Are You Ready for Brazil?

Rio de Janeiro Mountain Biking Tour

6 Days / 5 Nights

Your days in Rio de Janeiro are spent exploring this spectacular city by bike. Routes range from flat pedals along the beach paths of Copacabana and Ipanema, and around the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, to steep climbs up to the Tijuca Forest and statue of Christ the Redeemer, with wild downhills and single track action right in the middle of the city!

Cycling Tours of Brazil

Our Cycling Tours of Brazil are all basic ideas that can be tailor-made to match your requirements. Any tour can include one or more destinations, and can be purely dedicated to road biking or mountain biking, with some hiking trails included too to visit certain waterfalls. We can also arrange long-distance trips, or mix your cycling with other activities such as climbing, kayaking or tandem hang-gliding flights, some regular tourism, and some nightlife. We include all that you need during your trip, the accommodation with breakfast; all airport transfers and other road journeys; any activities and excursions with English-speaking guides and relevant entrance fees; plus some popular extras. For our Cycling Tours of Brazil, you will need to bring your cycling clothes, although bikes and helmets will be included, plus tools and spares as necessary. All rides are undertaken with an experienced, qualified local guide, with activity insurance included.

Your days in Rio de Janeiro are spent exploring this spectacular city by bike. Routes range from flat pedals along the beach paths of Copacabana and Ipanema, and around the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, to steep climbs up to the Tijuca Forest and statue of Christ the Redeemer, with wild downhills and single track action right in the middle of the city!

Cycling around Rio de Janeiro is a wonderful way to see the main sights and some hidden ones, and you can enjoy it all with Brazil Adventure Tours.

Combines With: We can combine this trip or parts of it with journeys down the Costa Verde to Ilha Grande and Paraty, to Iguazu Falls, or for more mountain biking in the interior national parks such as Chapada Diamantina and Chapada dos Veadeiros.

Best Time to Visit: This tour can be taken all year round with December to February being the hottest, most humid and busiest months, but also with more rainfall. April to July or August are the months that give the best chance of good weather, warm but not hot or humid, and with clear blue skies.

  • Destinations: Rio de Janeiro
  • Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights
  • Trip Style: Adventure
  • Activities: Mountain Biking & Cycling

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 : Riding Around Rio de Janeiro!
Rio de Janeiro
Your Rio de Janeiro Mountain Bike Tour begins on arrival in the city, where you will be met by your Brazil Adventure Tours guide. After checking in to your hotel, you head out for your first ride around Rio! An easy pedal on the flat cycle paths takes you along Ipanema Beach, around the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, and down the whole length of Copacabana Beach. You then pass through the tunnel to Botafogo and Urca, with Praia Vermelha being the base of the Sugar Loaf Mountain cable-car. After riding to the top you can enjoy the fabulous first views of Rio from above. After descending and returning to your hotel, the late afternoon and evening are free.
Day 2 : Christ on a Bike!
Rio de Janeiro
After breakfast, you begin a morning cycling with the drive up to Vista Dona Marta for your first view of 'Cristo'. From here you pedal through the cool air of the Tijuca Forest, which covers the granite mountains around which Rio is built. A steep climb takes you to Corcovado and the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooks Rio. The 360˚ views of Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and the beaches ringing the city are unbeatable. Other possible sights include monkeys, sloth and toucans. You continue up the Paineiras road and eventually down the spectacular curves of the Vista Chinesa route, to the lagoon and finally your hotel.
Day 3 : Pedalling to Prainha
Rio de Janeiro
Another cycling option with less mountains involves the long pedal along the Rio coastline westwards. The new cycle route allows a mostly flat route from Ipanema around the rocks above the ocean to Sao Conrado, in the shadow of the flat-topped Pedra da Gavea. Another new cycle path then continues through tunnels and viaducts to Barra da Tijuca. The longest beach in Rio has 15km of cycle lanes to Recreio, with possible sightings of capybara and caiman along the way. A couple of short hills take you to the wild beaches of Prainha and Grumari, where you can have lunch in an open-air restaurant over the waves before the return journey!
Day 4 : Tijuca Forest Trails
Rio de Janeiro
A drive up into the Tijuca Forest National Park begins a day of riding the park roads and tracks, and also the recently opened mountain-bike single tracks. The Cascatinha Waterfall marks the start of the ascent on the forest road, with the wide trail up and over to the Excelsior viewpoint having a panorama over the north of Rio and the Maracana Stadium. A single track descent cuts off from the trail for some rock-n-roots fun back to the lower part of the trail. Another ride up the park road takes up to the start of the trail to Tijuca Peak, the highest mountain in the forest, with the possibility to hike there too. Then it is downhill, with waterfalls and another single track to Açude, the end of the ride!
Day 5 : Up To Telegrafo
Rio de Janeiro
The Pedra Branca Municipal Park has some great riding on some of the old trails over the saddles between peaks. An hour's drive along the coast from the main beaches takes you to Vargem Grande, the start of the Estrada do Morgado, a packhorse trail up through thick Atlantic Rainforest. The descent to Ilha da Guaratiba has a single-track cut-off before you hit the asphalt for a long flat ride to Barra da Guaratiba. A ridiculously steep climb is necessary through the houses to the trail that takes you to Telegrafo, with stunning views on either side of the peak. A single track along the ridge and a steep descent finish the ride in Grumari before you return to the city.
Day 6 : The End of the Mountain Biking…?
Rio de Janeiro
With so many mountains within a few hours' drive of Rio de Janeiro, your mountain biking need not be restricted to the city. Great trails in the Serra dos Orgaos, Tres Picos, Itatiaia and Serra da Bocaina parks can be combined with Rio rides. More wide trails and single tracks, with rainforest, waterfalls, stunning views back down to the city and the sea, with day rides and multi-day routes are possible. You can also travel further afield to ride around Chapada Diamantina or Chapada dos Veadeiros, two interior national parks with excellent multi-day routes. However long you choose to visit Brazil, we can fill all your days with fantastic mountain biking!
PRICES Simple 3 Star 4 Star Luxury
Per Adult * On Request On Request On Request On Request
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.

Do I require a Tourist Visa to enter Brazil and other countries visited during this tour?

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.

Do I need any special vaccinations for the areas visited during this tour?

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 for further information.

What is the best time of year for this tour?

April - May - June - July

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.
Rio City & Santa Teresa Tour - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half Day
This tour, visiting the city centre and the hillside Santa Teresa district is usually combined with one of the major Rio sights, Christ the Redeemer or Sugar Loaf Mountain. The views over central Rio from the Santa Teresa hills are fabulous, including from the Parque das Ruinas. After dropping down to Lapa, the Selaron Staircase is full of colourful tiles from around the world, placed by Chilean artist Jorge Selaron. The Lapa Arches take the pretty little yellow tram down to the city, passing the Metropolitan Cathedral and its impressive stained-glass windows. The historic buildings of Rio and the Municipal Theatre are also worth a look.
Dois Irmaos/Two Brothers Hike - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half Day
The action begins with the hike up through the Vidigal favela to the top of Dois Irmaos, the Two Brothers peak overlooking Ipanema Beach. The first part is the drive up the winding roads through the hillside community to the trailhead. An hour of hiking through the forest brings you out directly above the Rocinha Favela, with spectacular views of there and Sao Conrado Beach. You continue the forest path to the summit, where you can enjoy the expansive views of Leblon, Ipanema, the lagoon and far more. The journey back down to sea level can include a wander through the streets of the favela for a fascinating look at life inside the ultimate urban jungle.
Rio Boat Tour - Rio de Janeiro
Duration: Half or Full Day
There are many spectacular views of Rio, but one of the best angles is undoubtedly from a boat in Guanabara Bay or during the trip to the Cagarras Islands just offshore. There are many possible routes, ranging from the quick trip from Marina da Gloria out around the bay, with views of Rio and across to neighbouring city Niteroi, to trips (on days of calm sea!) out to the offshore islands, or further along the coast past Niteroi to land on one of the beaches and have lunch. Boat trips can be done privately by motor or sail, and also as part of a larger group by schooner.