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Exuding a lovely tropical vibe, Le Spa is a luxurious haven of relaxation at Santa Teresa Hotel. The spa menu features a range of procedures designed to soothe and invigorate, be it a candle massage or perfumed hammam treatment. Those who have just landed in Rio are sure to love the 40-minute Jet Lag massage, and those looking to enjoy a local specialty should try the Banho Amazônia, a revitalizing bath with Amazonian aromas, followed by a massage with Amazonian oils.
Explore Rio's spectacular natural landscapes through the exhaustive hiking and adventure tours offered by Rio Hiking. Established in 1999, the setup has been delighting adventure enthusiasts with their exciting tours that go beyond most guidebooks. From hiking tours in Tijuca and Pedra da Gavea to scuba diving and hang-gliding, they have something for everyone. Group packages are available, and they can also arrange for accommodation. Check website for details.
Jardim Botânico or the Botanical garden makes for a fun and educational day trip with your kids. Spread across an area of 140.83 hectares (348 acres) and housing nearly 6000 species of plants and shrubs, it is a must visit attraction, while in Rio de Janeiro. You can also avail services of tourist guides who will take you through the garden and give an in-depth explanation on variety of trees and plant specimens.
Pão de Açúcar or Sugarloaf Mountain is Rio's most visited landmark. Soaring above the clouds, this mountain peak is connected to the city below by two cable cars that climb to the peak. At a height of 396 meters (1299 feet) above Rio, the mountain offers panoramic views of the Guanabara Bay with its curving coastline, the towering Christ the Redeemer statue, and the Corcovado Mountain. At sunrise and sunset, light envelopes the horizon and spreads over the city below, creating a mesmerizing view that's hard to beat.
With exotic gardens, beautiful sculptures, tropical wildlife and wonderful views, Parque da Catacumba is the perfect place to come and escape the heat and pace of life in Rio. Located in the pretty waterside neighborhood of Lagoa, the park is little visited by tourists, which makes a trip here all the more peaceful. As well as offering short hiking trails, the park serves as an outdoor art gallery, with sculptures from local artists dotted around the gardens. You'll also spot little monkeys in the trees, and keep an eye out for parrots and toucans. A clearly-marked trail leads visitors on a quick and easy uphill hike (about 20 minutes), past a lovely bamboo garden to a vantage point with magnificent views over the lake.
The most famous beach in the world, Copacabana has lost little of its mystique and charm over the years. Positioned in a wonderfully rich setting with a backdrop of sharply rising hills and a concrete jungle, this is the best place to feel the Carioca spirit. Sit at one of the many restaurants along the beachfront to enjoy a batida or caipirinha, or take a stroll on the famous and often imitated Burle Marx designed sidewalks. In the summertime, its pristine sandy landscapes are dotted with prolific sunbathers who come here from all parts of the city just to bask under Rio's bright mid-day sun. Surfing is permitted here.
Specializing in adventure tours, Tamandoa Adventure Expedições is located near Copacabana. Offering facilities like hiking, biking and other such outdoor activities in the periphery of Rio de Janeiro, it is often sought by tourists and locals alike looking to enjoy the beauty that nature has bestowed on the city. With some of the best trainers around, the Tamandoa Adventure Expedições opens up new and awesome avenues in adventure tourism.
The best place to visit to get an idea of what Rio once looked like, with miles of tropical rain-forests, walking trails, stunning views of the city, waterfalls, creeks and greenery. At this huge urban reserve, it only takes about 20 minutes to immerse yourself in nature. Serious hikers can climb to the summit of Pico da Tijuca, while others can simply enjoy the waterfall, Cascatinha Taunay, at the Alto da Boa Vista.
Named for the vibrant Ipanema neighborhood it's located in, Ipanema Beach truly embodies the Brazilian spirit that inspired the Bossa Nova song "The Girl from Ipanema". Sparkling white sand stretches as far as the eye can see and the Dos Hermanos (Two Brothers) mountains form a picturesque backdrop. Rio's tropical weather means plenty of Sun, and the beach draws crowds of Brazilians and visitors looking to relax here. Each of Ipanema's postos or zones has a unique spirit, from the vibrant Posto 9 with its party vibe to the surf-friendly Posto 7. Beach culture at its best, Ipanema offers something for every visitor. Due to the forceful undertow, it's best to swim with caution.
Tracing its history back to 1926, Gávea Golf and Country Club is one of the most prestigious in the city. The club is located between the Pedra da Gávea and the Parque Nacional & Floresta da Tijuca, almost 900 metres (2952.76 feet) above sea level. Although the course is not a very long one, it hardly matters when the surroundings are so charming. São Conrado Beach is close by.
The Itanhanga Golf Club is one of the oldest in Rio. It is situated in a lush valley, and it has the full 18 holes spread over a large green area with plenty of trees. The course is really beautiful, challenging to play, and there is the added feature of the polo club being nearby. There is a private car park and an attractive clubhouse. It is located in Barra da Tijuca, not far from the city center.