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Rio de Janeiro StateBrazil

Ipanema Beach

Discover a fascinating blend of sun-soaked beaches, jungle-clad mountains and tropical islands all within a short drive from the pulsating city of Rio de Janeiro.

Standing at the feet of the mighty Christ the Redeemer statue, the jaw-dropping scenery of Rio de Janeiro state fans out in all directions. Undulating hills swathed in rainforest roll down to an impeccable coastline framed by vibrant cities and quaint fishing villages. Beaches run as far as the eye can see and idyllic islands sit peacefully in perfect-blue water. This alone makes Rio de Janeiro state one of Brazil and the world’s most-loved travel destinations.

The obvious starting point, and for many travelers the first introduction to Brazil, is the metropolis of Rio de Janeiro, the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City) or simply Rio. Experience the swagger of world-famous beach suburbs such as Copacabana Beach, Ipanema and Leblon. Enjoy unbeatable views from Sugarloaf Mountain and the 125-feet (38-meter) tall statue of Jesus Christ, perched atop Mount Corcovado.

Wander the colorful streets of Santa Teresa and hike in Parque Nacional da Tijuca. Cross the Guanabara Bay and relax at the lesser-visited beaches of Niteroí. Escape the city bustle by catching a boat to the traffic-free Ilha de Paquetá (Paquetá Island).

With a good network of buses, it’s easy to get out of Rio and explore the state’s coastline. Travel east along the Costa do Sol to Cabo Frío for snorkeling, surfing and superb seafood. Nearby is Búzios, a peninsula with almost 20 beaches to choose from.

West of Rio is a postcard-perfect stretch of fjord-like coastline called Costa Verde. Board a boat bound for Ilha Grande, an island getaway with pristine beaches, snorkeling spots and jungle hiking routes. Visit Paraty, one of Brazil’s best preserved colonial cities. Trek to waterfalls and spot exotic wildlife in Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina.

Take a break from the coast and visit the pretty hill towns of Petrópolis and Teresópolis. Trek in the mountains ranges of Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos.

Flights to the state arrive regularly from major worldwide cities at Rio De Janeiro International Airport. You’ll feel the state’s infectious charm as soon as you exit the plane. Witness the Brazilian passion for parties at annual celebrations including the Rio Carnival and Rio Réveillon (New Year’s Eve).

Popular cities in Rio de Janeiro State

Rio de Janeiro featuring general coastal views, a sunset and mountains
Rio de Janeiro
Known for Beach View, Sea and Scenery
The stunning scenery, vibrant atmosphere and year-round heat will ensure that you have the holiday of a lifetime in this ocean-front city.

Reasons to visit

  • Copacabana Beach
  • Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon
  • Avenida Atlantica
Known for Rafting, Rock Climbing and Rainforest

Reasons to visit

  • Imperial Museum
  • Crystal Palace
  • Guanabara Bay
Angra dos Reis showing boating, a bay or harbour and a sunset
Angra dos Reis
Known for Beach View, Island and Marina
Colonial landmarks, emerald waters, dozens of white-sand beaches and forest-clad tropical islands make this a quintessential beach town on the Costa Verde.

Reasons to visit

  • Biscaia Beach
  • Angra dos Reis Port
  • Laboratorio Beach
Vila do Abraao showing street scenes and a small town or village as well as a small group of people
Ilha Grande
Known for Beach View, Island and Hiking

Reasons to visit

  • Lopes Mendes Beach
  • Abraao Beach
  • Japariz Beach
Prainha Beach featuring general coastal views, a coastal town and a beach
Known for Beach View, Swimming and Surfing
Stroll along a scenic promenade dedicated to an iconic French diva, admire gorgeous colonial architecture and scuba dive in pristine bays.

Reasons to visit

  • Itajuru Canal
  • Geriba Beach
Meio Beach showing rugged coastline, a beach and general coastal views
Known for Boating, Snorkelling and Rainforest
Learn about local history and traditions in the museums and churches of the old town and travel to Trindade for its stunning beaches.

Reasons to visit

  • Paraty Beach
  • Pontal Beach