Outdoor Recreation, Dining & the Famous Christmas Tree
The Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is a popular place for locals and tourists to visit all year around. The lagoon is no longer polluted and the abundant waterfowl have returned. Private clubs and rowing clubs are clustered around its edge. This will be the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics rowing competitions. Upscale apartments and condos line the perimeter of the lagoon, especially along the back side below Corcovado Mountain.
Exercise - this is a great place during the day to walk, run, or cycle and is just a short walk from the Ipanema neighborhood. The entire 4 mile (7km) length is paved. During the day, you can rent bicycles near the Arab kiosk, but we recommend renting a bike for the day at one of the cycle shops in Ipanema or Copacabana. You can ride to the lagoon and back from Ipanema by following one of the side streets that run perpendicular to the beach. The best access from Ipanema is by the several side streets located between Rua Anibal de Mendonca and Rua Vinicius de Moraes.
A nice morning or afternoon excursion can be enjoyed by visiting the magical Parque da Catacumba and then stopping at one of the Kiosks on that side of the lagoon.
A walk or run around the lagoon on a hot summer day should always be followed by a stop at the famous Bar Lagoa, which is situated at the edge of the Ipanema neighborhood, facing the lagoon.
Restaurants - There are many Kiosks (Quiosques), or outdoor restaurants, located in 3 areas around the Lagoa. Most of the kiosks are located along Avenida Borges de Madeiros on the side of the lagoon that's adjacent to the Gavea neighborhood. Probably the most popular kiosk is Arab (pronounced "arrah-bee"), which serves excellent Middle Eastern fare at reasonable prices. Live music is played at Arab and other kiosks in the evening throughout the summer months. The best time to eat at these restaurants is in the mid evening, and one should get there and back by taxi from Ipanema or Copacabana.
See this interactive map for the location and list of Kiosk restaurants clustered around the lagoon.
Lagoa Christmas Tree - every December the world's largest floating Christmas tree is erected here for all to enjoy. The 27 story tower is filled with close to 3 million lights that change colors and patterns a few times per minute. It's usually put up the last weekend in November and is taken down on January 6th. The lighting of the tree creates a big celebration with thousands of people attending. On weekend evenings during the month, the carnival-like atmosphere continues with thousands of people enjoying laser light shows, fireworks, music, food, and of course the tree. Take note that the Kiosks become very crowded this time of year with local families and kids.
Watch this short video about the Lagoa neighborhood
Enjoy Photos of the Lagoa & the Christmas Tree
Below photo shows the view of the lagoon from Christ the Redeemer Statue on Corcovado Mountain. Ipanema Beach neighborhood and the Atlantic Ocean are seen in the background. Parque da Catacumba is the small mountain just left of center.