30 Apr

When thinking about Rio de Janeiro, the tourist sights are the first thing that comes to mind — Christ the Redeemer statue, the Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana… These places are famous all over the world. What tourists may not know is that the city has A LOT more beautiful “hidden” places, amazing lesser-known tourist sights in Rio de Janeiro.

Of course you need to visit all the famous spots in Rio, but next time you stop by for a visit, how about trying something new? Rio de Janeiro has incredible unexplored places to visit!

Sítio Burle Marx

tourst sights rio de janeiro

Roberto Burle Marx was a Brazilian landscape architect, famous for designing parks and gardens. What is now called Sítio Burle Marx was his home from 1973 until 1994, the year of his death. Today, the area works as a study center for landscaping, botanical studies, and nature conservation.

Currently, the park is home for thirty-five hundred species of plants, especially tropical plants from Brazil. It is also known as one of the most important collections of living plants in the world.

If you want to visit the park, you need to book it through visitas.srbm@iphan.gov.br.

Parque Lage

pontos turísticos desconhecidos no Rio de Janeiro

Caminhos’ friends may know Parque Lage because it is one of the destinations for our famous Shitty Tours on Fridays. However, many tourists do not know about it.

Jardim Botânico neighborhood is home for Parque Lage, a 52-hectare park in Rio de Janeiro. At the park, you will find a children’s playground, a hiking path leading to Christ the Redeemer statue, a big fountain, an aquarium, a few picnic and rest areas, and an old mansion right in the middle of the park.

The mansion now operates as an art school, which has exhibitions open to the public, as well as a café.

Ilha da Gigoia 

gigoia island

Gigoia Island is located in Barra da Tijuca. It is part of an archipelago of approximately ten small islands. The access to the island is made by boats and the trip costs about R$5. 

There are great attractions at Ilha da Gigóia. You can do a boat tour for about R$25 and discover beautiful places, such as Lagoa da Tijuca. There are also places where you can rent jet skis, kayaks, or stand-up paddle boards and enjoy the day at the lagoon.

The island hosts lots of different restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy the nice vibe of the island while overlooking the beautiful coast.

Praia do Secreto

unexplored places rio de janeiro

We already talked about Praia do Secreto in our past article Rio de Janeiro Beaches x You: Discover the Ideal Beach for Your Profile. Praia do Secreto is one of the lesser-known tourist sights in Rio de Janeiro. Not even many locals know about this spot. 

This beach is a hidden gem in Rio de Janeiro, but it’s not available every day of the year. Only when the ocean tide is low, a natural pool is formed between rocks in a specific place in Recreio dos Bandeirantes neighborhood. That’s when Praia do Secreto makes its appearance, making it a great attraction for a beautiful day in Rio.


paqueta island

Paquetá Island is located just off the coast of the Guanabara bay in Rio de Janeiro. No cars are allowed on the island, making it just a lovely place for a nice day trip. It very common for tourists to rent bikes for a nice ride along the island. Definitely a nice choice for a peaceful day in Rio.

You can get there by taking a ferry boat at Praça XV, in Centro.

Largo do Boticário

Offbeat Destinations in rio de janeiro

Largo do Boticário (Apothecary’s Plaza) is a square located in Cosme Velho neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. It is a rustic place, with neo-colonial houses and surrounded by native vegetation. If you are planning a trip to visit Largo do Boticário, just keep in mind there is not much to do there but look around and take pictures. The houses are not open to the public. However, if you are already in the neighborhood — visiting Christ the Redeemer, for example —Largo do Boticário definitely worths a visit. You will be able to take amazing photos there!

The houses are currently being restored to become a hotel. Hopefully, it’s going to be a nicer tourist spot in the future. 

Ilhas Tijucas

paddling in rio de janeiro

The Tijucas Islands are located in Barra da Tijuca and are only accessible by boat or stand up paddling. You can rent SUP boards and kayaks to get there. It is an amazing place to enjoy nature, the scenery and take pictures! You can also do some snorkeling, as the place has beautiful clear water.


Study Brazilian Portuguese with Caminhos Language Centre.


Leave a Comment