Fun day trips from Rio de Janeiro

By Stef Zisovska
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Fun day trips from Rio de Janeiro

Stef Zisovska
 
 
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Rio de Janeiro is a marvelous city, full of life, culture, music, extraordinary cuisine and great nightlife, no matter how interesting this city is, if you spend too much time here, you can easily get bored from the tourists, the high temperatures, and need a change of the scenery. Fortunately, there are so many things to see and do close to Rio, so you don’t have to worry if a break from the largest city in Brazil is what you need. History, culture and beautiful beaches can be found on few hours from Copacabana.

These are the best day trips that you can do from Rio and come back around party time.

Angra dos Reis

angra dos reis panorama green islands – Author: chensiyuan – CC BY-SA 4.0
angra dos reis panorama green islands – Author: chensiyuan – CC BY-SA 4.0

Only two hours away from Rio de Janeiro, you can visit the Bay of Kings or Angra dos Reis. Angra’s turquoise bay enchants all the visitors. Its 365 islands have countless pristine beaches that attract people from all over the country. The largest of the islands, the aptly named Ilha Grande, rises out of the sea like a giant tortoise.

The island is green, with an impressive size, including one of Brazil’s most exclusive bifurcated biological reserves, the Reserva Biologica Estadual da Praia do Sul on land, and the Parque Marinho do Aventureiro on the ocean. The two parks are connected with beautiful beaches that will make you wonder if you’re still on planet Earth. There are ferries that connect the islands with the town of Angra dos Reis itself, so it’s easy to go back and forth.

Niterói

In the foreground, to the left, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Niterói. In the background, Icaraí Beach – Author: Phx de – CC BY-SA 2.5
In the foreground, to the left, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Niterói. In the background, Icaraí Beach – Author: Phx de – CC BY-SA 2.5

Across from Guanabara Bay and facing Rio, there is a city called Niterói known for the iconic Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum sits on a rocky outcropping as a flying saucer, and its unique design puts him on the list of Rio’s biggest attractions, although it’s in a completely different city. The city’s lovely art nouveau architecture shows the world how important this half million place is for Brazil’s art and culture. Between 1834 and 1975 Niteroi served as the capital Rio de Janeiro province that became a state later. While the long bridge extending east from downtown Rio is the quickest way to get to Niterói, the ferry is the more exciting way to cross the bay, with stunning views of both cities, allowing you to make the best pictures ever.

Paraty

Hiking the Gold Trail – Author: Villanova
Hiking the Gold Trail – Author: Villanova

Paraty is a quiet, colonial town on the Bay of Ilha Grande. It has less than 35.000 people, cobblestone streets, and baroque churches. Paraty was an important part of the Trail of Gold during the 18th and the 19th century where slaves were entering the mines of landlocked Minas Gerais state and gold was taken the same way out. Today, Paraty lives mostly of tourism, receiving a lot of people who come admire the town’s culture and gold mining history. If you’re not interested in the Trail of Gold, you can visit one of the remarkable churches including Chapel of Santa Rita, with its curved gable and bell-tower. Literature lovers can attend the famous festival of literature held in Paraty, Festa Literária Internacional de Paraty or FLIP. Here you can find names like Isabel Allende and Salman Rushdie.

Petrópolis

Imperial Museum of Brazil, the most visited museum in Brazil – Author: Alexandre Machado – CC BY-SA 2.0
Imperial Museum of Brazil, the most visited museum in Brazil – Author: Alexandre Machado – CC BY-SA 2.0

Petropolis was established as the summer residence of the Brazilian emperors in the 19th century, and it’s only an hour away from Rio. In 2011 there were floods and landslides in Petropolis that damaged the town, but today everything stands like if nothing ever happened. The Imperial Museum is colored in pink and white and displays paintings and other works of art from the time of Emperor Pedro II.

Choose your favorite day trip from Rio and have a great time. Good luck!

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