Insider's Guide to Rio de Janeiro

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Rio de Janeiro Top Beaches

By Viator, July 2015

4 80 Reviews | Add your review

The beaches of Rio de Janeiro are the stuff of song and legend, and they certainly live up to their billing. An entire state unto itself rather than a single city, Rio sees nearly three million visitors a year and is Brazil’s biggest tourist attraction. This is due in no small part to the 80 miles (128.7 km) of sparkling, sandy shores that border this marvel of South American civilization.  

The muse of Basa Nova hits and aspiring romantics, Ipanema Beach is the more glamorous sister of the equally legendary Copacabana. Divided up into areas of interest (the family section, the gay section, the aging-intellectual section, etc.), Ipanema has something for everyone.

The aforementioned Copacabana Beach is the iconic poster child of tourist brochures the world over. The 2.5 miles (4 km) of sandy expanse may not be the state’s best—its sidewalks can get decidedly seedy and even occasionally dangerous after dark—it is easily its most famous.

Rio’s beaches can also be enjoyed from the water via any number of boat trips and cruises that tour the coastline and explore the many harbors and coastal features. Sumptuous lunch cruises complete with a delectable array of seafood and refreshments can be enjoyed while passing the beaches of Niterói, the only Brazilian city to have been founded by non-Christian, non-assimilated Amerindians. An island lunch can be had as part of an ambitious agenda aboard a cruise around the Angra dos Reis archipelago. Along the way, you’ll take in Guanabara Bay and glimpse the magnificent Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Tours & Tickets

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Buzios Day Trip from Rio de Janeiro

4 star rating: Recommended 20 Reviews

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 13 hours

From USD $79.99

Guanabara Bay Cruise with Optional Seafood Lunch

4 star rating: Recommended 58 Reviews

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 4-6 hours

From USD $59.99

Sugar Loaf Mountain Canoe Tour in Rio de Janeiro

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $98.99

Rio de Janeiro Bike Tour: Flamengo Park, Sugarloaf and Copacabana Beach

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 3 hours

From USD $36.99
From USD $36.99

Surf Adventure Tour in Rio de Janeiro

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 8 hours

From USD $67.00

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