Most people come to Rio de Janeiro and never go beyond their beach hotel. For sports enthusiasts, Rio de Janeiro has so much to offer!!
For starters, the beach. Surfing, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing are just the beginning.
Working your way up, there is hangliding and parasailing. You take off from one of the mountains behind Rio and land on Sao Conrado beach below.
The Tijuca National Forest (largest urban forest reserve in the world) has hiking trails, waterfalls, and climbing routes.Rio de Janeiro has over 400 climbing routes within the city limits.
One can sail in and around the Guanabara Bay on everything from Lasers to full on Swan yachts.
Two hours up the coast is some of the best scuba diving to be found anywhere in Arraial de Cabo. The town is as ugly as hell, but you can go out on a traneira and explore grottos and caves for snorkelling, spearfishing and scuba diving. The water is transparent and cold due to a phenomenon of cold water currents from Antartica that get pushed upwards from the bottom of the sea, bringing with it cold clean water full of fish.
Two hours south of Rio is Angra dos Reis and its 365 islands, the most famous being Ilha Grande. Lush tropical Atlantic forest, inlets, beaches...its truly paradise. You will need to rent a boat to see the best of this area. Farther down from Angra is Parati, the antique port city that was used by the Portuguese to send gold to Portugal, mined and carried by slaves all the way from Minas Gerais State 400 kms away.
There is a lot more to Rio than Carnaval, football and the beach...