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The Rio de Janeiro Marathon Weekend

3 Nights Recommended 15-18 June 2017

The Rio de Janeiro Marathon is perhaps the best event in which full and half marathon runners can participate in Brazil. The 42km coastal course is a wonderful tour of this exotic city, as well as being the prime international marathon of the country.

The Rio de Janeiro Marathon is a great way to see a great city, with a run along the closed beach roads passing parts of the city that most visitors would not see otherwise. The marathon begins in the west of Rio, at Praia do Pontal, the edge of the city before the nature reserves of Prainha and Grumari. From there, the route passes all along the Atlantic shoreline of Rio, to Barra da Tijuca, through tunnels to Ipanema and Copacabana until the Finish Line at Flamengo. There are also the Half Marathon and the Family Run participants, with a total of around 10,000 runners in all on a Sunday morning in July. The 2017 Rio de Janeiro Marathon takes place on Sunday 18 June 2017.

June/July is the middle of what passes for winter in Rio, and although it may still be anything up to 30˚C on a clear, sunny day, there is never the humidity of January or February, so even the hottest days are bearable. Temperatures on a cool, cloudy day can drop considerably, well below 20˚C especially if the weather comes from the south. The route is mostly flat, with only one incline along the Avenida Niemeyer coast-hugging road between Sao Conrado and Leblon Beaches, and for the most part a cooling ocean breeze on most days.

As with all Big City marathons, the Rio de Janeiro Marathon should showcase the best sights of the city, and this beach-side run is definitely as good as any in the world, with many of the sights of Rio visible along the way: many of the best city beaches; mountains such as Pedra da Gavea, Pedra Bonita (which hosts the hang-gliding ramp, flyers landing on the sands of Sao Conrado), Pico da Tijuca and Dois Irmaos; and finishes with Sugar Loaf Mountain on one side and Corcovado Mountain, with the statue of Christ the Redeemer looking down from the other.

Our organisation for those who wish to participate in the Rio de Janeiro Marathon includes registration; kit collection during the days before, for which you can join us if you want to experience a little pre-race atmosphere; help to get to the starting line; information and maps on the route and also on the city; plus all the usual tour logistics of hotels, airport transfers, tours of Rio, and also for any extensions to the tour that you might like. Visits to Iguazu Falls and the beaches of Buzios or perhaps the Costa Verde of Paraty and Ilha Grande are highly recommended as places to unwind after you have collected your medal for completing the Rio de Janeiro Marathon.

  • Destinations: Rio de Janeiro
  • Duration: 3 Nights Recommended 15-18 June 2017
  • Trip Style: Events & Festivals
  • Activities: Running & Triathlons

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 : Arrive for the Rio de Janeiro Marathon
Rio de Janeiro
Your Rio de Janeiro Marathon Weekend begins with your arrival at the airport, where you will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to your hotel by the beaches of Copacabana or Ipanema. In the afternoon we can organise the final parts of the registration process and the collection of your official marathon kit from the Marina da Gloria. You can then take your first look at Rio from the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain after either catching the cable car or walking part way up on a trial. After descending, the rest of the day is then free, with a gentle sunset run along the beach paths a possibility for your final marathon preparations.
Day 2 : Tijuca Forest & Corcovado
Rio de Janeiro
The day before the marathon, and a walk in the Floresta de Tijuca, the largest urban forest in the world, might help stretch those muscles one final time. The hike takes you past waterfalls and up the highest peak in Rio, the 1,022m Tijuca Peak. You then continue to the top of Corcovado, the 710m high mountain topped by the statue of Christ the Redeemer. From here the views of Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and the beaches ringing the city are spectacular. After returning to your hotel, you have the afternoon to relax on the beaches, and the evening free to carb-load and turn in early... we hope...
Day 3 : The Rio de Janeiro Marathon
Rio de Janeiro
An early transfer takes you to the start line at Praia do Pontal for around 6:30am. Time to stretch out before the 7:30am pistol. The first 20km take you along the beach road to Barra de Tijuca, before passing through tunnels and on the ocean highway to Sao Conrado. After the Niemeyer coastal road to Leblon, the last 10km of the marathon are along Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches, before you pass through the final tunnel to Botafogo and the finish line in Flamengo. The Rio de Janeiro Marathon is as much a tour of the city as it is a race, and is sure to be one of the more memorable marathons of your lives!
Day 4 : Running Away from Rio
Rio de Janeiro & Away
Your Rio de Janeiro Marathon Weekend finishes with a relaxed day in order to recuperate from the previous day\'s exertions. There are plenty of juice bars in Rio, and you can also replenish with açai, the Brazilian superfruit sorbet. If you do want to continue in Brazil, we can combine the weekend with some days elsewhere, with Iguazu Falls, Buzios and the Costa Verde being the obvious choices, or simply more days in Rio. However you prefer to spend your time, we\'re sure that the Rio de Janeiro Marathon will be as memorable as any of your runs, and in all the good ways - if you trained enough!
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?


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.