Rio de Janeiro State

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, mountains and a sunset
Rio de Janeiro
Known for Beach view, Sea and Scenery
Enjoy spectacular scenery by day and an electric atmosphere at night in Brazil’s most vibrant city.

Reasons to visit

  • Copacabana Beach
  • Ipanema Beach
  • Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden
Angra dos Reis showing a sunset, boating and a bay or harbour
Angra dos Reis
Known for Beach view, Islands and Marinas
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

  • Angra dos Reis Port
  • Praia Grande
  • Naval College
Meio Beach featuring a sandy beach, rocky coastline and general coastal views
Known for Boating, Snorkelling and Rainforests
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

  • Church of Our Lady of the Remedies
  • Bandeira Square
  • Chapel of Saint Rita
Prainha Beach featuring general coastal views, a coastal town and a beach
Known for Beach view, Surfing and Natural parks
Stroll along a scenic promenade dedicated to an iconic French diva, admire gorgeous colonial architecture and scuba dive in pristine bays.

Reasons to visit

  • Rua das Pedras
  • Brigitte Bardot Statue
  • Orla Bardot
Sao Mateus Fort which includes a beach, general coastal views and island images
Cabo Frio
Known for Surfing, Natural parks and Scuba diving
Cabo Frio awaits: its surfing, parks, beaches and more!

Reasons to visit

  • Casa-Atelie Carlos Scliar Museum
  • Sao Mateus Fort
  • Japanese Island
Known for Rafting, Rock climbing and Rainforests
Trip time! Discover the rafting, rock climbing and beer in upscale Petropolis.

Reasons to visit

  • Imperial Museum
  • Cathedral of Saint Peter of Alcantara