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12 BEST Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

12 BEST Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

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While Rio de Janeiro is undoubtedly one of the most popular places to visit in Brazil, there are also tons of cool areas to check out that are close enough to make a day trip of it! Rio is my favorite city in Brazil, but there’s so much to explore nearby that we always plan at least a couple of day trips.

Tours are often our preferred way to do a day trip from a city we are visiting Rio for a few days because they take the stress out of getting there and back, as well as figuring out what to do while you’re there. While we have included tours for most of the day trips from Rio below, we will also let you know when it is possible to go on your own, if you’re backpacking through Brazil and that’s more your style!  

Whether you’re looking for a beach destination, or want something with a hint of adventure (or maybe even both?), there are lots of options when it comes to day trips from Rio de Janeiro!  

Our TOP PICKS for Day Trips from Rio

Arriving at the town of Abraão on Ilha Grande from the mainland of Brazil
Arriving at the town of Abraão on Ilha Grande from the mainland of Brazil

Best adventure tour

As the largest urban rainforest in the world, exploring Tijuca National Park is a must! It’s the home of the iconic Christ de Redeemer statute, but there’s so much more to see that we recommend this waterfalls and caves tour for anyone with an adventurous side. You’ll swim by waterfalls, see a bat cave, and hike through the forest in the mountains overlooking the city. It’s under $100 USD for this epic day trip from Rio!

Best beach getaway

With so many beautiful beaches in Brazil, a beachy getaway from Rio is a must! Our favorite is this day trip to Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande. You’ll spend the day island hopping and discovering hidden beaches while getting a schooner ride on the turquoise blue water. Ilha Grande is an island paradise you won’t want to leave! All your transportation and lunch are included for $75 USD and it feels like a mini-vacation!

Best hiking tour

Climbing to the peak of Pedra da Gavea is a bucket-list-worthy hike! While you can attempt it on your own, it’s recommended to go with a guide, and this hiking tour up Pedra de Gavea is our pick. We loved that it was a small group and the challenge of rock climbing to reach the top! You’ll spend an hour enjoying some of the best views of Rio and a huge sense of accomplishment. It’s only $100 USD which includes transport from Rio.

Best Day Trips from Rio De Janeiro  

1. Ilha Grande  

Lopes Mendes Beach on Ilha Grande, Brazil
Lopes Mendes Beach on Ilha Grande, Brazil

For one of the best tours from Rio, a trip to Ilha Grande is a must. We loved this beautiful island off the coast of Rio de Janeiro which is known for lush rainforests and stunning beaches with crystal clear water. In fact, we have a complete guide to visiting Ilha Grande with all the details!

But for an easy day trip, this tour to Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande takes care of all the details so you can see the stunning coast, take a schooner ride for some island hopping, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, and then get back to the fun of Rio!

Brazil is huge and this day trip does involve a lot of travel, so that’s why an organized tour really helps. It’s a 14-hour day with 2.5 hours on the bus each way, but we typically use that time to chat with other travelers and enjoy leaving the navigation to someone else!

One of my favorite parts of Ilha Grande is Lagoa de Azul (blue lagoon). It has some of the most vibrant blue waters I’ve seen and I was happy I brought snorkeling gear along! But truly there are so many great stops. I definitely had those Carnival in Brazil vibes on the schooner too – it’s a bit of a party boat and the music was great!

Bailey sits back on our boat tour around Ilha Grande, Brazil
Exploring the island!

This is a popular day trip, so booking in advance is recommended. It’s only $75 USD per person plus a small Navy Fee of $10 BRL (about $2 USD) that need to be paid on the day. You can buy drinks and snorkeling equipment, but I packed my own and if you have it, make sure you do too! The water is just too inviting to not jump in! If you’re ready for a coastal day trip from Rio, make sure to reserve your spot on this experience online.

Now I know that you’re here for the best day trips from Rio, but Ilha Grande is honestly so beautiful, so if you have the time to spare, we recommend booking a hotel for a night or two. We actually spent six days here!

From hiking through the rainforest trails to relaxing on the beach, this is an amazing place for a longer getaway. Lopes Mendes Beach on the island is even considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Brazil! If you are planning to explore Ilha Grande on your own, this shuttle from Rio takes care of all the transportation including your ferry ticket for about $70 USD!

2. Tijuca National Park

The view from Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The view from Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tijuca National Park is a really cool urban forest located in the mountains overlooking Rio De Janeiro. If you’ve ever seen photos of Rio, you have likely seen the iconic Christ de Redeemer statue, which is located in the park!  

While you can check out the park on your own without a guide, if you want to find all of the best swimming spots, waterfalls, and caves, we recommend this half-day Tijuca National Park tour to see all those hidden gems.

The waterfalls along this tour are amazing to see – including Taunay Waterfall which is the tallest in Rio. You also get to jump into the natural pools around a couple of the other waterfalls if you wish and swimming close to waterfalls is something I never get tired of!

One of the other highlights for us is the Gruta dos Morcegos, a bat cave! This is such a cool opportunity to see bats in their natural habitat while they are stationary (it’s so hard to get a good look when they are swooping through the air!). It also doesn’t hurt that this tour ends at the Christ the Redeemer statue, so you don’t have to worry about finding your way to this famous spot on your own!  

Something that we learned from our guides about Tijuca National Park is that it plays such a crucial role in Rio De Janeiro’s ecosystem. It’s actually known as the lungs of Rio, contributing to the city’s overall environmental health. There have also been initiatives recently to reintroduce locally extinct species, such as howler monkeys.  

When booking the tour you can choose the waterfalls and caves option or a hike up Tijuca Peak. Both options are $92 USD and include transportation from Rio. You can also upgrade to a fully private tour which varies in price based on how many people you’re booking for but starts at $128 USD each for four people.

For a day of chasing waterfalls and exploring the largest urban rainforest in the world, make sure to book a spot on this tour here!

Related Read: On the border between Argentina and Brazil you’ll find one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world. Read about everything you need to know to visit Iguazu Falls here!

3. Arraial do Cabo

The beach at Arraial do Cabo, Brazil
This place is paradise!

If you’ve ever dreamed of a Carribean-like paradise, Arraial do Cabo will blow you away. This beach destination seriously looks like something out of a postcard, with turquoise waters and beaches with powdery white sand that stretch on for miles. It’s no wonder it’s known as the Brazillian Carribean!

If you’re looking for a getaway from Rio, we recommend this day tour to Arraial de Cabo to see just a few of its stunning beaches – each one seems somehow more beautiful than the last. Our favorite was Farol Beach, which is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!  

You’ll also see the Crevice of Our Lady of Assumption which I think looks like someone took a slice out of the cliffside! If you’re a romantic at heart, you’ll also pass by Gruta do Amor which according to local legends can make love eternal if you kiss your sweetheart inside!

This 14-hour tour is in a comfortable air-conditioned coach for the drive which is about three hours from Rio. It’s $75 USD per person which we think is a great price considering everything you get to see! This tour also includes lunch, which is a nice bonus. You can easily book this beachy getaway from Rio here!

If you want to go scuba diving around Rio, Arraial do Cabo has an incredible underwater world waiting to be explored. We are avid divers and found the visibility in the water here unreal! This diving tour includes two dives for PADI-certified divers and one dive for first-timers. One of the coolest things about this dive is you can also get underwater photos taken which is an amazing memento.

4. Buzios

beautiful beach in Buzios, Brazil
A beautiful beach in Buzios, Brazil

Buzios is an absolute gem of a town, known for its beaches and vibrant atmosphere. This coastal town is a lively hotspot for travelers who want a beach escape with a touch of sophistication. We found the town was brimming with boutique shops, art galleries, and trendy restaurants. The streets especially come alive at night!  

This tour to Buzios is a great way to see this charming place if you’re looking to get away from Rio for the day. Since Buzios is about a three-hour drive from Copacabana, having an air-conditioned ride that you can relax in instead of having to drive yourself means that you will have more energy for exploring!

Once you arrive, you will get to see the town of Buzios, including time to explore some of the cool shops, as well as go out on the water on a schooner. There are 23 beaches in Buzios and you’ll stop at a few different ones including the stunning Azeda Beach which is in a secluded cove. The water at the beaches ranges from emerald green to sky blue, so you’ll want to take a million photos!

The guides are really knowledgeable about the area, so you will get to know more about the culture and history of this beautiful place. This tour is $85 USD per person and includes transportation and lunch. See the town of Buzios and some of its hidden beaches by booking a spot on this tour here.

5. Petropolis

The Imperial Museum in Petrópolis
The Imperial Museum in Petrópolis

Petropolis is a city nestled in the mountains about a 3-hour drive from Rio. It is known as the “Imperial City” since it was where the Emperor of Brazil lived during the summer months. It has a rich history and amazing architecture including the royal palace which is now the Imperial Museum full of the personal belongings of the royal family.  

Because of its close proximity to Rio, Petropolis makes a great day trip! This tour to Petropolis covers all of the main attractions of the city. As we strolled through the streets, we saw colonial-style buildings, wandered through the Imperial Museum, and even had free time to do some shopping on Rua Santa Teresa.

What we love about this tour is having a knowledgeable guide along to teach you all about the historical significance of landmarks and architecture. Since you won’t be in the city for long, it’s really nice to hear all about it and not feel like you’re wandering around aimlessly.

Your guide will tell you all about the summer home of famous inventor Santos Dumont who is disputed as the inventor of the airplane. You’ll see some of his inventions including a heated shower and a staircase you must walk up starting with your right foot. It’s a quirky place that’s worth a stop! There’s also time at the Crystal Palace which was once a greenhouse for the princess who lived here.

This tour is around nine hours and has lots of sights and history included. We learned a ton and recommend this to any history buffs! Prices start at just $43 USD per person including admission to the Imperial Museum and the tour runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. So if you’re looking for a day trip from Rio that’s full of history and neat places, book this tour of Petropolis!

If you do want to visit Petropolis on your own time, you can rent a car and drive yourself or take the bus. If you are planning to take the bus, we generally use BusBud to book our trips and a bus ride from Rio to Petropolis is around $10 USD.

6. Pedra da Gavea

A man stands on the edge of Pedra da Gavea in Brazil
A man stands on the edge of Pedra da Gavea in Brazil

Pedra da Gavea is the highest peak in Rio and one of the tallest mountains anywhere in the world that ends in the ocean. It’s widely known as the best hike in Rio, and this hiking tour helps you check it off your bucket list!

The Pedra de Gavea hike is 3.1 miles (5 km) and offers some seriously breathtaking views (and not to mention a sense of accomplishment!). As far as hikes in South America go, it’s pretty challenging, but I definitely thought it was worth it. 

From the top, you’ll be able to see panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro, including the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in the distance. It’s a vantage point that truly captures the beauty of the city and its surroundings.  

It’s important to note that while it is possible to hike Pedra da Gavea on your own, it is recommended to hike with a guide because it is so challenging. I went on this tour when I did it and was so glad that I did! It includes pick up from Rio and transportation to the Tijuca Forest, which is about 30 minutes by car, to start the hike.  

The hike itself is about three hours and it’s definitely challenging. The final stage involves rock climbing up a 70-foot (21-meter) cliff! The instructors are all experienced and licensed rock climbers and while you should be in good physical shape, you don’t need prior rock climbing experience to tackle this. You’ll spend an hour at the top of the peak soaking in the views and taking a ton of photos before heading back down.

The group sizes are small on this tour with a maximum of six people, so you get a personalized experience with the guide. This tour is $85 USD per person if you meet at a central pick-up point in Rio. If you want hotel transportation included, it’s $100 USD each or you can opt for a completely private tour at $170 USD per person.  

For an incredible hike with stellar views, you can add a day trip to Pedra de Gavea to your travel itinerary by booking with Viator here!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

7. Angra Dos Reis

Stunning beach in Angra Dos Reis
Stunning beach in Angra Dos Reis

Angra Dos Reis is a region to the southwest of Rio de Janeiro, which is scattered with 365 islands! Ilha Grande, an island that we spoke about earlier is the largest island in the region. This is a haven for water enthusiasts because there are endless opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and boating.  

This boat tour is an amazing way to see the area. It has a luxury feel without the luxury price tag! The 14-hour tour starts with a pick-up in Rio. From there you will be taken to a gorgeous yacht to head out to the Ilha Grande Bay.   

Then it’s a day full of exploring secluded coves, hidden beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. There are some places you can only reach by boat, which makes it feel extra special. Honestly, you could spend so much time here and still not see all of the hidden places that the region has to offer.  

There is a delicious buffet lunch included on Ilha Grande, as well as opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. This tour doesn’t include snorkeling gear, but you can either bring your own or rent it once you arrive. This tour is only $60 USD per person, which is such an amazing value! If a day on a yacht exploring hidden beaches sounds perfect, make sure to reserve your spot online.

8. Centro Cultural Pequena África

Pequena África, or Little Africa in English, is a culturally rich neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro that pays homage to the African heritage and influence in Brazilian history. This neighborhood showcases deep connections between Brazil and Africa, highlighting the contributions of Afro-Brazilian culture, music, dance, and cuisine.  

You can definitely spend the day strolling around on your own, but we highly recommend taking a walking tour like this one with an experienced guide. There is just SO much history and culture to learn about in this area and the local guides are passionate about sharing all the little stories and facts.

There are various landmarks to explore, such as the Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was a major point of arrival for African slaves. There are floor pavings you can see from the original wharf which are considered an important physical reminder of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans here.

This neighborhood is also home to the Pedra do Sal, a historic square where Afro-Brazilian musical genres, such as samba and choro, originated and continue to thrive! You’ll also see colorful murals along the Boulevard Olimpico which was painted for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

The tour is 3.5 hours long and takes you all around Pequena África. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and show you places that aren’t in the guidebooks or you never would have found on your own. It feels like exploring a neighborhood with a friend!

The tour groups are kept small so you can ask questions and not feel rushed. The entire experience costs between $65-$99 USD per person depending on the size of the group you book for and can be easily booked online here.

Related Read: We also really enjoyed the walking tour in Brazil’s biggest city! Make sure to check out all the free and cheap things to do in São Paulo, Brazil if you’re headed there next.

9. Prainha Beach

Prainha Beach in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Prainha Beach in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Prainha Beach is just over an hour’s drive from Copacabana in Rio, making it a perfect getaway from the city for the day. You can take a rental vehicle which is a good option if you want to try out some surfing here. It’s one of the best surf spots near Rio and has consistent waves all year long!

If you’re looking for an easy day trip from Rio that includes Prainha Beach as well as some other attractions, this hiking and beaches combo tour is the tour we would pick! It includes a trip to Pedra do Telégrapho (Telegraph Rock), which is a popular spot to take photos with the illusion that you are at the edge of a dangerous cliff (check out the first photo on the tour page to see what we mean!). The hike is around two hours round-trip and offers some stellar views of the coastline.  

Then you’ll have time to cool off and see both Prainha Beach and Praia de Gumari. The lush green mountains and cliffs surrounding the beaches almost give it a Hawaii-like vibe. It is really gorgeous in this area, and the locals are very friendly too!  

This tour has both a six-hour and eight-hour option with the longer tour costing $96 USD per person. It does mean an early morning, but you can choose a pick-up time of either 3-4 am or 6 am if you want to get a bit more sleep. But I promise the lack of sleep is worth those early morning views on the hike!

If you’re ready for a day trip full of incredible views, this Telegraph Rock and Rio’s Wild Beaches tour is available to book online here.

10. Ilha de Paquetá

Ilha de Paquetá beach in Brazil
Ilha de Paquetá beach in Brazil

Ilha de Paquetá is an island off the coast of Rio that offers a serene escape from the city. It’s basically right next to Rio, but we found this spot to be so calm and secluded, it felt like a true hidden gem.

The island can be reached by ferry from the Praca XV ferry terminal in Rio. The ferry ride itself is about an hour and a highlight all on its own because you get a beautiful vantage point of the coastline! You can purchase tickets at the ferry terminal for about 9 BRL (about $2 USD) and there are several ferry departures daily.

One of our favorite things about Ilha de Paquetá is that there are no cars! The only way to explore is by foot, bike, or horse-drawn carriage. We recommend renting a bike if you get the chance because there’s something so freeing about cruising around by bike in the sunshine, without having to worry about any car traffic. Make sure you take a trip to Mirante Vista in the Parque de Darke de Mattos because the views of the whole island are amazing! On a clear day, you can even spot Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ de Redeemer.

If you want to check out the island but don’t want to have to worry about how to get here on your own, this guided tour to Ilha de Paquetá is a great option. You will be picked up in Rio and taken across the ferry to the island. The guides know all of the places to check out and are also knowledgeable about the culture and history of the island.

Booking this tour to Ilha de Paquetá also means you don’t have to navigate the ferry schedules or fares, since it’s all included! Just bring some cash to buy lunch at a local restaurant (the guides know the best spots!) and rent a bike. This tour is around five hours and costs $55 USD per person if you’re booking for four people or more.  

11. Cabo Frio 

Cabo Frio in Rio De Janiero, Brazil
The ultimate holiday destination!

Cabo Frio is a coastal municipality in Rio De Janeiro, which is known for its beautiful sun-soaked beaches and great surfing. Praia do Forte is the main beach, which is a long stretch of shoreline that has calm waters perfect for swimming and you can sometimes spot turtles! There’s also Praia das Dunas and Praia do Pero, which are less busy than the main beach and have better surfing waves.  

Beyond the beaches, Cabo Frio has rich history and architecture. The town has beautiful cobblestone streets with colonial-style buildings covered in flowers, boutiques, and charming cafes. There is even a fortress that used to be a stronghold against pirates, called Forte São Mateus, near Praia do Forte.  

To get here we recommend renting a car or taking public transport for the 3.5-hour drive from Rio. You can also book an affordable shuttle with Bookaway that goes from Rio to Cabo Frio for around $34 USD. Or check out bus options on Bookaway which can be as cheap as $15 USD.

If you have the time, we recommend taking a short boat ride to Ilha do Japonês (Japanese Island), which is a small island perfect for snorkeling, kayaking, and paddleboarding.  

Related Read: For more beach days in Brazil, make sure you pack a bathing suit and head to the best beaches in Salvador, Brazil!

12. Guanabara Bay

Guanabara Bay, Rio De Janiero, Brazil
Guanabara Bay, Rio De Janiero, Brazil

Guanabara Bay is a natural wonder that holds a special place in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. This stunning bay is an iconic feature of the city – it was originally named Rio de Janeiro Bay! The sparkling blue waters and breathtaking views of mountains and lush green hills look like they belong on your Instagram feed, so take lots of pics!   

But Guanabara Bay is not just a scenic backdrop; it plays a vital role in the cultural and historical fabric of Rio de Janeiro. One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Guanabara Bay is by taking this sailing tour aboard a yacht to see the panoramic vistas from the water. You’ll feel like a total VIP on this 3-hour sailing experience on a gorgeous 40-foot (12-meter) yacht. 

You can choose a morning or sunset sail. Personally, we love boat tours that involve watching the sunset from the water. There’s nothing blocking your view and the Rio skyline at sunset is spectacular! It also is a really personal experience with a maximum of 10 people on the boat.

Welcome drinks are included on this boat tour (yes, even the alcoholic ones!), and there are snacks as well. This is the perfect option for anyone who wants to have an unforgettable experience in Rio without shelling out the big bucks to do so. This tour costs $55 USD per person, which is an amazing value for a yacht cruise that includes alcohol! 

Whether it’s your welcome to the city or a farewell sunset cruise, don’t miss seeing Rio from the water aboard a yacht by booking a spot here!

Other Activities to do While in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Sunrise at the top of the Two Brothers Hike in Rioa
The Two Brothers Lookout is the best place to watch the sunrise in Rio!

There’s so much to do in Rio, it’s impossible to get bored here! Besides planning a few day trips, the city itself is full of exciting experiences you won’t want to miss while you’re exploring Brazil. If you’re looking for activities to fill up your Rio itinerary, we’ve got you covered.

  • See Christ de Redeemer – Of course, it’s one of the most iconic sights in the entire world, so every trip to Rio should include a visit to Christ de Redeemer Statue. Because of its popularity, we recommend this skip-the-line ticket so you’ll board the next available train up Corcovado Mountain whenever you arrive and beat the crowds!
  • Celebrate Carnival – If you schedule your trip to Rio around the end of February/early March, you’ll catch one of the biggest parties in all of South America: Carnival! There are festivities during the day and “blocos parties” at night. There are so many things to do during Carnival and great ways to experience Carnival on a budget, so you better be prepared for a week you won’t forget! For tickets to the main show, grandstand seats start at $30 USD.
  • Hike to the Two Brothers Lookout – This is one of the most iconic viewpoints in Rio, overlooking Copacabana Beach and offering incredible views of the landscape below. Two Brothers Lookout is a 3 km (1.8 mile) out-and-back hike that is doable for most travelers. For an even more epic view, you can book a hiking tour to catch the sunrise from the top and have the convenience of a local guide. 
  • Relax on Copacabana Beach – A trip to Rio is not complete without spending some time on Copacabana Beach. After all of your days of adventuring and touring, a fun beach day will be needed! This is a lively beach with vendors selling beers, cocktails, and food so you can really hang out all day. You can’t miss out on this classic Rio beach!
  • Take a Brazilian cooking class – You are going to encounter some amazing food while in Brazil. What better souvenir to take home than knowing how to make some popular meals. This 3-hour cooking class will teach you how to make seven dishes, including dessert and the famous Caipirinha. It’s a fun way to dive into the culture and eat some yummy food! 

Where to Stay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

view of the pool and beach at PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
Imagine swimming with this view! Photo Credit: PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
a clean hotel room with patio overlooking the ocean
Photo Credit: PortoBay Rio de Janeiro

Rio is a HUGE city, so there are tons of places to stay if you’re hoping to work in a few day trips from Rio while you’re here. The three most popular areas to stay in Rio are Copacabana, Ipanema, and Lapa/Santa Teresa.

Each location is unique, with Copacabana and Ipanema being close to the beach and Lapa and Santa Teresa more in the historical part of the city. We have recommendations for each area so you can figure out the best option for you.

Copacabana

Budget travelers will love Pura Vida Hostel. It’s clean and social with lots of space to party just like a local, and dorm beds start at $22 USD per night. It’s only 2 blocks away from Copacabana Beach and a 15 min walk to Arpoador which has plenty of restaurants, supermarkets, and pharmacies. The staff is warm and welcoming and makes your stay even more fun with their social personalities! You can book a room on either Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

If you can spend a little more, Nacional Inn Rio Copacabana is a popular choice that’s a few blocks from the beach and has a pool with an excellent view. Although the rooms are on the small side that shouldn’t matter too much if you plan to spend most of your time outside of the hotel. They offer a fresh breakfast with breads, meats, cheeses, and fruits. There’s an on-site bar and a sauna to take advantage of. Rooms are under $100 USD and the best deals I’ve found are on Booking.com.

Luxury travelers should stay at PortoBay Rio de Janeiro. It’s a 4-star beachfront hotel with a rooftop pool, gym, spa, and sauna. The on-site La Finestra restaurant serves really delicious Brazilian dishes as well as other international cuisine. The complementary breakfast buffet has fresh fruits, juices, and hot and cold choices. If you want you can book a room with a sea view for around $200 USD. It is within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and popular bars.

Ipanema

Ipanema Beach House is the best budget option with dorm beds starting at $17 USD in a very safe neighborhood of Rio. It’s only 2 blocks from Ipanema Beach and also has a pool just a block from the main building!  This beach is more relaxed and quiet than some of the other beaches in Rio if you’re looking for a chill day! The other more popular beaches are about 2 km (1.2 mi) away. The Ipanema Beach House is also one block from the metro station, making it super convenient to access. It’s also easy to book on either Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

For medium-budget travelers, Arena Ipanema Hotel is a beachfront property with stunning views, a restaurant and bar, and a rooftop pool with lots of lounge chairs to work on your tan. There is a fitness center and sauce that all guests are welcome to use as well as a 24-hour help desk if you need anything. For the price of $143 USD a night, booking a room here is great value. 

Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro is another fantastic option for luxury travelers. You can’t get any closer to the water and with a rooftop pool and all the facilities you’d expect such as a wellness center offering massages with a gym and sauna, a fine-dining Italian restaurant, a sunroom, and a nightclub – it’s perfect! A bed here will set you back $491 USD but your room will have modern furnishings, a minibar, robes, and a TV. Some even have a seating area and a bathtub.

Lapa and Santa Teresa

I love the Selina Lapa Rio de Janeiro for budget travelers. This chain hostel is trusted all around the world for being clean and modern vibe with excellent facilities. Rooms are air-conditioned and you can choose a dorm room for as cheap as $14 USD or a standard private room for $50 USD. The property is close to nearby happening bars and restaurants but Selina’s restaurant is loved by its guests for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or for coffee from the coffee house – give it a try! You can reserve a room on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

The Mansion Aline is located in Santa Teresa and would suit the medium to high-end budget. The hotel has a rooftop jacuzzi as well as breathtaking views over the city. The deluxe suites have their own spa baths, a patio, and a private kitchen with a minibar and coffee maker. All rooms have a view of the city and river/garden views. One night here will average $169 USD and can be reserved on Booking.com

Thanks for reading!

Bailey at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Thanks for reading!

Thanks so much for reading our guide on the best day trips from Rio! Whether this is your first time in Brazil or your 10th, there’s so much to discover and Rio is a perfect base for your exploring. We hope you have an amazing time discovering this part of the world.

If you need more travel inspiration or tips before booking your plane tickets, make sure to have a look around at our other blogs on South America or leave us a comment or question below!

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