How to Spend 2 Days in Rio de Janeiro
Beautiful beaches, expansive mountains, and the grand Carnival are only some of the reasons why Rio de Janeiro attracts thousands of visitors each year. Spending two days in Rio affords travelers enough time to explore its natural and cultural highlights, from forests and favelas to bohemian neighborhoods.
Day 1: Sightseeing in the Marvelous City
Morning: Get an early start and skip the crowds at two of Rio’s most popular attractions: Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Bask in early morning light as you pose for pics beneath Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor), a 98-foot (30-meter) statue deemed one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Afternoon: Sample Rio’s baroque architecture on a walking tour of downtown, including Metropolitan Cathedral and Carioca Square. Or let a guide lead you down cobbled Selaron Steps (Escadaria Selaron) past art galleries in Santa Teresa. Alternatively, an informational tour of the Rocinha favela provides an insider’s perspective.
Night: Get the VIP treatment on a nightlife tour of Rio and party alongside locals at bars and on the dancefloor. From the Zona Sul to Leblon, special tours allow you to skip entrance lines to popular nightclubs like Rio Scenarium. Round-trip transportation is typically provided from most hotels.
Day 2: Take to Sea and Sky—plus Samba
Morning: See the city and harbor from the sky while soaring high above on a helicopter tour. You’ll enjoy unsurpassed views of the seascape and its granite monoliths. If you’d prefer to take off with your own set of wings, consider a tandem hang gliding tour with a beach landing.
Afternoon: Rio is all about the bays and beaches, so be sure to cruise the waters for a unique point of view. Glide past the neighborhoods of Copacabana, Botafogo, and Flamengo, and listen to narration on Sugar Loaf and Niteroi. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the photo ops.
Night: When the sun sets, it’s time for a Brazilian dance and music show featuring favorites like samba and bossa nova. See dazzling performances featuring capoeira and Carnival costumes and capoeira, followed by a classic churrasco, a Brazilian barbecue dinner feast.