Know Different Parts of Rio de Janeiro and Practice Portuguese
Join us every Friday afternoon for our popular City Tour in Rio de Janeiro, led by our tour guide, Davi. We run a large number of different tours, ranging from beautiful hikes in the mountains with incredible views of Rio, to trips around historical parts of the city, bike tours in Rio de Janeiro and visits to special markets.
Details of City Tour in Rio de Janeiro
When: Every Friday afternoon
Meet: At the Caminhos Language Centre
Cost: Free! Students pay only for their own bus or metro ticket.
Why we call our City Tour Rio de Janeiro the ‘Shitty Tour’
Our City Tour acquired the tongue-in-cheek name, ‘Shitty Tour’ when we first started in 2009. Volunteers who ran it back then sometimes lost people along the way. It became a bit of a joke at Caminhos and our team quickly renamed it the ‘Shitty Tour’.
Today the ‘Shitty Tour’ name remains but the tour itself is guaranteed to be one of Rio’s best tours, with Davi, our fantastic tour guide, showing the students around the city of Rio.
City Tour Rio de Janeiro overview
City Tour Rio de Janeiro – Dois Irmãos Hike
Morro Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Mountain) is the mountain with two iconic peaks at the western end of Ipanema and Leblon beaches. The hike to the top of Dois Irmãos is relatively easy and takes about 40 minutes each way. We enter Vidigal favela and take a mototaxi or VW Kombi van to the end of the road at the top of the favela, and then we hike the rest of the way. Not only is the view amazing but you have a great cultural experience as you enter the community of Vidigal and see another perspective of Rio life. We ask everyone to wear good trainers (sneakers) and bring water and sunscreen.
City Tour Rio de Janeiro – Pedra Bonita Hike
This is a more challenging hike which takes about one hour each way and starts inside Tijuca National Park. It’s fairly steep but is sheltered with trees. It’s a beautiful hike to do and it’s not uncommon to see animal wildlife such as colourful birds, butterflies and monkeys on the way up. The name ‘Pedra Bonita’ was given by local farmers centuries ago, referring to the beautiful view from the top – don’t forget to bring your camera as you’ll definitely want to take pictures once you reach the top!
City Tour Rio de Janeiro – Morro da Urca Hike
Morro da Urca is the smaller mountain located at the iconic Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) – one of Rio’s must-see sights! It’s a relatively easy hike, starting at Praia Vermelha in Urca, and it takes around 30 minutes each way. Once at Morro da Urca (the smaller mountain) you can take the cable car to the bigger mountain for the full Pão de Açúcar experience.
City Tour Rio de Janeiro – Christ the Redeemer Hike
The hike up to Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) – or ‘Corcovado’, as it’s known here – starts in the beautiful Parque Lage. This is one of the more challenging hikes. We encourage everyone to wear good trainers (sneakers) and bring plenty of water. The hike takes about 1.5 hours each way. Once at the top you can be guaranteed great photos of Rio’s most talked about landmark: Christ the Redeemer. We only do this hike on clear sunny days – if it’s cloudy it can be difficult to see the statue of Cristo at the top.
City Tour Rio de Janeiro – Bike tour to Parque Lage
We hire bicycles from a local company close to the school and take a pleasant bike tour to Parque Lage, a beautiful public park with a gorgeous old mansion, big swimming pool and walking trails through to Tijuca National Park rainforest. The park also contains the Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (Visual Arts School of Parque Lage) and a cafe open to the public in the old mansion building. The famous mansion in Parque Lage was notably featured in the 2003 music video for Snoop Dogg’s single, ‘Beautiful’.
City Tour Rio de Janeiro – Bike Tour to São Conrado
We hire bicycles from a local company close to the school and take a relaxing bike tour to São Conrado.
There is a beautifully-located oceanside cycle path that takes you to the beaches of São Conrado. The views are fantastic as we pass Ipanema, Leblon and Vidigal to reach our destination. Once at São Conrado we can drink a coconut and watch the paragliders gliding down from the top of the nearby mountain, Pedra da Gávea.
City Tour Rio de Janeiro – Visit to São Cristóvão fair
We take the Metro and the bus to arrive in São Cristóvão, which is famous for having the biggest market in Rio. The Feira de São Cristóvão has more than 700 stalls and is housed in a permanent complex. A wide range of products are on offer, including food, art, souvenirs, clothes, sunglasses and homewares. There are also several restaurants and bars. Most people go to the Feira de São Cristóvão for a fun day or evening out, to experience a great mix of music and dancing as well as various traditional Brazilian foods.
City Tour Rio de Janeiro – City Centre and Santa Teresa
We take the Metro to Centro (the city centre) and walk around to check out various highlights of the centre of Rio the Janeiro, such as the Municipal Theatre in the square at Cinelândia, the Cathedral of São Sebastião and the National Library. We stop to drink a coffee in Confeitaria Colombo, a beautiful and historical city centre cafe, and walk by the colourful tiled stairs decorated by a famous artist, Jorge Selarón, to Santa Teresa where we finish with a chopp (draught beer).
City Tour Rio de Janeiro – Visit to CCBB (Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil)
We love taking people to the CCBB cultural centre as it frequently displays interesting exhibitions and it’s a great cultural experience for students. Past exhibitions have included works of Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Salvador Dali and Yayoi Kusama. The building is a historical monument in Rio and interesting in itself to see. We take the Metro to Centro and walk to the CCBB building. Sometimes there is a small entrance fee but it often has free entry. We recommend all students bring their Caminhos student ID card to obtain a discounted price on days with an entrance fee. If we have enough time we love to take students to enjoy a coffee at Confeitaria Colombo afterwards.