Insider's Guide to Rio de Janeiro

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Rio de Janeiro ATTRACTIONS See all

Tijuca National Park

A lush Atlantic rainforest, Tijuca National Park is an absolute wonder it is the world’s largest urban forest which covers 12.4mi² (32km²) and was a result of incredible forward thinking by Emperor Dom Pedro II. In 1861 he saw the deforestation ... 

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Barbara B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

Great fun! The Tijuca forest is an amazing place with some wonderful views and scenes. We saw several wild animals in the dense jungle and our guide was terrific.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Elizabeth L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

A great experience! Renata knows a lot about the history of Rio and its surroundings. the forest is gorgeous and full of surprises. It is a fun and fantastic tour. We learned a lot about the Tijuca Forest. The views are majestic.

Doing what: Private Tour: Tijuca National Park Photography Tour

jroths

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

Stunning Rain Forrest not all that far from downtown Rio. Our guide, Jane, was delightful and knowledgeable about forest, and all else about Rio. Her English, learning during a year in Miami, was great. We couldn't have asked for a better companion for this tour. Beside the wonderful scenery, the waterfalls, etc., we also came upon a family of coatis. This was fun to see.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

bobphillips65 Australia

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2016

A very pleasant trip out of Rio ,excellent guide and good company, the short walk in the forest most enjoyable

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Elle K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2015

Really cool trip! Plenty of time spent at each place, and each place is absolutely beautiful, the tour guide was great and spoke at least 4 languages! Wear decent shoes as i wore flip flops like a wolly and got bitten by a giant ant! Highly recommend not the ant thing

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Barry M

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2015

This was a very enjoyable tour of the Tijuca forest...just a short drive out of Rio de Janeiro. Our guide, Carlos was warm and friendly and gave interesting commentary on the local flora and fauna. Unfortunately, we had rain and fog which interfered with seeing some of the overlooks, but that isn't a bad reflection on the tour. One can't control the weather.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Marvin/Sue

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

If you like to hike and would like some exercise during your vacation in Brazil then this is the hike for you, the highest peak in Rio :- i still can't believe i made it to the top. The pacing is steady but if you need to stop all you have to do is say so, to avoid light headedness and muscle cramps. Our tour guide, Raul was very knowledgeable and gives you information about the place. He loves to travel and could recommend other places to see. My husband and I felt so accomplished when we reached the top and it became somewhat of a private tour since it was just the two of us who booked for that day so it was an awesome experience. I am not an avid hiker so for me this hike is moderate/hard haha! :- bring plenty of water, bananas/energy bars, and your proper hiking shoes.

Doing what: Tijuca Rainforest Hiking Tour in Rio de Janeiro

Susan M

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2015

Good trip, however it does take a long time to get to the forest due to the traffic congestion.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Lena R

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2015

Our tour guide, I think his name was Ian, was very good. He gave us good information about the rain forest. On our way back to Rio he took us to a spot where they served superior Acai gelato. Which we really enjoyed. The open jeep ride was fun, but it would not hurt if the jeep was more modern with seat belts that were functioning properly.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Lennard B

3 star rating: Worth doing
November 2015

Die Tour war ok. Der Reiseleiter war wirklich sehr bemüht und organisiert. Allerdings haben wir die Tour mit einer deutschen Reiseleitung gebucht, der Guide konnte jedoch nur Englisch. Es war für uns kein Problem, trotzdem haben wir genau genommen für eine Tour mit deutscher Reiseleitung gezahlt, einen Service, den wir nicht erhalten haben.
Generell sind alle Touren, die man hier buchen kann, vor Ort viel günstiger zu buchen.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Dusan V

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2015

First of all, we even didnt go to the Tijuca Rainforest.

I could have gone to the Botanical Garden by myself, is very central and the guide, even thought helpful, told us things about the trees, fruits, but nothing worth paying for this.

Doing what: Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden and Tijuca Rainforest Eco-Tour

Angela D

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2015

The Tijuca Rain Forest is beautiful and I've been on wonderful excursions booked through Viator previously, but I was disappointed by how this panned out:

First off, Viator is a 3rd party seller. They don't operate their excursions, but this is an excellent way to be connected to local tour companies. Their local tour operator is also a 3rd party seller. In this event, Viator sold their local tour operator sold the jeep tour. Too many hands in the pot, and the confirmation from Viator stated we had an 8am start time and provided a number for their local tour operator. I called the number 5 or 6 times and never got through to confirm my pickup. We woke up and were ready by 7:15, and flagged down one of their buses, which took us to another hotel. They told us our pickup was at 9:10am. We weren't picked up until after 10am.

So there was a huge hassle in booking due to the multiple sellers.

But was the tour good?

No. And it's a shame, b/c it could have been. There was a driver and a guide, and the driver elected to speed through the entire tour, condensing an advertised 4 hours into 2 hours. He didn't slow for photos when things were pointed out, and we couldn't get a good look. The guide's English fluency was around 60 and knowledge only around 30. At one point he joked it was his first time running this tour and I thought Ahh, that makes sense and he was like Seriously, I've been doing this a year? As examples: He told us one tree was an Iron Tree, like Iron Man, because it's hard which doesn't sound very legit, and that's all he said and at one point, while in the city, pointed at a school and said That's a typical school without any supplemental info about Brazilian/Rio schools.

I definitely think a jeep tour of the Tijuca Rain Forest is worthwhile. I saw other companies that arrived earlier/departed long after, that may have been better. A friend did a jeep tour and said her guide was a botany expert. I'd advise researching and booking locally or through hotel concierge.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Leona M

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
November 2015

If you've seen a rainforest before then don't bother going on this tour. It was boring. The waterfalls were very small and I didn't see any animals. This tour is not worth the money, over 100 for 4 hours. I couldn't hear the guide most of the time. I wish I hadn't of wasted my money on this tour.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Jim P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

Pauola our guide was fantastic. She was at our hotel on time. She was very engaging throughout the entire trip. She is very knowlegeable about the park and its history. She was great at explaining things to us along the hike and very attentive to our needs. She was extremely personable. The hike can be a bit taxing at points, but Paola was such fun it made the hike even better. Be prepared to bring water, snacks for energy, and a light backpack to keep it in. Depending on the weather it can get pretty hot and humid, but it is worth it. We were fortunate enough to stumble across some of the local animals that live in the forest. The view at the top is awesome. It is amazing when you contrast the forest to the city when they are so close. A great half day activity.

Doing what: Tijuca Rainforest Hiking Tour in Rio de Janeiro

Laura H

3 star rating: Worth doing
October 2015

This was a great experience! I would have never known to venture out to this without taking the tour.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Trina S United Arab Emirates

3 star rating: Worth doing
October 2015

Lovely experience, although we weren't able to receive the full impact of the vantage points due to misty weather.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Francesca C

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
October 2015

Whilst the scenario of the Tijuca Forest is beautiful I had my heart set on encountering the wildlife particularly seeing the monkeys but only the fake animals at the visitor centre were to be seen. The guide was lovely and very knowledgeable but you can enter the forest for free and read most of the information on boards. Many people were seen cycling and treks are available that would take you deeper into the heart of the forest and deliver what was promised. Not 4 hours as advertised and problems witg the pick up time.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Aiste D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

It was amazingly refreshing to drive through a rainforest in an open jeep, so close to the city! Our guide Augusto was one the best guides I've ever had: he shared lots of stories and interesting trivia not just about the Tijuca Forest but also about the history of Brazil and Rio and various places in the city. Highly recommended!

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Bobo828

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

It was one of our favorite tours in Rio. Got to ride on a the back of a Jeep around the city and the rain forest.
A short hike to the water falls and see a lot of amazing view.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Kevin United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

Very good tour with excellent guide.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Valerie V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

This was so much fun! Met some great people on the tour and since it is a small group that you go out with it is an intimate experience. We even had an impromptu sing-a-long. The forest is beautiful and we got to see some amazing panoramic views of the city, as well as spotted a monkey up close and personal.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

charissejuson

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
August 2015

Open top jeep, seeing a monkey and the view of Vista Chinesa for the stars! Other than that our total trip was only 3 hours - guide was subpar, did not go to Cachoeira dos Macacos Waterfall of the Monkeys and eco-trek/hike was more like 5 minutes. The highlights of this tour are very misleading and the folks on the tour with us felt the same way.

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Peter W

4 star rating: Recommended
July 2015

I would definitely say go on a jeep tour, but don't do it through Viator. They organise it through Grayline. We found out we had to 'reconfirm' when we got to Rio, but it was in the fine print and we didn't see it until the night before. We managed to get it sorted out and we were told we would be picked up at 9.15, despite the original start time being 8am. The tour guide turned up at 8.40 and it was quite clear he wanted to drive off without us despite the fact we were eating breakfast. When we got downstairs to join the tour, it turned out they were waiting for another couple who also had been told 9.15 but at 9 o'clock the tour guide wanted to leave without them and mark them as no shows. We persuaded him to wait and they did eventually get down, but the tour guide was so grumpy, and basically rude. When we had picked everyone up, the jeep was full so the tour guide sat in the front seat. This meant he didn't tell us anything until the jeep stopped at the first sight. He said it was because he couldn't turn round, and if there had been room in the back he would have told us lots about the city - fat lot of use that is! Luckily one of the girls got int he front of seat after that, and he did tell us a few bits and pieces, but he certainly was not full of information. Unless Viator are going to change their partnership, go with a different company. But definitely do go on a jeep tour because it is definitely worth dong!!!

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

Tanya T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

The jeep through the city was just great - guide was good too

Doing what: Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour from Rio de Janeiro

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