By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After the year of Rio’s 450th anniversary had been rang in at Reveillon (New Year’s) with a flaming character during the fireworks, the next attraction is already up and running. Riotur, Rio’s tourism agency, offers six guided walking tours to explore the city’s attractions, all of them for free.

One of the six tours leads up Morro da Urca with a great view over the city, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
One of the six tours leads up Morro da Urca with a great view over the city, photo by Alexandre Macieira/Riotur.

The tours are offered from Tuesday to Sunday in varying intervals from every 2 to 5 days from now on until March 1st, the official anniversary of Rio and the beginning of the 450 years celebration month. Offered are walking tours to the Morro da Urca hill, the Tijuca National Park, the Horto waterfalls, the historical Centro, the Port Zone and to the churches of Centro.

The Morro da Urca is the smaller hill in front of the Sugarloaf Mountain and an easy thirty minutes’ walk uphill. From there, one has a great view onto the Guanabara Bay, Centro and towards Christ the Redeemer.

The Tijuca National Park tour centers on the Floresta da Tijuca segment of the park, labeled as “part A”, and goes along several waterfalls that offer refreshing baths in the current summer heat.

The third ecotour offers a trip to the lesser known waterfalls of the Horto neighborhood, behind Jardim Botânico. Its attractions are several waterfalls, rivers and small natural pools. For all three nature tours closed shoes are required and the use of flipflops and sandals is explicitly prohibited.

The three city tours are labeled Portzone and little Africa, where you get to know the influence Africans had on the city’s culture, religion and society; Rio 450 years, a tour through the historical heart of Rio de Janeiro; and Rio cultural tour, which focuses on the churches of the Centro region. They allow thirty participants each, while only twenty people can participate in the ecotours at a time.

To participate in one of the walking tours, inscriptions have to be made until 8PM the previous day on the official website here. The meeting point and starting time, usually 10AM, are also given on the site. Weekend slots, especially of the ecotours, are already filling up quickly.


  1. Greetings! Are these freewalking tours given by a guide in English?
    We are planning to come the first week on November – how can we know which days there is a tour ( so we can arrange other specific tours for the three days we are in Rio?

  2. Hi,
    Will be in Rio 7/6-7/10. Please update us regarding times/ dates of tours and where to meet. Thank you.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

seven + twelve =