Most Popular Rio de Janeiro Tours
Plus - the Perfect Sightseeing Day in Rio !
Every hotel in Ipanema and Copacabana will have brochures for Rio de Janeiro tours and will usually have a preferred company with whom they deal (and from whom they receive a commission). The better hotels will have an employee or concierge who will make the arrangements for guests, some even accepting a credit card payment for the sightseeing tour.
The prices seem to be about the same whether booking directly with the tour company or when booking through the hotel. However, you may receive a 10% discount if you book directly and pay by cash in Euros, $US, or $Reais. Booking through the hotel can provide some reassurance of getting a good tour, and it provides a means of making a complaint should the tour be less than satisfactory.
There is a high level of professionalism delivered by many of the Brazilian companies offering Rio de Janeiro tours. Most Brazilian tour guides are friendly, knowledgeable, educated, and speak passable English. Tour guides earn a low hourly wage and receive commissions for additional tour bookings. It's also customary in Brazil to tip the tour guide. For more information, visit our page about Tipping in Brazil.
Companies offering Rio de Janeiro tours generally sell similar sightseeing packages. They all provide the most popular sightseeing tours and often combine resources to take groups on the less common city tours and outings, including those tours that take people outside the city.
Insider's Tip- Whether you book tours to see the sights or trek about on your own, you should buy a travel guide for your trip. We highly recommend the Lonely Planet Rio de Janeiro City Guide. Just the information you will learn about restaurants and entertainment is worth the small cost of this guide book.
Our Favorite Rio de Janeiro Tours
(Prices per person in $U.S. & include transport to/from hotel.)
- Rain forest cog train ride up Corcovado Mountain to Christ Redeemer Statue. Price $40-$50.
- 2 stage cable car up to Urca and Sugarloaf Mountain in Guanabara Bay. Price $50-60.
- Combined rain forest cog train ride up Corcovado Mountain to Christ Redeemer Statue, lunch, then cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain in Guanabara Bay. Price $125-$135. (A good value full day adventure).
- All you can eat steak dinner at Plataforma Churrascaria, followed by a live Samba music and dance show. Price $100-$120. (See our review of Plataforma Churrascaria restaurant and their website).
- Professional soccer match at Maracana, the world's largest stadium. Transport and ticket included. Price $60 for standard covered seat, up to $200 for VIP box with extras. (Every soccer fan's dream come true).
- Tijuca Rain Forest open Jeep tour with a short hike. Price $50-$60. (A fun tour and hike through the world's largest urban rain forest. See exotic plants, monkeys, and other wildlife).
- Guanabara Bay Schooner ride. Price $40-$50. (Cruise the bay and enjoy great views of the city and its mountainous landscape).
- Historic downtown walking tour. Price $40. (See sights such as São Bento Monastery, Candelaria Church, Praça XV, the Travessa do Mercado, and the Imperial Palace).
As mentioned, these and other tours are offered by most tour companies in Rio de Janeiro. Book your Rio de Janeiro tours now and uncover the city’s spectacular wealth of iconic landmark attractions.
Insider's Tip- Guided Rio de Janeiro tours to Sugarloaf and Christ Redeemer Statue will cost you more than twice as much as the cost of admission to these sights. It's convenient to use a tour guide, but if there are 2 or more people in your party, you can save a lot of money by just taking a taxi cab to and from these sights and then paying the entry fee upon arrival. This way you can also spend as much time as you like at each attraction.
The Perfect Sightseeing Day in Rio de Janeiro
Visit Christ the Redeemer Statue, Praia Vermelha Beach, Pista Claudio Coutinho nature trail , and Sugarloaf.
Agenda: In the morning, take a taxi from your hotel to the cog train station at Corcovado Mountain and ride up in the forest to Christ Redeemer Statue. After seeing the amazing Cristo and taking in the panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro, enjoy a snack in a comfortable setting at the base of the statue. Return to the bottom of Corcovado by train.
You will find numerous taxi cab drivers waiting at the bottom of the Corcovado Cog Train Station. For about $R20, take a taxi over to the Sugarloaf cable car station. In the late morning or early afternoon, it's about a 15 minute ride.
When you arrive at the Sugarloaf cable car station, walk over to Praia Vermelha, a small beach just on the other side of the parking lot. Have an ice cream, while sitting on the sea wall and watching the waves and the people. Then walk to the end of the beach and take the very safe 1 mile Pista Claudio Coutinho nature trail. You will see all sorts of flora, fauna, and the small monkeys that inhabit the trees on the trail. Along the paved trail, you will also find wonderful photo opportunities of the forest and Praia Vermelha. Return the way you came, and head back to the cable car station.
Purchase tickets for both Urca and Sugarloaf, and ascend Morro da Urca on the first stage cable car. Spend some time here walking in the lush forest and taking in the views. Then ride the second stage cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain. See Rio and Copacabana from far above the bay, take photos, walk about, and have a drink while watching the sunset!
Return to the base station by cable car and catch a taxi back to the hotel. What a great day of Rio de Janeiro tours!
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