For a first trip to Brazil, the Carioca capital and its region is always a memorable part.
This sprawling city nestles in the heart of a wonderful landscape that offers an ideal environment for both urban and nature-oriented tourism. With its blue ocean, green Mata Atlantica, imposing coastal tropical forest, and the gray morros – the surrounding small mountains, this multicolored city winds its way through the landscape.
It fills the spaces in an unlikely entanglement of disparate dwellings, a reflection of the creativity and the resourcefulness of the area. In the midst of this true anthill of incessant activity, you will discover an extraordinary cultural vitality and an exotic sweetness of life that will forever enchant you. All under the gaze of Christ the Redeemer (the Corcovado) who dominates this multitude of practically 6,500,000 inhabitants! A unique panorama that we offer with this stay in Rio de Janeiro and which will make this part of your trip to Brazil a unique moment during your vacation!
Discover in our Rio de Janeiro package
Sugar Loaf mountain
A guided tour to suite your wishes
A stay on Copacabana beach
About our Rio de Janeiro Tours package
- 1 private transfer from one of the Rio airports to your hotel
- 2 nights in a hotel with double room (chosen from our accommodation section further down)
- 1 private excursion of about 4hrs to the Corcovado with a guide and chauffeur
- 1 private excursion of about 4hrs to the Sugar Loaf Mountain with a guide and chauffeur
- A half day private & guided visit with car and chauffeur available.
- 1 private transfer from the hotel to one of the airports in Rio de Janeiro
The Fluminense capital, a jewel steeped in history on this luxuriant coastline.
Despite its immensity, Rio de Janeiro, the greenest megalopolis in the world, knows how to make its visitor forget its gigantic size thanks to the alternation of small islands of tranquility and greenery throughout the city. With its sandy beaches, steep mountains and tropical forests, Cidade Maravilhosa or the Marvelous City as the Cariocas call it, is situated in a unique and majestic setting.
From the sixteenth century on, Rio was, in turn, occupied by Tamoyo Amerindians, the French and the Portuguese. At a crucial time for the kingdom of Portugal, then in exile, it served as a refuge for the king fleeing from Napoleon. Rio was the capital of a young Brazilian republic for a long time, until the construction of Brasilia in the center of the country. Rio de Janeiro is a city full of mystery and charm that makes everyone dream.
In the 19th century, some said that even the Phoenicians had occupied this city and sculpted one of the surrounding mountains into the shape of a bearded human face, making them the first Westerners to have set foot in the Americas … Today doubt remains but the ardent defenders and detractors of the theory are many. And would you be able to solve the mystery?
The city has adapted its urban planning to its environment and is today one of the greenest metropolises on our planet! Proof of this is the forest of Tijuca, at the foot of the famous Corcovado, which is the largest urban forest in the world with its 3,972 hectares. A true green lung in the heart of the city that offers hundreds of walks more or less sporty for the inhabitants or visitors. The magnificent botanical garden is also a haven of tranquility and greenery on 144 hectares, grouping more than 235,000 plants and 5,000 species of trees.
Enjoy the unforgettable moments at Rio Carnival
The beautiful Rio never really sleeps. Home of the samba, the city lives to the rhythm of the carnival, waiting for it all year round. The city hall has even built more than 600m of permanent stands creating the Sambodrome Marques de Sapucai. Showing how much collective enthusiasm there is for this special event. Streets full of partying people in their coloured costumes dancing to the sound of the Bateria de Samba until morning is an experience not to be missed. Participating in the carnival while visiting Rio de Janeiro is a must!
Don’t forget though, to experience this great Brazilian moment, you have to prepare it 6 months in advance and plan a budget slightly higher than if you visit any other time of the year.
A good way to avoid these pitfalls is to travel in the weeks before the carnival. Thus, one can see the preparation parades or the ensaios, and avoid the disadvantages of Carnival week. Another tactic that works well is to come only for the winning schools parade that takes place on the Saturday following the carnival and so see only the best. Do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about how to organize your stay in Rio de Janeiro at Carnival time!
The classics you just cant miss in Rio De Janeiro
The « ones to see » during your trip to Rio are all famous. Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado from where you can see the whole town. The beaches of Leme, Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, where the bikini first appeared, are all symbols of Brazilian sensuality. If you want to plan time on the beach and relaxed walks along the city’s avenues the cariocas beaches are perfect ! Be careful however at the weekends where the beaches are crowded and resemble the Mediterranean in August.
Rio, is also where samba, was born in the first favelas at the beginning of the 19th century, Then deprived neighborhoods for the disinherited black population recently freed from slavery. Today you can find samba music in the small botecos, humble bars where the folk play music and sing while drinking a iced beer bem gelada. There are also the practices and other parades of Baterias de Samba, these big percussion orchestras dedicated to the famous carnival, and its feverish preparations and its final explosion of fun and joy !
Finally, for football enthusiasts, there’s a visit of the mythical stade Maracana, litterally meaning the green bird in Tupi, the first indigenous language in Brazil, and the museum. Each year thousands of visitors come to see this true temple of « futebol » It was completely renovated for the World Cup in 2014 and you can relive some of the greatest moments in football history.
Replenish your carioca knowledge with this Tour!
The beautiful Rio also contains many hidden or lesser known treasures that are worth seeing. Here are some examples of places to visit alone or accompanied by a local guide who will share with you his knowledge and love of this city. With this formula of a stay in Rio “à la carte” you can even program a half-day visit with a local guide that accompanies you. Here are some of these different destinations to make your trip to Rio de Janeiro even more unique!
The SAARA, which gets its name from the stuffy heat that prevails during the summer, is a sort of inordinate souk founded by the Arab community of the city. It is spread over no less than 11 blocks and is a place where everything is bought and sold in the midst of an incessant coming and going of busy people.
The National Museum houses the most important collection of Southern Amerindian art and artifacts in the world and is well worth a visit. You will come away with a much better idea of the history and culture of this immense country.
The Gabinete Portugues de Leitura, the Rua and the Travessa do Ouvidor are other important places for Brazilian culture and carioca. These historical sites illustrate the often little known quality of the local intellectual vivacity. The catholic monasteries and the majestic modern cathedral with its pre Columbian pyramid style are worth seeing and show the contrasts in faith and its symbols in a still very religious country. The Positiviste Temple is a curiosity, this religion without a god was based on scientific progress, humanism and the beliefs of Auguste Comte. It no longer exists today, but it was a considerable influence on the first avant-garde leaders of the Brazilian republic at the beginning of the 20th century.
For those who like theatre and classical music, you can spend an amazing evening at the Municipal Opera of Rio. It was recently renovated in 2010 and needed more than 219 000 gold leaves to recover its splendor of yesteryear. You can also visit and admire the National Library, Listed by UNESCO as the seventh largest in the world and the biggest in Latin America, and a beautiful Art Nouveau building.
And that’s not all ! You can also wander the Santa Teresa, a bohemian quarter full of artists on the heights of Rio. Or discover the b neighborhood where the sidewalks have music scores written on them.
In the outskirts of Rio, there are some interesting excursions in the mangroves of Guaratiba and to Niteroi to admire the architecture of Niemeyer and its futuristically designed museum. An experience rather than a visit is it is a ride in a gulet out on the Guanabara bay, or a helicopter ride over the city.
There are an infinite number of possibilities to discover other astonishing and interesting things in this megalopolis of more than six million inhabitants. Those who come to Rio risk leaving having discovered the most Brazilian feeling of the world, the “saudade” and the desire to come back here is born.
When you spend your holidays in Rio de Janeiro, you will be warmly welcomed and able to find activities that correspond to the desires of everyone. Whether it’s a romantic trip, or with family or friends, the diversity and charm of Rio de Janeiro leaves no one unmoved.
Discover « Rio in complete freedom »our specially crafted travel package
For the more contemplative travelers who wish to take their time during their stay in Rio, we have created a package called “Rio in complete freedom”. On the agenda is a week in Rio in a Copacabana hotel with a room overlooking the Avenida Atlantica, the “promenade des Anglais” in Rio de Janeiro. A dream scenario with a breathtaking view of the entire Copacabana Bay!
Find our prices and program on the page Rio de Janeiro in complete freedom
The detailed program for a stay in Rio de Janeiro
Day 1 : Rio de Janeiro/ In
Your plane will fly over Rio to coming in to land and offers you a first incredible view of this city surrounded by mountains and the ocean. After collecting your luggage, you will meet your driver waiting in the arrival hall.
He will drive you to your accommodation in the Zona Sul of town or to Santa Tereza.
If you arrive at the Galeao international airport above the Guanabara bay, on the 40 minute ride into town, you will get a first glimpse of the true »‘bee’s hive » that is Rio de Janeiro. If you land at Santos Dumont airport in the city centre, the transfer is about 20 minutes.
The driver will drop you and your luggage off at your hotel.
You will check-in and discover your room and spend the night.
Day 2 : Rio de Janeiro – Pain de Sucre
You will enjoy a hearty breakfast with the hotel buffet before setting off on a 4hr excursion in the morning.
At about 8a.m. a guide and a driver will collect you in a vehicle and take you to visit the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain, one of the city’s emblems.
During this roughly 4hr visit you will start in the Urca quarter where you will leave the car at the Military school and start climbing the mountain. This is done in two stages, the first from the Red beach (Praia Vermelha) to Urca hill that is 224 metres higher by taking a first cable car.
Here you find a mini museum about the cable car installation, restaurants and souvenir shops. The second cable car ascension is up Urca hill to the Sugar Loaf, which is 395m high. The ride lasts about 3 minutes for each cable car.
From the top you can see the whole coastline with its gentle Niteroi valleys and the bay the other side, as well as almost all the Zona Sul and also a large part of the Zona Norte. It’s an impressive and magnificent panorama.
After lunch (not included), you will continue to explore the town, accompanied by your guide and driver (4hrs.)
During this visit you can walk the pretty bohemian quarter of Santa Teresa, discover Lapa, the SAARA or the cathedral and also the famous Maracana stadium and its football museum, there are hundreds of options. Feel free to select your choices in advance and then see what is possible to do on the day when you meet your guide.
At the end of the afternoon you will come back to your hotel for the night.
You can book a table at the Aprazivel in the Santa Teresa quarter for a Brazilian flavored dinner and a magnificent view over the bay. Dinner is not included in our package.
You can also dance at the Rio Scenarium, a museum-bar in the heart of the Lapa quarter. Spread out over three floors and decorated with old town souvenirs, the Rio Scenarium has animated cariocas evenings, so that tourists can discover a little local culture and music. Dinner is not included.
Day 3: Rio de Janeiro – Christ the Redeemer – Out
After breakfast, your guide will join you for a 4hr. excursion to visit the Corcovado.
The Corcovado hill, with its summit decorated with an image of Christ the Redeemer, is one of the main symbols of the town. This immense stone monument, tall and imposing, stands out above the forest dominating everything around it. It is undoubtedly one of the monuments that make Rio de Janeiro « the wonderful city ».
You will cross the Tijuca forest to reach the entrance to the Corcovado Park where your driver will drop you off. From there you and your guide will go to the top and admire the spectacular view at 710m above sea level, or about twice the height of the Sugar Loaf !
The climb to the top can be done in a small train (like a funicular) through the forest. However, the queues can be more than an hour long in high season!
After looking out over the « Wonderful city » for a last time you will return to your hotel and check out of your room.
A driver will take you to the airport for your flight, end of our services.
Double room prices:
Superior category 2 persons $800 /pers – 4 persons $595 /pers
Low season price of the current year, given as an indication and not worth quote
Our Accommodation Selection in Rio de Janeiro
Olinda Rio Hotel (Standard)
The Olinda Rio hotel is a very will situated small establishment on the Copacabana seafront. The rooms are decorated in an elegant and classic style with wooden floors and furniture. The luxury category rooms and suites have a panoramic view of the beach and the Atlantic and some have balconies. The restaurant proposes a French Brazilian style menu.
A Classic hotel but with quality services and large rooms that are well equipped. Above all it has unbeatable prices for rooms with an ocean view looking out over Copacabana beach ! Our most affordable price in Rio
Arena leme hotel (Standard)
The Arena leme hotel charmed us with its fine rooms all brand new and with a view facing the sea (Deluxe category). Recently built, it has the latest technology in terms of sustainable development garanteeing comfort and quiet for its visitors. It offers a combination of modern design and traditional wood creating a calm and refined atmosphere. From its rooms or the roof bar with pool, the Arena Leme hotel has a breathtaking panoramic view along the Atlantic avenue on one side and the Duque de Caxias fort on the other.
This is a fine hotel in a quiet area on the seafront that has all the advantages of Copacabana without the agitation and traffic. It is without doubt the best value for money on the Rio seafront if you consider its location and quality of services.
Altos de Santa Teresa (standard)
In peaceful luxuriant surroundings on Santa Teresa Hill, Rio de Janeiro’s bohemian-style neighborhood, the Altos de Santa Teresa pousada offers an interesting alternative to coastal accommodation if you are looking for peace and quiet. Beautiful rooms with a refined decoration in the same style as the rest of the buildings and a splendid view overlooking Guanabara bay, sugar loaf and Christ the Redeemer not to mention a swimming pool and Jacuzzi on the panoramic terrace.
An perfect place for a romantic stay or to get another view of the city. You will be enchanted by the little residential streets winding up the mountain side with their fine villas. An ideal atmosphere for quiet walks in the surroundings.
Une destination idéale pour un séjour romantique ou pour adopter un autre point de vue sur la ville. Vous tomberez sous le charme des petites ruelles résidentielles qui serpentent entre les belles villas à flan de montagne, une ambiance idéale pour faire des petites promenades en toute tranquillité.
Hotel Miramar by Windsor (superior)
The Miramar hotel is a good location on the last part of the « Orla Carioca » on the Copacabana beach in the smarter quarter of Rio. It has classic mixed with contemporary styled rooms which are spacious and comfortable and decorated by a well known stylist. They will please even the most demanding visitors.
You will find all the amenities of a top quality hotel and fine common areas too, with an infinity pool and roof bar. A perfect hotel for those used to a certain level of service and who want comfort and style above all.
Copacabana Palace (Luxury)
A stay at the Copacabana Palace is a privileged moment. Surely the most famous palace in Latin America, it is a world reference in hotels. To enter this hotel is like entering the temple of glamour and refinement in a Brazilian style.
The services and especially the unique atmosphere make for an exceptional stay. A place for those looking for the very best for their stay in Rio de Janeiro!