The 5 finest day journeys from Rio de Janeiro

The undulating panorama that surrounds Rio de Janeiro is studded with wilderness-backed seashores, historical websites and engaging smaller-scale city hubs.

However the reality of the matter is that public transport outdoors the town lacks effectivity. Journeys to locations that, on paper, seem probably shut – such because the cobbled streets of Paraty or the island charms of Ilha Grande – might nicely take many of the day, realistically requiring at the least an evening’s stopover.

With that in thoughts, listed below are 5 superb day journeys from Rio de Janeiro – three doable utilizing public transport, plus two for these with their very own set of wheels.

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1. Head to Ilha de Paquetá for an island escape

Journey time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Strolling the sandy simplicity of peaceable Ilha de Paquetá, it may be tough to consider {that a} mere hour or so in the past you had been in central Rio. This small island of fruit timber, pastel-hued buildings and golden sand is however an hour-long ferry experience from Praça XV within the metropolis middle. The island is gloriously car-free, and the preferred approach to get about is by bike; simply hire one from the principle avenue in entrance of the ferry terminal. 

A brief cycle from the ferry is Parque de Darke de Mattos, a leafy public park whose trails result in viewpoints reminiscent of Mirante Boa Vista, from which you’ll be able to look again to Sugarloaf Mountain. One Sunday a month, the streets erupt with samba, the rhythmic festivities persevering with nicely into the evening.

Easy methods to get to Ilha de Paquetá from Rio de Janeiro:

Ferries go away each 90 minutes from close to Praça XV (Quinze) de Novembro in Centro from about 7am.

Prainha seashore is without doubt one of the extra accessible coastal choices from Rio © Getty Pictures / iStockphoto

2. Catch a wave at Prainha

Journey time: 1 hour 

Heading west from Rio, the unfurling shoreline turns into wilder and more and more extra secluded. These with time on their fingers have limitless swathes of rustic coast to discover, however for those who’re trying to step out of Rio for a fast slice of tropical beachlife, Prainha seashore is without doubt one of the extra accessible choices. 

A wedge of white sand hugged by lush ascending greenery, its dramatic backdrop is matched by some significantly highly effective waves. Prainha is an everyday hangout for Rio’s extra skilled surfers and its magnificence is not any secret – weekends and holidays see the cove fill with cariocas taking a break from the town. Giant rock formations and powerful currents make it advisable that solely essentially the most assured swimmers enterprise out of their depth; there aren’t any lifeguards right here. A scattering of rustic eateries present easy refreshment.

Easy methods to get to Prainha from Rio de Janeiro:

Catch the orange “surf bus” that passes by way of Copacabana and Ipanema. or take a taxi. The seashore can also be accessible by bike.

3. Eat uber-fresh seafood in Niterói 

Journey time: 10 minutes

A 14km-long (8.7-mile) bridge connects Rio with its little sister metropolis Niterói. At simply 10 minutes by bus or 20 by ferry, it makes a simple day journey.

Regionally famend fish market Mercado Sao Pedro on Av Visconde do Rio Branco sits a couple of blocks from the ferry dock and is frequented by lots of Rio’s prime cooks sourcing their menus. Upstairs, a number of small eating places serve reasonably priced seafood; for an agreed worth, cooks right here may also put together fish you’ve bought out there.

Hiring a motorcycle is a pleasing choice in Niterói, and a 15-minute cycle from the market is the futuristically-formed Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói. This looming flying saucer of a museum was designed by famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer; the up to date displays might be attention-grabbing, however go for the sweeping structure and panoramic views of Guanabara Bay. 

Easy methods to get to Niterói from Rio de Janeiro:

Take a bus from Novo Rio Bus Terminal (Av Francisco Bicalho). Boats go away from Praça XV ferry terminal. 

Praca da Liberdade Square and Petropolis Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcantara  - Petropolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Generally known as the Imperial Metropolis, Petrópolis was designed by a German engineer and initially populated by German immigrants © Shutterstock / Diego Grandi

4. Discover Brazilian historical past in Petrópolis

Journey time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A bit of greater than an hour’s drive north of Rio (site visitors allowing), at a cooling elevation of 838m (2749ft), sits the town of Petrópolis. Generally known as the Imperial Metropolis, Petrópolis is a stately reminder of Brazil’s days of empire. Created underneath the instruction of Emperor Dom Pedro II and designed by German engineer Júlio Frederico Koeler, the town was initially populated by German immigrants. 

Don Pedro’s chunky pink-and-white palace is now dwelling to the Museu Imperial, the place a group of objects from his rule are on show. For contrasting structure from the interval, take a flip across the glass-and-iron Palácio de Cristal. Down the highway is Brazil’s oldest brewery, Cervejaria Bohemia – swing by for a brewery tour and a swig (plus a limonada for the designated driver). 

Easy methods to get to Petrópolis from Rio de Janeiro:

Take Elevado Professor Engenheiro Rufino de Almeida Pizarro in São Cristóvão from Av Pres. Vargas and comply with the expressway Through Expressa Pres. João Goulart/Linha Vermelha and BR-040 to Av Ayrton Senna to Petrópolis.

A surfer cuts through the frothy surf of the Atlantic Ocean in Cabo Frio, Rio De Janeiro, Brazi
Cabo Frio has gorgeous seashore in plentiful provide, every with its personal persona © Getty Pictures / iStockphoto

5. Discover your excellent seashore in Cabo Frio

Journey time: 2 hours half-hour

Some 150km (93 miles) east is the small coastal metropolis of Cabo Frio – and, most significantly, its seashores. The intricately weaving shoreline means gorgeous strands are in plentiful provide, every with its personal persona. Favorites embody Praia do Forte and Praia das Conchas for his or her vivid blonde sand and easy turquoise waters; followers of browsing and different water sports activities flock to Praia do Peró and Praia das Dunas. 

A brief and shallow boat journey away is Ilha do Japonês (Japanese Island), round which paddleboarders and kayakers glide over shoals of colourful fish. For a extra prolonged highway journey with a hefty dollop of glitz, go lower than an hour additional up the coast to the resort of Búzios. This idyllic fishing village has been liberally injected with cosmopolitan stylish; you’ll not need for swanky cocktails and sundown eating.

Easy methods to get to Cabo Frio from Rio de Janeiro:

Take Through Elevado da Perimetral in Caju from Túnel Rio 450 Anos and Through Binário do Porto. Comply with BR-101, Through Lagos and RJ-140 to Rua Alex Novelino in Ville Blanche, Cabo Frio. Proceed straight onto Rua Alex Novelino.