Culture, Nature and Cariocas

Culture, Nature

3 Day or 5 Day Tour Rio de Janeiro

Despite of superlatives and stereotypes, Rio de Janeiro can be considered one of the world most beautiful and fascinating cities. Hosting some 10 million inhabitants, Rio is squeezed in between the green mountains of the coastal rainforest and tropical beaches at the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The city essentially shows the lifestyle of a South American metropolis, with a strong touch of tropical laissez-faire. A wide range of scenic, cultural and architectural highlights prove that the city does not strive exclusively on Samba and Carnival. A visit to the Sugar Loaf, the Corcovado Mountain and a bath at the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema is obviously a must. The visitor should not miss out, however on a stroll through the historical part of the city. Colorful, loud and busy, the city displays colonial architecture and – in contrast – modern office buildings, banks and business centers. But there are also quite corners and hidden places, where one can relax and meditate, surrounded by the exuberant tropical nature that makes Rio de Janeiro so attractive for visitors and locals alike.

  • Click here to enter the Rio de Janeiro Photo Gallery
  • Guest Comments (Sabine Czerner, Beatrice and Jules Nussbaumer / Bärbel and Karl Graf / Sonja and Ulrich Geppert / Christina and Friedrich Stockinger)

3 Day Tour Rio de Janeiro

1st day (Saturday))

First Impressions of Rio de Janeiro and the Sugar Loaf

Pick-up at Rio de Janeiro Airport and transfer to your hotel. We recommend the Hotel Miramar right in front of Copabana beach. After a long voyage the best thing to do is a relaxing stroll on famous Copacabana beach promenade. In the afternoon we take you for a cable car ride to the top of the 396 m high Sugar Loaf, world famous symbol of Rio de Janeiro, featuring views of the ocean, the bay, the surrounding mountains and the city itself, not to speak of the exuberant tropical vegetation on this island mountain. Right underneath the mountain there is a charming coastal path where we can stroll along while watching guenons and several species of humming birds.

At night you may want to dine in one of Rio’s fine specialty restaurants that we would be pleased to suggest.

2nd day (Sunday)

Nature + Culture = the perfect equation: Exuberant Atlantic Rainforest at Corcovado and Tijuca National Park

Pick-up at the hotel. The 704 m high Corcovado-mountain with the world famous statue of Christ the Redeemer offers an outstanding view over Rio de Janeiro, Guanabara bay neighbouring Niteroi´s ocean beaches and Organ pipe mountains. Next, a tour through the Floresta da Tijuca National Park, the world’s largest urban jungle with breathtaking views, waterfalls and rich tropical vegetation. Visit of the Capela Mairynck, a historic chapel from the 19th century with wall paintings by Portinari. Lunch at a restaurant located amidst the jungle. Nearby the Museo do Açude / Museo Castro Maya in the heart of the rainforest, features a permanent exposition of contemporary Brazilian artists as Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape and José Resende. Next is a visit to the famous Botanical Gardens. The Jardim Botânico, was founded in 1808, and is considered one of the world’s most beautiful botanical gardens, with 7200 species of flowers, plants and trees. The garden is designed as a landscape park and beautifully embedded at the foothills of the surrounding mountains. At night, instead of the usual tourist samba shows we take you to out to enjoy world famous Brazilian singers and musicians at the Teatro Rival or Canecão.

3rd day (Monday)

Historical and architectonical highlights downtown Rio and cobble stoned Santa Teresa quarter

Our sightseeing tour begins on the historical Cinelândia Square in front of the Teatro Municipal, built in 1909 imitating the style of the Paris Opera House. Nearby, we see Catedral Metropolitana /Petrobrás / BNDES, a fine ensemble of modern Brazilian architecture with gardens by Roberto Burle Marx, and the Convento de Santo Antônio, a magnificent baroque church with monastery from the 17th century, high above the Largo da Carioca Square. Visit of the Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, a noteworthy old bibliotheca from 1888 and the Confeitaria Colombo, Rio’s finest coffee house founded in 1894. Then the old wooden tramway brings us across a viaduct from 1750 to the charming artists neighborhood Santa Teresa with small streets, historical mansions, bars, ateliers and arts and crafts shops. On the way home visit of the Chácara do Céu museum with interesting pieces of Brazils colonial history and modern art.

5 day Tour Rio de Janeiro

1st day (Saturday)

First Impressions of Rio de Janeiro and the Sugar Loaf

As at 3 day tour above.

2nd day (Sunday)

Trip to the other side of the bay: Niterói

A panoramic car ride on the 13 km long bridge crossing the Guanabara Bay brings us to Niterói. Highlight of the futuristic coast walk Caminho Niemeyer is a visit of the Museu de Arte Contemporânea, the museum for contemporary art with audacious design by Oscar Niemeyer. Following the coastline we visit theFortaleza de Santa Cruz from 1555, one of the oldest and best-maintained fortresses of Brazil, providing spectacular views of the bay and Rio de Janeiro. Lunch in a beautifully restored 19th century patrician mansion and relaxing at the beaches of Niterói enjoying the magnificent landscape and panoramic views of Rio’s mountain range.

3rd day (Monday)

Historical and architectonical highlights downtown Rio and cobble stoned Santa Teresa quarter

As at 3 day tour above.

4th day (Tuesday)

Nature + Culture = the perfect equation: Exuberant Atlantic Rainforest at Corcovado and Tijuca National Park

As 2nd day (Sunday) of 3 day tour above.

5th day (Wednesday

Rio’s western region – A fascinating mix of Nature and Architecture

Early pick-up at your hotel. A one hour drive takes us to the Sítio Roberto Burle Marx, the country residence of Brazil’s most important 20th century landscape architect with beautiful gardens, thousands of rare plants and a 17th century chapel. After the visit we have lunch at a restaurant offering great views of the huge Restinga de Marambaia coast line. The beaches of Grumari and Prainha invite for a swim in an environmentally protected landscape. Return to Rio on thepanoramic Avenida Sernambetiba highway with views of the Barra da Tijuca beaches and mountains. On the way, stop to visit the former residence of Brazil’s world famous architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Casa das Canoas, constructed 1953 and spectacularly situated in the jungle high above Sâo Conrado beach. At sunset, we sure have earned our caipirinha which we enjoy while overlooking the ocean on the cliffs ofMirante do Leblon.