Rio Travel Guide: The Best Holiday Activities

As a city, Rio is pretty unique. It combines rolling hills, breath-taking mountains, luscious beaches and bustling city streets. One minute you’ll be driving along a cliff-side and the next you’ll be in a busy street market. I was lucky enough to explore Rio with Adidas and Nissan, and took note of my favourite spots which I recommend you try.

The Botanical Gardens

Rio has some of the most beautiful botanical gardens I have ever seen. They feature huge fountains, palm tree lined pathways and gorgeous waterfalls. You can actually hike up through the park to some even more gorgeous waterfalls too. If you get peckish, just opposite the entrance is an award winning restaurant Borogodo which I highly recommend you give a go. Booking is necessary though as it is super popular.

Make A Splash

I visited 360 Sports, which is a water-sports centre offering a huge range of different activities. My favourites included fly-boarding and jet-skiing. I loved driving the jet-ski down the river and looking at the surrounding houses and community, it was a unique way to explore the city. They also offer stand up paddle-boarding, kayaking and loads more. If you’re looking for an exhilarating way to spend a day, then it is certainly worth a visit.

Hit The Beach

Rio has a selection of beaches to choose from depending on what you fancy! Each one is surrounded by gorgeous scenery and is scattered with fresh coconut stands, unique cafes and even workout stations (great for an early morning beach-side sesh!). My personal favourite was Ipanema but don’t forget the famous Copacabana. One of the most beautiful views is the sunset on the beach, be sure not to miss it.

Tuck In

The Brazilians know how to do food. While you’re there, be sure to try the local delicacies. They do these amazing puffed cheesy-bready-thingys (technical name right there!) which taste like the badgers nadgers. Another speciality is stuffed tapioca pancakes which can be made sweet or savoury. I personally prefer the tapioca and egg pancakes which are thicker and have a higher protein content. I smothered mine in cream cheese. Yum! Brazilians also love their Acai, and you can grab a bowl of the good stuff on almost any street corner. My favourite place for it was k28 beach bar which serve theirs with lashings of granola and a side of sunshine.

Take In The View

One of the best spots for a view of Rio is up Sugarloaf mountain. You can get there by cable car, but I actually prefer the short hike up the steep mountainside. The view at the top is absolutely breath-taking. You can then get a cable car to an even higher point, and then all the way down if you don’t fancy the hike back to the bottom. If you have time, check out the restaurant at the top as it serves incredible fresh and wholesome food!

Visit The Rodrigo Lagoon

In the South of the city you can find the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon which is a perfect spot to get active. You can either talk a gentle stroll around it, go for a jog or hire a bike from a nearby rental stand. And don’t forget to grab a fresh coconut to rehydrate! The surroundings are gorgeous and you can stop off for a workout at multipack “exercise stations” on the way around.


You’re in Brazil after all. Get on your dancing shoes and hit the town. I went to a club called Fabrik and danced the night away with a huge crowd of Brazilians (who admittedly seemed quite alarmed by my uncoordinated moves!). Sip on the local drink, a Capirera, in the signature lemon flavour while you’re at it (although the watermelon variety is lush too!). Take note though, Brazilians party later than us Brits and they don’t get to the club until about 1am!

Top Rio Tips:

There are two key things to remember in Rio: traffic and theft. The traffic is absolutely crazy, like literally ridiculous, I can’t emphasise that enough. So be sure to factor in “traffic time” to your itinerary. Also, I don’t want to put you off but thieves in Rio tend to target tourists. So put your valuables in a safe place, don’t flaunt your cash or tech and be sure to keep your wits about you.

Enjoy your Rio adventure!

Zanna xx

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