Rio de Janeiro
Recommended stay: at least 4 days/3 nights
Rio is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Gracefully nestled between the mountains and the sea, it combines relaxed urban life with virgin forest and the beach. World-famous, the two beaches of the city, Copacabana and Ipanema, as well as the 395 meters high Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açúcar) overlooking the beach of Copacabana and the “mountain” Rios, Corcovado 709 meters with the statue of Jesus (“Cristo Redentor” / Christ the Redeemer). Of the two you have an indescribable view of the dream city and its illustrious beaches. On the Corcovado there is a cogwheel train that takes you to the foot of the 38 meter high statue. The trip leads through the rainforest of the Atlantic jungle. You can climb Sugar Loaf by cable car from Praia Vermelha. From its 395 meters high, you can see the picturesque Guanabara Bay with the Botafogo and Flamengo neighborhoods. To the west, the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon are to be seen and the Pedra da Gavea in the background. To the north, you can see the Rio Niterói bridge, the connection to the sun coast.
Rio impresses with its savoir-vivre. the old and the new blending into a joyful atmosphere that welcomes you with open arms and immediately captures your heart. The city that never sleeps and where there is 24/24 music, dancing, culture, good food and good entertainment. And if the agitation is too great, around the big city, beaches with a total length of 90 kilometers extend, which invite relaxation and bath.
If you wish, just book a guide with a car at your disposal! This allows you to fully customize the program according to your own requirements and does not depend on a group and its schedule. Our Rio expert will support you and will be happy to provide advice and information on current events, shows, restaurants and other highlights. Certainly, he or she has some insider tips that only the locals know … Minimum duration: four hours, also for a private evening program. An excellent option, especially for individual travelers and solo!
Copacabana, the little princess
Along the Avenida Atlântica the most famous beach in the world, Copacabana, stretches for four kilometers. Strolling along the promenade of the black and white beach to mingle easily with the friendly and cheerful “Cariocas”, the inhabitants of Rio. Enjoy the sun and sea and the views of the beautiful people in an ultra-tight swimsuit, indulge in a bit of shade with a fresh coconut at one of the many little beach bars and indulge yourself with a lunch by the sea.
Sun, beach and shopping
Ipanema, famous for the songs of Tom Jobim and Vinícius de Moraes, is among the most beautiful beach areas of Rio. They extend from the beach of Arpoador to the lagoon of Rodrigo de Freitas. If you are tired of beach life, enjoy the exquisite surroundings or a neat window shopping: the famous fashion boutiques are located at the Visconde de Pirajá Street.
Sunset in Leblon
Ipanema ends where Leblon begins. Together, these two beaches are 3.5 kilometers long. Along the beach, there is a beach promenade with popular bikes and a jogging trail. Small bars line the road and there is lively activity all day. In Leblon, the rocks called Dois Irmãos form the perfect setting for a magical sunset.
Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas
It was the Atlantic Ocean that formed this lagoon. Now it offers a very romantic setting for the pretty herons who live here. In the background are the Corcovado, the forest of Tijuca and the hills of Dois Irmãos. The lagoon of almost 8 kilometers wide is ideal for various water sports. The sculptures are displayed in the adjacent park. Some of the best restaurants in Rio are located around the lake, along the avenue Epitácio Pessoa. And there is a large amusement park, where the weekend is really busy.
The beach of Barra da Tijuca, 18 km long, is the longest beach in Rio. Its waves of greenish water, a little colder, are well suited to waves. As the sea commanded a little more cautiously in this part of the Atlantic coast, the beach is equipped with monitoring stations which constantly indicate the degree of danger. For the red flag, you should rather leave the dive. Stroll to the beach promenade with its many pubs! Paradise stretches along the coast towards Recreio dos Bandeirantes, Prainha and Grumari, where the sea is a little quieter. In the surrounding restaurants, a large selection of seafood is offered.
A garden in honor of the prince
The Botanical Garden was established in 1808, opened with the arrival of Dom João VI, the Prince of Portugal and is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is located next to the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon and 230,000 plants and about 6500 different species that are distributed over more than 137 hectares. Lined with elegant royal palms (some of which are as old as the garden itself), this place is perfect for a relaxing stroll. In addition to the greenhouses, the orchid area and the rose gardens, there is also a house of bromeliads, a pond of water lilies and a greenhouse with carnivorous plants.
The royal greenery
Quinta da Boa Vista is the name of another natural oasis – with great historical importance: It was once the garden of the São Cristóvão Palace, where the 19th century residence of the Emperor of Brazil was located. Today the park in the neighborhood of São Cristóvão in the north of the city is open to all and offers gardens, lawns, lakes and sports facilities and playgrounds. Among the main attractions is the zoo with its 2,500 species of animals. The national museum, founded in the imperial era, is also located in the park.
The city of Rio de Janeiro, founded in 1565, has a remarkably good memory. For 197 years, it was the capital of Brazil, and many traces of the past are still in the center. A typical visit brings visitors to the arcades of Lapa, the ancient aqueduct of 1723. Another must-see is the Imperial Palace, where the Declaration of Independence of Brazil and the charming art museum next door were signed.
Get off at Cinelândia metro station, where the Avenida Rio Branco starts – nearly 30 meters wide and 1800 meters long north-south axis in the heart of the city center. Enjoy views of the National Library, the Art Museum and the end of the century architecture of the city theater. Then walk down the avenue Rio Branco towards the city center. Here you will find yourself in a dense crowd of banks, offices and shops. If you are hungry, look for the Confeitaria Colombo, one of the most established restaurants in Rio (32 Dias Gonçalves Street).
Museu de Arte Contemporânea Niterói
The last building was completed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer and is a jewel of modern architecture. A bit like a spaceship that seems boldly posed on a cornice in Rio Bay, or as an abstract flower cup sitting gracefully on its stylish elegant concrete blossoms. From the museum you have a breathtaking view of the beaches of the area, the bay of Guanabara and the silhouette of Rio. One could almost forget that there is still contemporary art to see!
Football Stadium Maracanã
The world’s largest football stadium (200,000 spectators) was established in the São Cristóvão district in 1950. The most talented football players from around the world, football king Pele (Edson Arantes do Nascimento of his real name ) scored his thousandth goal. For the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, the stadium has been converted for more than 300 million euros. With the installation of new press stands and lodges, “only” 74,738 spectators now find themselves there. The stadium can be visited on working days. But the biggest experience is, of course, to see a live game in the country of the greatest football enthusiasm! With a bit of luck, precisely one of the four largest clubs of Rio Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense and Botafogo.
Race enthusiasts should not miss to visit the racecourse of Gavea where every first Sunday takes place in August, the Grand Prix of Brazil. A stroll after the race in the streets of Gavea, a chic neighborhood that has become, with its many bars of the favorite residence of artists and intellectuals.
Who thinks of Brazil, Rio, at the carnival, thinks: Samba! The style was created under the influence of African rhythms brought by the slaves of Angola. You will hear the purest form when you attend a performance in a Samba School. Among the numerous prizes are: Mangueira, Salgueiro, Império Serrano, Mocidade Independente, Portela and Beija Flor. If you want to see some very good Brazilian dancers, go to Gafieira Estudantina. In the room, you can discover exceptional dancers with live sounds of tango, bolero and samba.
Corcovado half-day excursion with tropical forest (09h00-13h00 or 13h00-17h00)
Visit one of the most famous landmarks in the world! There is a stunning view of Rio de Janeiro and its coves and beaches. Our tour leads to the resort “Cosme Velho” at the foot of the Corcovado. The cog railway takes us up to 710 meters, located 3.5 km from the statue of Christ. We cross the biggest urban rainforest of the world, the Tijuca- We are in the heart of Rio and, coming from the north, fresh air and magnificent views can be enjoyed about 25 minutes by car through this national park until to the 38-meter high statue of Christ. Here Rio is at your feet. The view is amazing! Our visit continues through the 2.1 km of the “Rebouças” tunnel, beyond the lagoon, “Rodrigo de Freitas” and along the famous beaches of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana before returning to the hotel. It is also possible to make a day trip in combination with the Sugar Loaf!
Historical and cultural visit of the city with the Sugar Loaf (09h00-13h00 or 13h00-17h00)
You will visit the most famous sites of the city: the historic colonial center and the Sugar Loaf. Start the visit to the hotel, from there you will cross the Botafogo district and the Flamengo Park. Continue towards the center of Avenida Presidente Vargas, which borders hypermodern commercial buildings. We also pass the Cathedral of Candelaria. Photo stop at “Sambódromo”, where samba schools show their parade during the carnival. For the spectator a world-class show but for the local participants a strictly disciplined matter is taken very seriously. On the way back via Avenida Rio Branco, we see the municipal theater, a copy of the Paris Opera, built in 1909. From there, take the Cinelandia square after the famous Arcos da Lapa, an aqueduct in colonial times. Continue towards the famous modern cathedral “Sao Sebastiao” and towards the Sugar Loaf in the district of Urca. A cable car takes us to the Sugar Loaf. The route is divided into two sectors. The first journey takes you to Urca Hill, 220 meters above sea level. After a first sight around and a short walk, you take the second cable car towards the summit, 396 meters above sea level. the sea. There you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city. Also possible as a day trip in combination with Corcovado
Full tour of Corcovado and Sugar Loaf including lunch (09.00-17.00)
A combination of half-day Corcovado and half-day Sugar Loaf.
Half-day excursion Botanical Garden (09:00 to 13:00 or 13:00 to 17:00)
In the afternoon, visit one of the most important botanical gardens in the world. The unique biotope in the middle of the city center is a valuable ecological conservation area and offers visitors a pleasant rest. Walk along the main avenue along which 128 royal palm trees, over 100 years old, will amaze you, as well as in front of the pond of lilies, the giant water lily of Amazonia and listen to the native birds, including including Curios or Sabias.
Jeep through the forest of Tijuca (09h00-13h00 or 13h00-17h00)
You will be picked up at your hotel by jeep and visit the largest urban forest in the world. Stop at the Belvedere with a unique view of the two famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, Guanabara Bay and Sugar Loaf. In the rainforest, you will then visit a beautiful waterfall and take a refreshing bath if you wish. Then continue on a comfortable trail on foot. During the visit, you can almost always see tropical animals such as monkeys, faults and exotic birds. On the way back to the hotel, you will stop at Pepino beach to watch the landing of the delta wings.
Jeep Tour Corcovado and rainforest (09h00-13h00 or 13h00-17h00)
You will be picked up at your hotel by jeep and cross the forest of Tijuca, the largest urban rainforest in the world! – Corcovado, the “house of Rio”, with the famous statue of Christ on top. From here, you have a breathtaking view of the city and its fantastic beaches. On the way back, you will have the opportunity to stroll in the rainforest, with the chance to observe exotic animals such as monkeys, faults and birds nicely colored, and to cool off to a beautiful waterfall. Return by jeep to the hotel.
Petrópolis full-day excursion including lunch (09.00-17.00)
The former summer residence of the Brazilian imperial family is only 65 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro inland. Emperor Pedro II, the second emperor of Brazil, built the palace in the 1840s. Even the trip from Rio to Petrópolis is sensational: through lush subtropical vegetation, the road winds upwards in the hinterland pleasantly fresh from the metropolis. The city itself is very idyllic and calm, and very neat with its streets paved with flowers, nostalgic carriages and magnificent colonial houses. Do not be surprised if you feel a little moved to Europe – much of the city was built by German immigrants … Get to know this charming city on a day trip! You can see, among other things, the Cathedral São Pedro de Alcântara (1884), which required no less than 55 years. You will visit the Palais de Cristal (1879), a glass building with an iron frame, where garden parties, art exhibitions and festive banquets are held today. In the palace, which now serves as the Emperor’s museum, you can admire magnificent crown jewels, antique furniture, paintings, carpets and imperial clothing. For a refreshing drink during the visit, you can enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast.
Rio by Night – Churrascaria and music show (5 hrs)
Fantastic dinner in one of Rio’s best grill restaurants. Then the performance of various styles of music and Brazilian dance. Enjoy a show of fire with the most beautiful dancers and dancers of Rio! Depart from the hotel for a churrascaria (Grill) where you can discover 25 different varieties of grilled meats, for which Brazil is world-famous. Vegetarians and fish lovers will also be happy with their choice of salads, cold plates, fish and seafood. Then we drive from the restaurant to a Samba-Event. There will be an impressive and colorful music and dance show featuring samba, Afro-Brazilian dances and elaborate carnival costumes. Return to the hotel.
Lapa by Night Tour (22.30-02.00)
Today, we visit the historical district of Lapa in the center of Rio, away from major tourist flows. Lapa has become an authentic jewel after years. Here the inhabitants, the Cariocas, come out. The music is played in every corner, there are lots of pubs, the atmosphere is relaxed – ideal for young and old alike. You will be picked up at the hotel at 22:00. We go to Lapa and dine in a simple and authentic restaurant. Then we walk through the narrow streets, we show you the hot spots of the scene. The tour ends officially at 2 o’clock, accompanied transfer to your hotel. Night owls can, of course, stay longer, but return transportation is no longer included. Attention: Do not take the bus at this time, but take a taxi instead!
No doubt: The Rio Carnival is the most famous in the world. There is probably no other cultural event that regularly astounds the world. The relocation of the well-known large schools of Samba takes place on Sunday and Monday; it starts at 10 pm and does not stop until dawn. Six groups, who qualified for these places the previous year, come by night. The audience is frantic and inspires “his” Samba school with their own official song.
Fortunately, the old historic carnival of Rio has also been revived in recent years. The “blocos” (groups) draw, mask and sing in the streets, attracting tens of thousands of people.
The most extravagant way to celebrate the Carnival in Rio is to participate in the exclusive ball at the Copacabana Palace. Details on request.