Are You Ready for Brazil?

Radical Rio de Janeiro Tour

5 Days / 4 Nights

This radical few days in Rio de Janeiro takes you to the top of at least five mountains, hiking and climbing to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, Tijuca Peak, and Pedra da Gavea, visiting the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, and finally jumping off Pedra Bonita to take your first tandem hang-gliding flight.rn

This radical few days in Rio de Janeiro takes you to the top of at least five mountains, hiking and climbing to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, Tijuca Peak, and Pedra da Gavea, visiting the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain, and finally jumping off Pedra Bonita to take your first tandem hang-gliding flight.


  • Destinations: Rio de Janeiro
  • Duration: 5 Days / 4 Nights
  • Trip Style: Adventure
  • Activities: Tandem Hang-Gliding - Hiking & Trekking - Climbing - Kayaking & Canoeing - Ecotourism - Beaches
  • Best months to visit: All Year Round
  • Visas & Vaccinations: Brazil Tourist Visas:

    Citizens of many countries require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil, organised in advance at your nearest Brazil Consulate. 

    Please check details for visa requirements for your country on our Brazil Tourist Visa page

    Also, for details of your nearest Brazil Consulate in case you do require a Tourist Visa, please visit our Brazil Consulates page.

    Vaccinations for Brazil:

    Visitors to Brazil and South America are advised to always check the latest health information from your local doctors or travel clinic. You may be advised to take a course of Malaria tablets. Yellow Fever Vaccine is highly recommended/essential for the Pantanal & Amazon region, plus the certificate to prove it, and possibly Hepatitis A and B Vaccines.
    Please check our Brazil Vaccinations Page for further information.

Brazil Adventure Tours provide you with ideas for tours of Brazil and South America, with all being completely flexible with regards to dates, duration or the tours, activities and classes that we can include. Our website tours are our recommendations based on our experience of how to make the very best of your time in South America. We can adjust these details in any way that you wish, with a little advice from us of course. We can combine any of our destinations that you wish to visit into one tour, and for however long you wish to visit them. Any of our Traditional and Adventure tours can also be combined in whichever way you prefer. We are here to organise a tour that suits you after all, not the other way around!

Day 1 : The Marvellous City from Sugar Loaf
Rio de Janeiro
On arrival in Rio de Janeiro, your Brazil Adventure Tours guide describes the Marvellous City during the journey to your hotel. After time to check in and eat lunch, the action begins at Praia Vermelha, the base of the cable car station. Instead of taking the easy way up, you circle Sugar Loaf Mountain along a 2hr trail. The final section is the short climb of 25m up the granite, and can be done by beginners of reasonable fitness. Enjoying the sunset views from Sugar Loaf having just climbed it is the most satisfying way to visit one of Rio's postcard places. After enjoying the views, you descend by cable car and transfer to your hotel for the evening.
Day 2 : Tijuca Peak Hike & Christ the Redeemer
Rio de Janeiro
After breakfast, you head to the cool air of the Floresta de Tijuca, the largest urban forest in the world covering the granite mountains around which Rio is built. A forest trail takes you to the highest point in the park, the 1,022m Tijuca Peak. The 360˚ city views are matched by those from Corcovado, where the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooks Rio, Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and the beaches ringing the city. After returning for lunch, you can enjoy the afternoon on Copacabana or Ipanema Beach. The evening can include a trip to Lapa, to experience the live music in Rio's best samba clubs.
Day 3 : Pedra da Gavea Hike & Climb
Rio de Janeiro
A full day takes you around the rocks past Sao Conrado to Barra de Tijuca. Crossing the channel, you arrive at the trailhead in Barrinha. The trail takes you up through the forest for 2-3hrs before you come out under the Emperor, the head of the highest coastal rock on earth. A climb of around 40m up the granite face, with safety equipment and the expert eye of your guide to help if necessary, and another half hour of trail take you to the top of the rock, with a sheer drop to the Atlantic Ocean and views along to Ipanema Beach and all the way down Barra da Tijuca Beach. The same trail takes you back down to the city below and you return to your hotel.
Day 4 : More Rio Adventures
Rio de Janeiro
Today has different options for mountain, beach and ocean activities. If you prefer to be higher up, then Pedra Branca is an enjoyable hike. An alternative option is to stay by the beaches of the Grumari Nature Reserve, and walk the trails, with climbing directly from the sand. This is the tranquil side of Rio, with great surf, quiet beaches reachable only by trail, and rustic eateries run by local fishing families with fresh seafood for lunch. Mountain-Biking around this area is another possibility, as are kayak trips around Guanabara Bay and the offshore islands. You can also spend the day relaxing on the beaches if you prefer!
Day 5 : Flying Home from Rio
Rio de Janeiro
One of the most spectacular activities in Rio or any other city is to hang-glide from Pedra Bonita Mountain to land on the beach. Your tandem flight is in the safe hands of our professional instructors, who give you a safety briefing including take-off and landing No prior experience is necessary, just a little courage! The 15min flight soars between the mountains and over the urban forest and circles out over the Atlantic waves before finally landing on the sands of Praia Pepino in Sao Conrado. This will be your final activity in the morning, with time to enjoy lunch before you head to the airport in the afternoon for your flight home.
PRICES Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Per Adult * US$ 1,175 US$ 1,250 US$ 1,975 US$ 2,250
Domestic Flights ** N/A


Suggested Hotels Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Rio de Janeiro

 

* Prices vary depending on travel dates and flight availability. Peak periods in Brazil including Carnaval, public holidays and Christmas/New Year usually require a minimum number of nights, so in these cases itineraries may need to be changes. ** Domestic flight prices are estimated on typical values when reserved 6 months before travel. Prices can never be guaranteed until reservations are made though, and do usually become more expensive closer to the travel period.

Tandem Hang-Gliding Flight - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 3 Hours incl Instructions/Transfers
If there is one adventurous activity that we recommend you try in Rio, then tandem hang-gliding should be top of your list. Flights take off from the ramp on the top of Pedra Bonita in the Tijuca Forest National Park, with expert and very experienced instructors. For 10-15 minutes, gliders circle the skies above the Sao Conrado district and out over the Atlantic Ocean, before landing on the sands of Praia do Pepino. Instruction on take-off and landing is given, as well as safety talks. Our instructors are the best in Rio, the national and continental champions, and they make sure that your tandem hang-gliding experience will be a special memory of Rio.
Christ the Redeemer Statue - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: During Half or Full Day Tours
The iconic sight of Rio de Janeiro is the statue of Christ the Redeemer looking down on the city from the top of the steep Corcovado Mountain. This spectacular location is 710m high and visit to the 31m art-deco statue of course makes part of a stay in Rio for most first-time visitors to the city. ‘Cristo’ can be seen from many parts of Rio, near and far, even when lit up at night, meaning that the views from the base of the statue are as spectacular as any city view in the world, taking in the city, the lagoon, Guanabara Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, plus beaches and mountains galore. Spread those arms, take that photo and tick off Cristo!
Sugar Loaf Mountain Cable-Car Ride - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: During Half or Full Day Tours
Sugar Loaf Mountain is the 396m tall block of granite and quartz that guards the western entrance of Guanabara Bay, the natural harbour on which Rio de Janeiro was founded. The cable car was only the third ever to be built when inaugurated in 1912 by Brazilian engineer Augusto Ferreira Ramos. There are actually two cables, the first from beside Praia Vermelha to the middle station on the top of Urca Rock, and the second strung between there and the summit of Sugar Loaf itself. A trip to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain is an essential part of a first visit to Rio, with views matching those from Cristo, which can be seen silhouetted against the sky.
Copacabana & Ipanema Beaches - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: As Long As You Like!
Possibly the two most famous stretches of sand in the world in the world are in Rio. Copacabana is a beautiful 4km curve of sand, with plenty of hotels in the 3 or 4 blocks between the beach and the mountains. Ipanema is a 3km strip of mainly residential buildings. They are only 500m apart and as we recommend that our visitors to Rio stay within walking distance of one of them, these beaches will make part of every visit. With swimming, surfing, lounging, beach activities, plus world-class people-watching, we always leave time for people to enjoy themselves on Copacabana and Ipanema Beaches.
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Free
In any other city, a huge lagoon backed by mountains would be far more famous, but the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon has much competition in Rio. an 8km path around the perimeter for walking, running and cycling means that the area always has visitors. Pedal swans and stand-up paddle boards can also be taken out on the water, under the gaze of ‘Cristo’. Bars and restaurants in the Ipanema corner make the lagoon a pleasant place to spend the evening too, with lights twinkling all around - especially when the famous electronic Christmas tree is in that part of the lagoon! You may also encounter the resident capybara that returned to the area recently.
Prainha & Grumari Beaches - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: All Day
Our favourite little escape from Rio. These two stunning beaches on the western edge of Rio are the best choice to spend a few hours away from the urban jungle. Backed by mountains covered with Atlantic Rainforest, pounded with surf, this wonderful natural setting is more Costa Verde than city, augmented by regular visits from local wildlife. Both beaches have an excellent open-air restaurant each overlooking the waves. From these we have spotted eagle rays, sea turtles and even a collared anteater swimming in the waves! Seafood lunch with a view is an unbeatable way to pass the middle of the day on the beaches of Prainha and Grumari.
Rocinha Favela Tour - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 3 Hours
The favelas of Rio are notorious worldwide with regular appearances in films, music videos and of course on the news. Rio has over 500 separate communities classed as favelas, which are basically illegal housing built on previously empty land, often on the precarious slopes of Rio’s mountains. Most people who live there lead ordinary working lives, and the communities work, rest and play the same as any other. Some overlook the main beaches of Rio and have stunning ocean views. A visit to a favela such as Rocinha, the largest of the favelas on these slopes, allows you a fascinating glimpse of community life in the ultimate urban jungle.
Tijuca Peak Hike - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half Day
The highest of all the mountains in Rio is Tijuca Peak at 1,021m, and a half day hike to the top takes you from the upper car park inside the park gates to the summit. The 3km trail is comfortable for anyone with hiking experience, usually 1-2 hours up and an hour back down at the most. The trail is under lush Atlantic Rainforest, winding up around the rock until it clears for the final part. Steps cut into the rock, with a not completely trustworthy chain, take you to the top, where you can enjoy views looking over the city and Maracana Stadium or the Imperador Rock looking back at you. Tijuca Peak works well with a visit to the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
Pedra da Gavea Hike & Climb - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Full Day
Rio has many peaks making part of the range of mountains that separate the city into North and South Zones. This is all part of the Tijuca Forest National Park. Pedra da Gavea is the most distinctive of them, the flat-topped rock named for the topsail on a sailing ship. This hike and climb is a full day for novice climbers, with some scrambling up through the Atlantic Rainforest section, then a little rock climbing before the final summit. Experienced climbers can try the vertical routes on the Imperador rock-face. The views from the top of the world’s largest coastal monolith are staggering, possibly the best in Rio, with a drop almost directly down into the sea.
Sugar Loaf Mountain Climb - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 5 Hours
What better way to appreciate the views from the top of one of the world’s greatest viewpoints than having arrived there under your own steam? The hike and climb to the 396m summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain can be done by beginners in good shape. The trail from Praia Vermelha takes you around Urca Rock then up the granite shoulders of Sugar Loaf. A short rock section needs climbing before you arrive at the summit. The vertical faces of Sugar Loaf have serious routes for experienced climbers, arriving at the top just in time to spoil many a tourist photo of Rio! Climbing Sugar Loaf is undoubtedly the most satisfying way to the top.
Sugar Loaf Mountain Hike - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: 3 Hours
There is a middle way for Sugar Loaf as well, and a very pleasant route it is for those who appreciate a little hiking. The path around the back of Urca takes you alongside the ocean, with the sounds of the waves breaking below, and birds and monkeys for company, possibly with sea-turtles and rays exploring the coastline as well. The path then climbs up through the Atlantic Rainforest on a trail to the saddle between Urca and Sugar Loaf Mountains. From there, you climb the final part to the middle station at the top of Urca, continuing up to Sugar Loaf by the cable car. The return can be done the same way or by the cable car directly to Praia Vermelha.