Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro – Image courtesy of hotelroomsearch.net
Top attractions in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro offers a choice of must-see attractions for couples celebrating a honeymoon or romantic getaway, including:
Pão de Açúcar
Take the cable car (every 30 minutes) to the breathtaking heights of Rio’s Sugar Loaf Mountain, 396m above Rio and the Baía de Guanabara. Aim to be there at sunset when you can watch the city lights twinkle as day turns to night.
Ride the electrically powered train or take a taxi to the Corcovado (Hunchback) peak. Rising 709m above the Baía de Guanabara, Corcovado is known for its magnificent views over Rio and the famous 38m statue of Jesus, called Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), which stands atop the peak.
Forte de Copacabana
Discover one of the best spots to take the classical photo of Copacabana Beach. Then stroll uphill for photos of Arpoador Park, Ipanema and Leblon beaches. Originally built around 1908 to protect the city from invaders, today Forte de Copacabana is a cultural centre.
Beside Forte de Copacabana lies fishermen’s corner, with a tradition of more than 100 years, fishermen still make a living right in the heart of one of Rio’s most urban areas. Fresh fish are for sale at the stand every morning.
Parque Nacional da Tijuca
Take a 15-minute drive from Copacabana to the 120km² tropical jungle of the Parque Nacional da Tijuca, a lush green forest with beautiful creeks and waterfalls, and home to many bird and animal species, including iguanas and monkeys. Don’t miss the Alto da Boa Vista area, the 19th century chapel (Capela Mayrink) or the numerous caves and several waterfalls including Cascatinha Taunay and Cascata Diamantina.
Cruise out to the auto-free island of ‘many shells’ in Guanabara Bay. Explore the island by bike or in a horse-drawn carriage. Act like a local and kiss ‘Maria Gorda’ (Fat Maria), a baobab tree, for good luck. There are only twenty of these African trees on Paquetá Island – the only ones in Brazil beside the Baobà in Passeio Público in Fortaleza.
Stroll along the wide mosaic and beautifully landscaped pavement. Stop for a cerveza (beer), relax, people-watch and enjoy the picture-postcard views.
Copacabana Palace Hotel
If it’s beyond your budget to stay at Rio’s most glamorous hotel, at least take an afternoon tea by the pool or perhaps a meal at the outstanding Cipriani restaurant. The hotel maintains its own staked-out area of the beach and provides guests with umbrellas, towels and bar service.
Admire the landmark art-nouveau and neoclassical buildings. Many of these buildings have huge five bedroom apartments with only one bathroom and no garage. Others are home to Lido’s bustling nightlife, with some of Rio’s most famous strip clubs and bars. And don’t miss Cervantes, where arguably the best sandwiches in Rio are made!
Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro
Containing Brazil’s most important and impressive collection of modern art, this is a must for art lovers of all ages. Guaranteed to take your breath away.
Museu do Õndio
Explore inside one of Brazil’s most important Indian heritage museums.
A pretty mountain resort just an hour from Rio. Enjoy peaceful strolls, great museums and mountain hikes in the lush Atlantic rainforest.
Situated almost halfway between Rio and São Paulo, this World Heritage site is a beautiful and historic seaside town that had its heyday in the 18th and 19th centuries. Meander around the cobblestone streets, admire the architecture and choose from numerous restaurants for some very fine dining experiences.