Rio de Janeiro is the second most populated city in Brazil and is, as you can imagine, a world within itself. The city is full of history (dating back to 1565 when it was first discovered by the Portuguese) and famously hosts the biggest and grandest Carnaval (AKA Carnival, AKA Mardi Gras) in the world. To top it all off, Rio maintains some of the best beaches in the Southern Hemisphere, including Copacabana and Ipanema, and offers glorious views from its mountains and hills, the city is truly special—why not visit in 2017? Check out these five urban city tours to get you started.
Rio de Janeiro Adventure Tour: Urban Jungle Trek
Trek Rio de Janeiro’s urban jungle for two to four hours for $23 per person in support of the Cooperativa Vale Encantado, a group that facilitates community events and gives back to the people. Learn about local flora, fauna, and food overlooking the Brazilian coast of Boa Vista Plateau, the Christ the Redeemer statue, and the ocean. Book here.
Rio de Janeiro Community Tour: Urban Culture, Art, & Capoeira
Learn the art of Capoeira, the historic Brazilian martial arts dance created by slaves in Bahia. The story is that these slaves disguised this defense plan as a dance to avoid beatings from their masters. For five hours, invest your $24 to Favela Phoenix, a non-profit who provides free education to at-risk children. In addition, enjoy a tour about Rio de Janeiro’s neighborhoods and visit an art studio of a graffiti artist and explore the Brazilian art scene. Book here.
Rio de Janeiro Walking Tour: Daily Life in the Favelas
For two and a half hours, explore the favela way of life in a walking tour. Experience the non-touristy neighborhoods and learn about the rich culture—top it all off by viewing the scenic overviews on the majestic Santa Marta hill. For $24 per person support Brazilidade, a program allowing locals to share their experiences with visitors. Book here.
Rio de Janeiro Dance Class: Samba and Nightlife
Learn and practice samba for four hours with Rio Samba Dancer, an organization which uses dance and communication tools to empower underprivileged kids. Once you’ve developed your moves, practice in Rio de Janeiro’s lively nightlife. $56 per person. Book here.
Rio de Janeiro Adventure Tour: Hillside Hiking
Go on a hike in the famous Morro do Iramaos overseeing the beachside of Rio de Janeiro. Encounter the colorful streets filled with murals and graffiti ending in Southern Rio with its panoramic views. The tour finishes sipping on a refreshing acai berry freezie or Caipirinha. Support Trilha Dois Irmaos who conducts community tours. Four hours at $90 per person. Book here.