Built in the mid-1500s, Sao Joao Fort was officially put into service in 1618, when it was used to protect Guanabara Bay from an invasion by the French. This impressive structure is comprised of four batteries and is home to fifteen massive cannons. Sa Joao Fort later became a base for the Brazilian Army and today, it’s a popular site for travelers looking to explore the nation’s history and culture.
Travelers can explore the on-site chapel, courtyard and gun emplacements while taking in incredible views of the Guanabara Bay. Guided tours are available for those interested in learning more about the military history of the place. The nearby protected beach is perfect for relaxing and tasty snack shops along the way make for a complete afternoon. But locals warn travelers need to get permission to enter the grounds since the area is still secured by military staff.
The fort is located in Rio’s Urca neighborhood near the Guanabara Bay.