Our website uses cookies.

Sign up on TourScanner

Create an account to save tours, things to do and travel guides to your wishlist.
I agree to sign up to the newsletter and receive occasional emails from TourScanner
By creating an account you agree to our terms and conditions and privacy policy.
I agree to sign up to the newsletter and receive occasional emails from TourScanner

Boat Trips and Tours in Rio de Janeiro

There are a few ways of exploring Rio de Janeiro’s coastline that are as exciting as a boat tour. The city and towns to either side of it are dotted with islands and beaches that may well have appeared from a postcard.

On a boat tour in Rio de Janeiro, gain a new appreciation for the city’s natural and cultural wonders, and embark on one of the most thrilling coastal excursions yet.

Here's all you need to know about boat tours, one of the most invigorating outdoor activities in Rio de Janeiro.

There are numerous exciting boat tour options in Rio de Janeiro.

Whether you’re looking to explore the central bay of the city or explore the islands and beaches of the coastline, you will find what you need among these best boat trips in the Brazilian metropolis.

Boat tour of Guanabara Bay

See some of Rio de Janeiro’s most iconic sites on a boat tour of Guanabara Bay. This bay lies on the shores of the city, and from its waters, you can admire the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain, as well as the famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

You’ll also be able to witness the bustle of the city without the stress of the traffic, as you pass by downtown Rio de Janeiro and Copacobana Beach, and sail beneath the Rio–Niterói Bridge. For a special experience, you can have your tour at sunset.

Boat tour to Angra dos Reis

Explore some of Rio de Janeiro’s most spectacular islands with a boat tour to Angra dos Reis. Located a 3-hour drive from the city, Angra dos Reis is home to hundreds of small islands and idyllic beaches.

On a boat trip to Angra dos Reis, you will discover some of Brazil’s best beaches and have the opportunity to snorkel, swim and include a buffet lunch. You will also visit the largest island here, Ilha Grande, known for its natural beauty.

Boat tour to Búzios

Explore the beaches of Búzios on a boat tour along the shores of this resort town. Take a 3-hour drive from Rio de Janeiro before boarding a schooner to discover this region.

You’ll stop by beaches, including Praia João Fernandes, Ilha Feia and Praia da Tartaruga, named for the sea turtles Brazil is known for.

While there are plenty of opportunities for swimming and snorkeling, you’ll also have the chance to head on land and explore the town, which is well-known as a popular tourist attraction.

Boat tour to Arraial do Cabo

Discover the “Brazilian Caribbean” on this tour from Rio de Janeiro. Travel 3 hours to the coastal town of Arraial do Cabo, and journey by schooner along its waters.

During this tour, you’ll make numerous stops for swimming, snorkeling and exploring. Admire the Gruta Azul or Blue Grotto, the idyllic Prainhas do Pontal and Praia do Forno, one of the region’s most famous beaches.

Private boat tours

For a more personal experience, you can opt to take a private boat tour in Rio de Janeiro. Depending on your tour option, you may be able to travel via yacht or speedboat.

While visiting Brazil’s top attractions on a private boat tour, you may also have the option of relishing a delicious lunch, with some tours offering barbecues and alcoholic beverages.

How much do boat tours in Rio de Janeiro cost?

A boat tour in Rio de Janeiro can start at approximately US$25 per person for a short trip to the city’s Guanabara Bay.

A boat tour to Angra dos Reis can start at approximately US$45 per person, while boat tours to Búzios can start at approximately US$50 per person.

The cost of a boat tour to Arraial do Cabo can start at approximately US$60 per person.

The cost of private boat tours in Rio de Janeiro can start at US$250 for a group of two people.

Prices may increase depending on the inclusion of lunch options.

Which places are seen?

On a boat tour in Rio de Janerio, you’ll see some of its most iconic attractions, paradisical beaches and breathtaking islands.

Sugarloaf Mountain

A landmark of Rio de Janeiro, Sugarloaf Mountain stands out for its nearly 400-meter high peak that’s named for its resemblance to a loaf of sugar.

Christ the Redeemer

One of the most famous attractions in Brazil, the Christ the Redeemer statue has stood at the height of 40 meters over Rio de Janeiro since the 1930s. This remarkable sculpture is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

Rio–Niterói Bridge

Spanning Guanabara Bay, this 14-kilometer bridge connects the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Niterói, and is regarded as one of the longest bridges in the world. Gain a new appreciation for its engineering on a boat tour.

Ilha Grande

Ilha Grande, the largest island of Angra dos Reis, is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Paraty for its culture and biodiversity. The Ilha Grande State Park located here is also a major conservation area.

Blue Grotto

The Blue Grotto, or Gruta Azul, is one of the most stunning grottos located along Brazil’s coastline for its bright blue hues and is a fantastic photo opportunity.

Prainhas do Pontal

Prainhas do Pontal, also known as the Small Beaches, is one of the most scenic and popular beaches in Brazil. Surrounded by forested hills with white sands and azure waters, this coastal area is a sight to behold.

How long does a boat trip last?

Depending on your destination, a boat tour in Rio de Janeiro can last anywhere between 1.5 to 12 hours.

If you are joining a boat tour of Guanabara Bay, your journey can be as short as 1.5 hours without any disembarking.

Tours of areas outside of Rio de Janeiro can take up to a full day, approximately 12 hours, as this includes travel time to the towns from where your boat tour may start.

Where do boat tours leave from?

Many boat tours in Rio de Janeiro leave from Marina da Glória, the main port in the city. Other boat tours will leave from other towns, such as Arraial do Cabo and Angra dos Reis, where you will have to first drive to.

When is the best time for a boat trip in Rio de Janeiro?

For a shorter tour on the shores of the city, the best time for a boat trip would be in the late afternoon to catch the sunset over the bay.

For a full-day excursion, the best time for a boat trip in Rio de Janeiro would be to start in the early morning, giving you a whole day for traveling, beach stops and lunch.

Which other water activities can be done in Rio de Janeiro?

Travel tips

  • Make sure you remember to bring your passport and ID, as it may be required.
  • Pack a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water, as you will frequently be in hot Brazilian sunshine.
  • Bring along your camera to capture some of the postcard views you’ll see on your boat tour.
  • If you’re planning on swimming or diving at one of the numerous beaches, pack a towel.