Side Trips from Rio: Places to Explore


  • Angra dos Reis

    Angra dos Reis (Bay of Kings) has it all: colonial architecture, beautiful beaches, and clear green waters. Schooners, yachts, sailboats, and fishing skiffs drift among the bay's 365 islands, one for every... Read more

  • Búzios

    Little more than two hours from Rio de Janeiro, Búzios is a string of beautiful beaches on an 8-km-long (5-mile-long) peninsula. It was the quintessential sleepy fishing village until the 1960s, when the... Read more

  • Cabo Frio

    One of the oldest settlements in Brazil, Cabo Frio was established in the early 1500s as a port from which wood was shipped to Portugal. Today it's best known for its lovely seaside setting and fresh seafood... Read more

  • Ilha Grande

    Ilha Grande, 90 minutes via ferry from Angra dos Reis, is one of the most popular island destinations in Brazil. It boasts 86 idyllic beaches, some of which are sandy ribbons with backdrops of tropical... Read more

  • Niterói

    Cariocas joke that the best thing about Niterói is the view—on a clear day you can see Rio de Janeiro with the Corcovado and Sugarloaf across the bay. But Niterói has the last laugh, as the city is ranked... Read more

  • Paraty

    This stunning colonial city—also spelled Parati—is one of South America's gems. Giant iron chains hang from posts at the beginning of the mazelike grid of cobblestone streets, closing them to all but pedestrians... Read more

  • Petrópolis

    The highway northeast of Rio de Janeiro rumbles past forests and waterfalls en route to a mountain town so refreshing and picturesque that Dom Pedro II, Brazil's second emperor, moved there with his summer... Read more