From Rio de Janeiro city, it is possible to combine excellent day trips, including beautiful beaches, islands, lagoons, and historic and imperial cities.
Check out our suggested destinations for you to include on your travel itinerary from Rio.
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro
1. Arraial do Cabo
Photo Credit: Mateus Pontes
Arraial do Cabo is a destination in the Lagos Region known as the Brazilian Caribbean, with the color of the sea always between blue and green.
In addition to the beautiful beaches, Arraial do Cabo also has some viewpoints. The viewpoint on the trail that leads to Praia do Forno is the main one.
The city is located 164 km (102 miles) from Rio de Janeiro.
2. Cabo Frio
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro – Photo Credit: Dan Kreibich
Cabo Frio is also a destination in the Lagos Region.
It is the largest city in the region and surprises for its excellent infrastructure, with good hotels, restaurants and, of course, beautiful beaches to relax.
The city is located between Arraial do Cabo and Buzios at 156 km (96.7 miles) from Rio de Janeiro.
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro – Buzios
Buzios, located just 24.1 km (15 miles) from Cabo Frio in the Lagos Region, is one of the best beach destinations in Brazil.
The city has excellent hotels that offer comfort and elegance, which perfectly combine the refinement with the rustic, and the traditional with the modern.
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro – Photo Credit: Lukas Souza
Saquarema, known as the national surf capital, is a city located in the Lagos Region 118 km (73.5 miles) from Rio and 61.9 km (38.5 miles) from Cabo Frio.
The city’s famous beaches are Praia de Jacone, Praia da Vila, and Praia de Itauna.
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro – Photo Credit: Mauro Lima
Due to its history, Petropolis, known as the imperial city, is home to must-see historical attractions such as its grandiose cathedral, the Imperial Museum, and the Quitandinha Palace.
The city also offers trails and waterfalls in the surroundings.
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro – Castelo de Itaipava Hotel
Itaipava is located 24.8 km (15.4 miles) from the center of Petropolis and has charming restaurants, green landscapes, a pleasant climate, and houses the only medieval-style castle in Latin America.
The castle has a restaurant and a hotel.
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro – Photo Credit: Felipe Ferreira
Teresopolis is a charming city located 53 km (32.9 miles) from Petropolis and 97.1 km (60.4 miles) from Rio de Janeiro city.
During the time of Colonial Brazil, monarchs visited the region to admire the natural beauty and to escape the heat of the capital Rio de Janeiro.
The highlights of Teresopolis include the Mirante do Soberbo, Serra dos Orgãos National Park and the Municipal Natural Park Teresopolis Mountains.
8. Ilha Grande
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro – Photo Credit: Ferran Feixas
Ilha Grande is an almost untouched island full of natural beauty that unites environmental preservation and tourism.
It is a destination commonly combined with a day trip from Angra dos Reis.
9. Angra dos Reis
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro – Photo Credit: Emiliano Bar
Angra dos Reis is a breathtaking destination, with more than 365 islands and countless beaches.
It offers outdoor activities, beaches, trails, as well as delicious cuisine.
Best Day Trips from Rio de Janeiro – Photo Credit: Emmaus Studio
Niteroi is a city located next to Rio de Janeiro, just 20 minutes away.
In addition to offering a beautiful view of Rio de Janeiro, the city is home to the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum (one of the most emblematic architectural works in Brazil), a complex of forts, churches, and of course, beaches.
Suggested Itineraries from Rio de Janeiro
If you have more time to explore Brazil, check out the suggested itineraries below to make the most of your trip.
- Rio de Janeiro + Petropolis + Itaipava
- Rio de Janeiro + Petropolis + Itaipava + Teresopolis
- Rio de Janeiro + Angra dos Reis
- Rio de Janeiro + Angra dos Reis + Ilha Grande
- Rio de Janeiro + Niteroi
- Rio de Janeiro + Cabo Frio + Arraial do Cabo + Buzios
- Rio de Janeiro + Saquarema
Tours & Services in Rio de Janeiro:
- Rio de Janeiro Day Tour
- Rio Sunset Cruise
- Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain
- Transfers in Rio de Janeiro
- Christ the Redeemer by Train and Rio Tour
- Rio de Janeiro Guided Tour
- Botanical Garden + Tijuca Forest + Lage Park Tour
- Pedra da Gavea Hike
- Helicopter Tour of Rio de Janeiro
- Rio Historic Centre and Lapa Neighbourhood Free Tour
- Free Carnival and Afro Culture Tour in Rio
Featured Photo Credit: Jaume Galofré
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