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Rio de Janeiro Tours | 6 City Sights Excursions

(159 customer reviews)

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Rio de Janeiro is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world and is highly regarded as one of the best places to visit in South America. Renowned for its stunning beaches, multicultural heritage, and friendly people, Rio is a city that should be on your travel bucket list. 

Rio has a plethora of things to do, from exploring its various sandy beaches to dancing the night away during Carnival. Even just taking in the spectacular views of the city from the Sugar Loaf Mountains is pretty magical. 

Guided tours of Rio de Janeiro are the best way to explore all the city’s exciting sights, and we’ve listed the best ones below to help you plan your trip. 

Highlights:

  • Visit the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue
  • Ride the cable car up the breathtaking Sugar Loaf Mountains
  • Discover some of the top attractions in Rio de Janeiro 
  • Enjoy delicious cuisine at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse 

Know Before You Book:

  • Majority of tours are not wheelchair accessible
  • Most sights get crowded during peak season
  • Pick-up and drop off are only available from certain hotels in the South Zone

Sugarloaf Mountain Cable Car

Rio is a stunning city nestled in between the sea and mountains. It’s the second largest city in Brazil after the capital, Brasilia. This is one of those cities that instantly captures your heart, and it’s not hard to see why so many fall in love with it.

With stunning dramatic mountains, a majestic rainforest within the city limits, and the most gorgeous sandy beaches in South America, Rio really is a city that’s hard not to love. And who could forget – it’s the home of Samba and Carnival so you’re guaranteed to have a ball of a time.

We’ve rounded up the best Rio de Janeiro tours that will help you discover the best that this fun-loving and vibrant city has to offer.

Rio de Janeiro Guided Tours Prices

The cost of Rio de Janeiro tours tickets & excursions starts at about $26 (R$ 142) for a short tour and a single entry ticket to the Christ the Redeemer statue and can go up to about $110 (R$ 601) for a full-day tour.

The prices of the tours vary according to the duration and whether or not food is included as part of the tour. You can compare prices across the ticket providers below:

Times of Rio de Janeiro Day Tours

Most full-day tours start bright and early, at about 8 am, to avoid the heat and crowds. They also start this early as most tours have a jam-packed itinerary with lots to see. So, to make the most of the day, it’s beneficial to start early.

Other options, such as sunset tours, may start at around 13:30 pm allowing tour participants to catch a classic Rio sunset.

Best Time to Go on a Tour of Rio de Janeiro

The best time to visit Rio is between December and March. This is when the weather is nice and warm enough to enjoy Rio’s stunning beaches. If you’re hoping to attend Rio’s Electric Carnival, then you should visit in February, but be sure to book your hotel in advance to avoid price hikes.

If you’re planning to avoid both crowds and the heat, consider visiting between April and May, or October and November, when the temperatures are much milder.

Full-Day Tours of Rio de Janeiro

There’s a tour of Rio for every kind of traveler and budget. Here are some of our favorite Rio de Janeiro tours.

Rio: Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf and Seralon Day Tour

Christ the Redeemer Statue

If you have limited time available in Rio, then this full-day tour is absolutely perfect for you. Visit various of the city’s most prized gems which include some of Brazil’s most popular landmarks like  Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer Statue.

What we liked: Great for visiting all of Rio’s must-see attractions in a day.


INCLUDES:
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Entry-Ticket to the Christ the Redeemer statue
  • Ticket to the cable car up the Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Lunch at a Brazilian steakhouse

EXCLUDES:
  • Drinks (to be purchased separately at the restaurant)
  • Gratuities

This full-day guided tour of Rio starts with a pick-up from your hotel bright and early. Then you’ll head to Corcovado Mountain, passing through the gorgeous Tijuca Forest. From there, you’ll make your way over to the much-loved Christ the Redeemer Statue, where you’ll get to enjoy some of the best panoramic views of the city.

Once you’ve taken in the stunning city views, the tour then heads down to another iconic Brazilian landmark– The Maracana Stadium.

After a visit here, the tour will head to the Sambodromo, which hosts the Carnival every year, followed by the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio, and the beautiful Seralon Steps. You’ll then enjoy a hearty Brazilian lunch at a steakhouse before journeying up to Sugarloaf Mountain on a cable car to end your day.

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Rio de Janeiro: 6-Stop Highlights of Rio with Lunch

Christ the Redeemer Statue on Corcovado Mountain

This tour is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to see all of Rio’s top gems in a day. You’ll enjoy a city tour where you can admire Sugarloaf Mountain, the Christ the Redeemer Statue, the iconic Maracana Stadium, and more.

What we liked: Great for visiting all of Rio’s must-see attractions in a day.


INCLUDES:
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Entry fees to 6 of Rio’s top sights
  • Multilingual Guide
  • Lunch

EXCLUDES:
  • Drinks and dessert (to be purchased separately at the restaurant)
  • Gratuities

The first stop on this tour will be the legendary Christ the Redeemer Statue on Corcovado Mountain. From here you can take in undisturbed views of the whole city – perfect for many photo opportunities.

After marveling at Rio’s stunning views, you’ll then visit Brazil’s home of football, the Maracana Stadium. From there, you’ll get to admire the colorful Seralon Steps and stop over at the Metropolitan Cathedral.

You’ll then enjoy a buffet lunch at a Brazilian restaurant before making your way up to the Sugarloaf Mountain. As you ascend up the mountain with the cable car, you’ll get to enjoy views of Rio, Guanabara Bay, and the nearby city of Niteroi.

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Full Day in Rio with Train Ride

Rio Tour with Train Ride

This exciting tour is one of the most exciting ways to get around Rio and experience all its best attractions. The best part? You’ll get to enjoy a fun train ride up Corcovado Mountain up to the Christ the Redeemer Statue.

What we liked:Fun way of exploring the best of Rio’s attractions.


INCLUDES:
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off
  • Entry fees, taxes and tickets
  • Buffet Lunch at a Brazilian Steakhouse

EXCLUDES:

Drinks (to be purchased separately at the restaurant)

  • Gratuities

This tour takes you on the ultimate Rio highlights tour. Along the way, you’ll pass the famous Ipanema and Copacabana beaches. You’ll then board a train and ride up the Corcovado Mountain, passing by the Tijuca Forest. Once at the top you’ll get to spend time at the Christ the Redeemer Statue and take lots of photos.

From there you’ll visit the Maracana Stadium, Seralon Steps, and ride the cable car up  Sugarloaf Mountain.

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Other Tours in Rio de Janeiro

Here are some other tours that you can look forward to in Rio.

Rio de Janeiro: Half-Day Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

Rocinha Favela

To see a different side of Rio, take a walking tour of the city’s largest favela. Get to know some of the residents, their stories, and the history of this unique area.

What we liked: Great for seeing the authentic side of Rio away from the glitz and glam.


INCLUDES:
  • Walking tour with a local resident

EXCLUDES:
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off

This four-hour walking tour takes you through the largest favela in Rio, home to over 180 000 people. It is located on a steep hill in Rio’s South Zone, between the districts of Sao Conrado and Gavea.

This tour is organized by a local guide from the area and is non-intrusive to the residents. The tour aims to show visitors the true Rio and eliminate the negative stereotypes associated with life in the favelas. You’ll learn about the history and more about the people who shape this area.

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Rio Sunset Tour

Sunset Tour Rio de Janeiro

If you’re not a morning person, then this sunset tour that starts in the afternoon is perfect for you. Discover some of Rio’s top sights later on in the day, and end a thrilling day off by watching the sunset over this glorious city.

What we liked: Great for exploring the city later in the day.


INCLUDES:
  • Guided half-day tour
  • All entry fees and attractions
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off

EXCLUDES:
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities

This sunset tour starts in the afternoon at about 13:30. It will take you to some of Rio’s top sights like the Christ the Redeemer Statue, and the Metropolitan Cathedral. During the tour you’ll pass by other popular attractions like Copacabana and Ipanema Beach, and Avenida Atlantica.

Towards the end of the day, you’ll take the cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain, where you’ll enjoy the breathtaking sunset over Rio.

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Santa Teresa & Lapa with Tram Ride

Santa Teresa Tram Tour

Get to know the more traditional places in Rio de Janeiro with a tram ride through the city. You’ll get to explore the exciting neighborhoods of Lapa and Santa Teresa and also visit the Seralon Steps.

What we liked: Perfect for exploring the less touristy side of Rio.


INCLUDES:
  • Guided half-day walking tour
  • Tram ride
  • Hotel pick-up and drop off

EXCLUDES:
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities

This Rio city tour goes off the beaten path. It starts in downtown Rio with a tram ride, followed by a walking tour through the cultural areas of Santa Teresa and Lapa. Your guide will point out highlights such as the Passeio Público and Theatro Municipal. You’ll then stop at the pretty Seralon Steps for some photos before exploring more of the area.

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8.8Expert Score
Editor Review
Rio city sight tours are a great way to discover all its highlights. They’re also a great way to get to know the city and all the people who call it home.
Comfort
8
Location
10
Value for Money
8.5
PROS
  • Get to see most of Rio’s top attractions in one day
  • Most tours include meals
  • Various selection of tours
CONS
  • Tours can be repetitive
  • Most tours are not wheelchair accessible
  • Not very clear differentiation between tours
  • Hotel pick-up is only for hotels in the South Zone.

Specification: Rio de Janeiro Tours | 6 City Sights Excursions

Acessibility

Most tours are not wheelchair accessible

Duration

4-8 Hours

Inclusions

Lunch, Hotel pick-up and drop-off from the South Zone

Exclusions

Gratuities, some tours do not include lunch, drinks

Suitable for

Most people

159 reviews for Rio de Janeiro Tours | 6 City Sights Excursions

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  1. Melinda_K

    Every part of the tour experience was great. First, Gisela notified me of the pickup time and place the day before so that I didn't have to fret about that. Monica was my guide and she was AMAZING!!! She provided so much information about everything — even as we drove past various locations she would explain anything significant about it (I think she knows everything about Rio). She was also extremely thoughtful – making sure there was opportunity for toilet breaks and never rushing through anything. It was a fantastic day and I highly recommend this tour for everyone.

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  2. juanlnegron

    It was a great overview, however the tour guide spoke most of the time in Portuguese. He was funny, charismatic and attentive— however he didn’t have structure. If you were chill, you would have had a great time— though sometimes I got frustrated because he didn’t recognize many of us didn’t speak Portuguese.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  3. juanlnegron

    It was a great overview, however the tour guide spoke most of the time in Portuguese. He was funny, charismatic and attentive— however he didn’t have structure. If you were chill, you would have had a great time— though sometimes I got frustrated because he didn’t recognize many of us didn’t speak Portuguese.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this

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    Rio de Janeiro Tours | 6 City Sights Excursions
    Rio de Janeiro Tours | 6 City Sights Excursions
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