efficient and exhilarating ways to
get around the city.
Yachts and helicopters also offer exciting ways to
experience Rio's emerald waters and scenic islands and get beautiful and
unique panoramic views of the cityscape. Rio boasts one of the most
breath-taking and unique topographies of any city in the world –
mountains, beaches, forests and high-rise buildings meld into one
another in a mesmerizing fashion, offering visitors breathtaking views
from just about any angle, and never better than from above.