Day One

  • Ipanema & Leblon

Spend the first day soaking up the rays on Ipanema Beach. Be sure to hydrate with maté (cold, sweetened tea) and agua de côco (coconut water), sample a few beach snacks (or a sandwich at Uruguai) and take a scenic stroll down to Leblon.

  • Lunch CT Boucherie serves excellent grilled dishes and creative sides.
  • Ipanema & Leblon

In the afternoon, have a wander through the streets of Ipanema, doing some window-shopping on Rua Garcia d'Ávila, stopping for ice cream at Vero, and getting a coffee fix at Cafeína. Later, stroll over to Ponta do Arpoador, and watch the sunset behind Dois Irmãos.

Catch a concert at Vinícius Show Bar, an intimate space for bossa nova and live jazz. Afterwards, head up the street to Barzin, a festive bar and live-music venue that always draws a crowd. End the night at Usina, a stylish lounge in Leblon.

Day Two

  • Flamengo & Around

Starting off in Cosme Velho, take the cog train up Corcovado to admire the view beneath the open-armed Cristo Redentor. Nearby, visit the Museu Internacional de Arte Naïf do Brasil, which is full of colorful folk art from Brazil and beyond.

  • Lunch Have a leisurely lunch at Bar do Mineiro, a Santa Teresa classic.
  • Santa Teresa & Lapa

Afterwards, wander through Santa Teresa, Rio's most atmospheric neighborhood. Browse for handicrafts at La Vereda, admire the views from the Parque das Ruínas and check out the eclectic art collection and lush gardens of Museu Chácara do Céu. Stop for a pick-me-up bite at Cafecito.

  • Dinner Feast on beautiful Amazonian dishes at Espírito Santa.
  • Santa Teresa & Lapa

Take a taxi downhill to Lapa for a late night of samba and caipirinhas. Start the evening by taking in the street party around the Arcos da Lapa, before making your way to Rio Scenarium, a beautiful antique-filled club where you can join samba-loving crowds on the dance floor or simply watch the evening unfold from an upper balcony.

Day Three

  • Barra da Tijuca & Western Rio

In the morning, go for a hike in Floresta da Tijuca, which has rainforest-lined hiking trails, refreshing waterfalls and spectacular views from craggy summits.

  • Lunch Taste Rio's signature pork-and-black-bean dish at the Casa da Feijoada.
  • Copacabana & Leme

In the afternoon, take in the sun and surf on Copacabana Beach. If you're feeling active, try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding. After a few hours in the sun, stroll to the southern end of the neighborhood, where you can visit the Forte de Copacabana. Here you'll find a small museum and several relaxing open-air cafes with memorable views across the sweep of Copacabana Beach.

  • Dinner Enjoy a meal of tapas and sangria at El Born in buzzing Baixo Copa.
  • Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

After dinner, go for creative cocktails and serene views at the open-air lakeside bar of Palaphita Kitch. If you're still going strong, end the night at 00 (Zero Zero), which has a small, fired-up dance floor and top-notch DJs.

Day Four

  • Centro

Start the morning in the newly redesigned streets around Praça Mauá. Admire the view from the Museu de Arte do Rio and check out the futuristic exhibits inside the Museu do Amanhã. Peek in the lavish Mosteiro de São Bento en route to Praça XV (Quinze) de Novembro and check out other impressive colonial sights, including Paço Imperial and the Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Sé.

  • Lunch Enjoy rich seafood dishes and bay views at AlbaMar.
  • Botafogo, Humaitá & Urca

Spend the afternoon down in Urca. Take the cable-car to the top of Pão de Açúcar, from where Rio spreads before you in a stunning panorama. Afterwards, drink and a snack at waterfront Bar Urca.

  • Dinner Dine on Rio's most creative dishes at much-celebrated Lasai.
  • Botafogo, Humaitá & Urca

Stick around Botafogo for libations in some of the neighborhood's creative new drinking dens. Sip microbrews in the rock-and-roll refuge of Caverna; hang out with the creative set at Comuna; and join the dance party at the bordello-esque Cabaret Lounge.