I highly recommend the Rio Original Bike tour. The bicycle is definitely the best way to get a feel of the city and its parks. The tour is 100% on cycle paths so you don't have to fight the insane Rio traffic. It runs through the Aterro do Flamengo park with views of the Sugarloaf and the Christ as well as the heavenly Guanabara Bay. Thais and Mark are excellent guides and really know the city and its culture inside out. It was the best thing I did on my trip to Rio by far. At R$70 it was a steal given that is roughly the same price as renting a bike on your own.
Alone in Rio on the weekend? Want to be occupied without doing much? Want to see Rio beach life?
Rent a bike in Ipanema and pedal all the way up to Gloria and back. Don't forget to take in Urca. It's flat, safe (95% bike paths) and very cool; you'll need about four hours if you take it easy (how else?); you'll see a great cross section of Rio people and the view on the way back is quite different from the view on the way there.
Lonely Planet suggests two or three places. It cost me less than 10 quid.
This seemingly endless running and cycle track in Botofogo is great around 4:30/5pm as the sun goes down or early in the morning. All ages and sizes venture there and it doesn't matter what apparel you walk, jog, sprint in. You move in between trees and past the beach to a perspective- changing view of Sugarloaf mountain that will be on your right. Makes you feel better after slumming it all day on the beach. And, yes, it is safe.
Botofogo Beach Front
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