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  • Writer's pictureErin

What to do in Rio

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

Rio de Janeiro is known for partying in the streets, dancing, and their beaches. These are just a few highlights of the fantastic opportunities that there are in the capital of Brazil. On my trips to Brazil, I've found that there is so much to do from the adventures to the history. My favorite things are to experience the culture, see the monuments, soak on the beach, and hike in the rainforest.

Dancer at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Dancer at Carnival in Rio


Carnival is the most iconic cultural event in all of Brazil. In the days leading up to Lent, there have been over 30 million people lining the streets of Rio. The parade is full of floats, festival-goers, and 200 samba schools. If you are in Rio during Carnival, it will be an experience that you won't forget. Rio is home to the largest street mural in the world. It was created in advance of the Olympics that were held in Rio. The mural took over two months of 12 hours a day to complete in advance of the 2016 Olympics. This is a piece of the culture that cannot be missed.

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Christ the Redeemer


If you have seen a view of Rio de Janeiro, you have most likely seen Christ the Redeemer. It is one of the most iconic statues globally and one that Rio is well known for. The statue stands atop the Corcovado mountain overlooking the city and stands over 100 feet tall and on a pedestal. You can either hike or drive to the top of the mountain to experience amazing views and take in the majestic beauty of this icon. A lesser known, but equally as mesmerizing is the Cemitério São João Batista. It is one of the oldest cemeteries in Rio and covers 45 acres. The mausoleums are set up in a labyrinth design, and it is easy to get lost while exploring. It is a site that is worth spending some time wandering.

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The most famous beach in Rio is Copacabana. There is so much more than just swimming. This is the perfect beach for people watching and sunbathing, plus you can take a jet ski for a spin, hit the waves, and do countless other water sports. At the southern end of the beach, there is a tour of the Forte de Copacabana. Here you can see the changing of the guard and visit the naval history museum. It is the perfect addition to any beach. If a calm, more laid-back beach is your style, I recommend Praia Vermelha. It is at the foothills of Sugarloaf Mountain and has the most beautiful red sand. It is one of my favorite beaches to explore and spend a lazy day.

Waterfall in Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Waterfall in Tijuca Forest


Outside of the bustling metropolis is a beautiful rainforest, Tijuca National Park. One of the best hikes through the rainforest will most often lead to Cascatinha Taunay waterfall which stands 90 feet tall. But there are many other waterfalls past this one where you can take a dip and cool off. There is so much wildlife in the trees, from sloths to howler monkeys. For those that are lucky, you'll be able to see an ocelot. There are over 100 square kilometers that you can explore or take a tour to see all of the highlights.

These are the top of the must-do items in Rio, and they will blow your mind when you experience them. Together we can plan your perfect trip to see all of the incredible sights that Rio de Janeiro offers. Schedule a consultation to design an amazing trip.


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