Regular service is available to and from Rio. Long-distance and international buses leave from the Rodoviária Novo Rio. Any local bus marked "rodoviária" will take you to the station. You can buy tickets at the depot or, for some destinations, from travel agents. To buy online you will need a CPF (Brazilian Social Security) number. A staff member at your hotel may be able to help you with online purchases.
Menezes Cortes Terminal (Rua São José 35, Centro, Rio de Janeiro, 20010–020. 021/2544–6667. www.tgmc.com.br.)
Rodoviária Novo Rio (Av. Francisco Bicalho 1, Santo Cristo, Rio de Janeiro, 20220–310. 021/3213–1800. www.transportal.com.br/rodoviaria-novorio.)
Rio's urban buses are cheap, frequent, and generally safe to use, but do not show cameras or wallets, and do not wear expensive-looking clothes or jewelry. Wear backpacks on your front, and avoid getting on or off the bus in deserted areas. Local buses have a fixed price (R$2.80), and can take you anywhere you want to go. Route maps aren't available, but local tourist offices have route lists for the most popular sights. Enter buses at the front, pay the attendant, and pass through a turnstile. Have your fare in hand when you board to avoid flashing bills or your wallet. When you want to get off, pull the overhead cord and the driver will pause at the next designated stop. Exit from the rear of the bus.
The comfortable, privately run, and air-conditioned Real VIP buses serve the beaches, downtown, and Rio's two airports. These vehicles, which look like highway buses, stop at regular bus stops but also may be flagged down wherever you see them. Expect to pay around three times the price of the regular bus. Minivans, known as "combis," run back and forth along beachfront avenues. Fares start at about R$2.50.
Real (021/3035–6700 or 021/3086–1700. www.realautoonibus.com.br.)