Are You Ready for Brazil?

Long Weekend in Rio de Janeiro

5 Days / 4 Nights

A long weekend in Rio de Janeiro is all it takes to fall in love with the Marvellous City. One day you can be at home, the next day you can set foot on the sands of Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches. Dip your toes in the Atlantic waves; gaze at the green mountains and granite peaks behind. Waste no time in riding the cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, and admire the views of Rio from the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of Corcovado Mountain.

A long weekend in Rio de Janeiro is all it takes to fall in love with the Marvellous City. One day you can be at home, the next day you can set foot on the sands of Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches. Dip your toes in the Atlantic waves; gaze at the green mountains and granite peaks behind. Waste no time in riding the cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, and admire the views of Rio from the statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of Corcovado Mountain. Spend your nights dancing to bands playing samba and bossa nova, and  your mornings replenishing with fresh tropical fruits. Get to know the cariocas, the people of the most exotic city in the world. Leave a little of your heart behind after a quick break in Rio de Janeiro with Brazil Adventure Tours.

See you in Rio!

Combines With: Iguazu Falls; Buenos Aires; Buzios; Paraty & Ilha Grande; Sao Paulo; Amazon; Pantanal & Bonito; Salvador, Lençois & Praia do Forte; just about anywhere in South America.

Best Time to Visit: Rio de Janeiro is a tropical city, of course, so you can visit any time of year and be almost guaranteed tropical weather. December to February are the hottest, most humid and busiest months, but also with more rainfall. June, July and August are slightly cooler generally, although the days can often be the best of the whole year.


  • Destinations: Rio de Janeiro
  • Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
  • Trip Style: Traditional
  • Activities: Ecotourism - Beaches

Brazil Adventure Tours provide you with ideas for tours of Brazil and South America, with all being completely flexible with regards to dates, duration or the tours, activities and classes that we can include. Our website tours are our recommendations based on our experience of how to make the very best of your time in South America. We can adjust these details in any way that you wish, with a little advice from us of course. We can combine any of our destinations that you wish to visit into one tour, and for however long you wish to visit them. Any of our Traditional and Adventure tours can also be combined in whichever way you prefer. We are here to organise a tour that suits you after all, not the other way around!

Day 1 : Arrive in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
After being welcomed on arrival in Rio de Janeiro, your Brazil Adventure Tours guide describes the Marvellous City during the journey to your hotel close to Ipanema or Copacabana Beaches. You pass along the edge of Guanabara Bay, with first glimpses of the city, the statue of Christ The Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain. After a little orientation of the city and the area around your hotel, the rest of the day is then free to explore Rio and perhaps enjoy your first coconut water or a caipirinha cocktail at sunset from Arpoador, the headland between the two main beaches. Evening brings the chance to enjoy Brazilian cuisine for the first time.
Day 2 : Rio & Christ the Redeemer
Rio de Janeiro
Your first tour of Rio takes you to the top of Corcovado, the steep 710m high mountain topped by the 31m statue of Christ The Redeemer. The views from the base across the city, beaches, mountains, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Guanabara Bay and the Atlantic Ocean are as spectacular as city views can be. You then drop through Santa Teresa and the Selaron Staircase to see the historic side of Rio, the Municipal Theatre and the grand buildings that date from the 19th Century and earlier. The modern Metropolitan Cathedral and the antique Arches of Lapa are two more of Rio\'s postcard sights. The afternoon and evening are free to relax.
Day 3 : Cable Cars and Sugar Loaf Views
Rio de Janeiro
Morning brings a journey around the lagoon to the Botanical Gardens in the shadow of Christ the Redeemer. The gardens contain an array of tropical species, with palms, orchids and the pau brasil tree that gave its name to the country watched over by monkeys and toucans. You then travel to Sugar Loaf Mountain to ride the cable cars to the 396m summit. The views take in Copacabana Beach, the mountains behind the statue and those surrounding Rio on a clear day. Afternoon and evening are free with a typical Brazilian churrascaria barbeque being one option, while weekend evenings can bring a trip to the samba clubs of Lapa.
Day 4 : Beaches, Lagoons and More...
Rio de Janeiro
Your day in Rio can be spent relaxing on Copacabana or Ipanema Beach or walking around the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. If you prefer to fill your days there are many other ideas around Rio that might appeal. You can take boat trips out on the ocean or around the bay; museum tours can include the Imperial & National Museums, Samba City, the Carmen Miranda or the Diamond Museums. You can cross the bay to MAC, with impressive views back to Rio. A day at the wild beaches at the edge of the city, Prainha & Grumari, is another possibility. Adventurous activities such as hiking, tandem hang-gliding and kayaking can also be included.
Day 5 : Flying Away from Rio
Rio de Janeiro & Away
With your flight home likely to be overnight, you have the day to relax, enjoy lunch and spend some final time on the beaches. Souvenirs and presents can be found too, with colourful cangas (sarongs), flip-flops and arts and crafts available, especially at the Ipanema Hippie Market on a Sunday. You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in good time to arrive for international check-in for your flight home from Rio de Janeiro. Here\\\\\\\'s hoping that your few days in the world\\\\\\\'s most exotic city will leave you with a love of Brazil and a desire to return and explore more of the country with Brazil Adventure Tours.
PRICES Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Per Adult * US$ 725 US$ 850 US$ 975 US$ 1,975
Domestic Flights ** N/A


Suggested Hotels Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Rio de Janeiro On Request Atlantis Copacabana Ipanema Plaza Hotel Copacabana Palace

 

* Prices vary depending on travel dates and flight availability. Peak periods in Brazil including Carnaval, public holidays and Christmas/New Year usually require a minimum number of nights, so in these cases itineraries may need to be changes. ** Domestic flight prices are estimated on typical values when reserved 6 months before travel. Prices can never be guaranteed until reservations are made though, and do usually become more expensive closer to the travel period.

Do I require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil and other countries visited during this tour?

Citizens of many countries require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil, organised in advance at your nearest Brazil Consulate.
Please check details for visa requirements for your country on our Brazil Tourist Visa page.
Also, for details of your nearest Brazil Consulate in case you do require a Tourist Visa, please visit our Brazil Consulates page.

Do I need any special vaccinations for the areas visited during this tour?

Visitors to Brazil and South America are advised to always check the latest health information from your local doctors or travel clinic.
You may be advised to take a course of Malaria tablets. Yellow Fever Vaccine is highly recommended/essential for the Pantanal & Amazon region, plus the certificate to prove it, and possibly Hepatitis A and B Vaccines.
Please check our Brazil Vaccinations for further information.

What is the best time of year for this tour?

All Year Round

Tandem Hang-Gliding Flight - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 3 Hours incl Instructions/Transfers
If there is one adventurous activity that we recommend you try in Rio, then tandem hang-gliding should be top of your list. Flights take off from the ramp on the top of Pedra Bonita in the Tijuca Forest National Park, with expert and very experienced instructors. For 10-15 minutes, gliders circle the skies above the Sao Conrado district and out over the Atlantic Ocean, before landing on the sands of Praia do Pepino. Instruction on take-off and landing is given, as well as safety talks. Our instructors are the best in Rio, the national and continental champions, and they make sure that your tandem hang-gliding experience will be a special memory of Rio.
Christ the Redeemer Statue - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: During Half or Full Day Tours
The iconic sight of Rio de Janeiro is the statue of Christ the Redeemer looking down on the city from the top of the steep Corcovado Mountain. This spectacular location is 710m high and visit to the 31m art-deco statue of course makes part of a stay in Rio for most first-time visitors to the city. ‘Cristo’ can be seen from many parts of Rio, near and far, even when lit up at night, meaning that the views from the base of the statue are as spectacular as any city view in the world, taking in the city, the lagoon, Guanabara Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, plus beaches and mountains galore. Spread those arms, take that photo and tick off Cristo!
Sugar Loaf Mountain Cable-Car Ride - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: During Half or Full Day Tours
Sugar Loaf Mountain is the 396m tall block of granite and quartz that guards the western entrance of Guanabara Bay, the natural harbour on which Rio de Janeiro was founded. The cable car was only the third ever to be built when inaugurated in 1912 by Brazilian engineer Augusto Ferreira Ramos. There are actually two cables, the first from beside Praia Vermelha to the middle station on the top of Urca Rock, and the second strung between there and the summit of Sugar Loaf itself. A trip to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain is an essential part of a first visit to Rio, with views matching those from Cristo, which can be seen silhouetted against the sky.
Copacabana & Ipanema Beaches - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: As Long As You Like!
Possibly the two most famous stretches of sand in the world in the world are in Rio. Copacabana is a beautiful 4km curve of sand, with plenty of hotels in the 3 or 4 blocks between the beach and the mountains. Ipanema is a 3km strip of mainly residential buildings. They are only 500m apart and as we recommend that our visitors to Rio stay within walking distance of one of them, these beaches will make part of every visit. With swimming, surfing, lounging, beach activities, plus world-class people-watching, we always leave time for people to enjoy themselves on Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches.
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Free
In any other city, a huge lagoon backed by mountains would be far more famous, but the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon has much competition in Rio. an 8km path around the perimeter for walking, running and cycling means that the area always has visitors. Pedal swans and stand-up paddle boards can also be taken out on the water, under the gaze of ‘Cristo’. Bars and restaurants in the Ipanema corner make the lagoon a pleasant place to spend the evening too, with lights twinkling all around - especially when the famous electronic Christmas tree is in that part of the lagoon! You may also encounter the resident capybara that returned to the area recently.
Prainha & Grumari Beaches - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: All Day
Our favourite little escape from Rio. These two stunning beaches on the western edge of Rio are the best choice to spend a few hours away from the urban jungle. Backed by mountains covered with Atlantic Rainforest, pounded with surf, this wonderful natural setting is more Costa Verde than city, augmented by regular visits from local wildlife. Both beaches have an excellent open-air restaurant each overlooking the waves. From these we have spotted eagle rays, sea turtles and even a collared anteater swimming in the waves! Seafood lunch with a view is an unbeatable way to pass the middle of the day on the beaches of Prainha and Grumari.
Rocinha Favela Tour - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 3 Hours
The favelas of Rio are notorious worldwide with regular appearances in films, music videos and of course on the news. Rio has over 500 separate communities classed as favelas, which are basically illegal housing built on previously empty land, often on the precarious slopes of Rio’s mountains. Most people who live there lead ordinary working lives, and the communities work, rest and play the same as any other. Some overlook the main beaches of Rio and have stunning ocean views. A visit to a favela such as Rocinha, the largest of the favelas on these slopes, allows you a fascinating glimpse of community life in the ultimate urban jungle.
Tijuca Peak Hike - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half Day
The highest of all the mountains in Rio is Tijuca Peak at 1,021m, and a half day hike to the top takes you from the upper car park inside the park gates to the summit. The 3km trail is comfortable for anyone with hiking experience, usually 1-2 hours up and an hour back down at the most. The trail is under lush Atlantic Rainforest, winding up around the rock until it clears for the final part. Steps cut into the rock, with a not completely trustworthy chain, take you to the top, where you can enjoy views looking over the city and Maracana Stadium or the Imperador Rock looking back at you. Tijuca Peak works well with a visit to the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
Pedra da Gavea Hike & Climb - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Full Day
Rio has many peaks making part of the range of mountains that separate the city into North and South Zones. This is all part of the Tijuca Forest National Park. Pedra da Gavea is the most distinctive of them, the flat-topped rock named for the topsail on a sailing ship. This hike and climb is a full day for novice climbers, with some scrambling up through the Atlantic Rainforest section, then a little rock climbing before the final summit. Experienced climbers can try the vertical routes on the Imperador rock-face. The views from the top of the world’s largest coastal monolith are staggering, possibly the best in Rio, with a drop almost directly down into the sea.
Sugar Loaf Mountain Climb - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 5 Hours
What better way to appreciate the views from the top of one of the world’s greatest viewpoints than having arrived there under your own steam? The hike and climb to the 396m summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain can be done by beginners in good shape. The trail from Praia Vermelha takes you around Urca Rock then up the granite shoulders of Sugar Loaf. A short rock section needs climbing before you arrive at the summit. The vertical faces of Sugar Loaf have serious routes for experienced climbers, arriving at the top just in time to spoil many a tourist photo of Rio! Climbing Sugar Loaf is undoubtedly the most satisfying way to the top.
Sugar Loaf Mountain Hike - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 3 Hours
There is a middle way for Sugar Loaf as well, and a very pleasant route it is for those who appreciate a little hiking. The path around the back of Urca takes you alongside the ocean, with the sounds of the waves breaking below, and birds and monkeys for company, possibly with sea-turtles and rays exploring the coastline as well. The path then climbs up through the Atlantic Rainforest on a trail to the saddle between Urca and Sugar Loaf Mountains. From there, you climb the final part to the middle station at the top of Urca, continuing up to Sugar Loaf by the cable car. The return can be done the same way or by the cable car directly to Praia Vermelha.
Rio City & Santa Teresa Tour - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half Day
This tour, visiting the city centre and the hillside Santa Teresa district is usually combined with one of the major Rio sights, Christ the Redeemer or Sugar Loaf Mountain. The views over central Rio from the Santa Teresa hills are fabulous, including from the Parque das Ruinas. After dropping down to Lapa, the Selaron Staircase is full of colourful tiles from around the world, placed by Chilean artist Jorge Selaron. The Lapa Arches take the pretty little yellow tram down to the city, passing the Metropolitan Cathedral and its impressive stained-glass windows. The historic buildings of Rio and the Municipal Theatre are also worth a look.
Dois Irmaos/Two Brothers Hike - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half Day
The action begins with the hike up through the Vidigal favela to the top of Dois Irmaos, the Two Brothers peak overlooking Ipanema Beach. The first part is the drive up the winding roads through the hillside community to the trailhead. An hour of hiking through the forest brings you out directly above the Rocinha Favela, with spectacular views of there and Sao Conrado Beach. You continue the forest path to the summit, where you can enjoy the expansive views of Leblon, Ipanema, the lagoon and far more. The journey back down to sea level can include a wander through the streets of the favela for a fascinating look at life inside the ultimate urban jungle.
Rio Boat Tour - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half or Full Day
There are many spectacular views of Rio, but one of the best angles is undoubtedly from a boat in Guanabara Bay or during the trip to the Cagarras Islands just offshore. There are many possible routes, ranging from the quick trip from Marina da Gloria out around the bay, with views of Rio and across to neighbouring city Niteroi, to trips (on days of calm sea!) out to the offshore islands, or further along the coast past Niteroi to land on one of the beaches and have lunch. Boat trips can be done privately by motor or sail, and also as part of a larger group by schooner.