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Some of our favourite places to visit and things to do in and around Rio de Janeiro

Rio has a remarkable history that is easily lost amid the world famous beaches and iconic sights of the city. This tour leads you around the historic areas of this city, where our guide pieces together the story of a city that was once the capital of Brazil for around 200 years and also the seat and home of the Portuguese Royal Family, a unique fact in Latin America.

We start the tour with a visit to the site of the original foundation of the city of Rio, nowadays in a fort at the base of the Sugar Loaf Mountain. Then we will continue to the downtown area, where the city was moved to, exploring the area where the Portuguese King first lived and visiting the old cathedral, the old market area, colonial constructions, and Rio's oldest street. The tour can also include a visit to the National History Museum, which shows the country's economic, social and geographical trajectory.

After a stop for refreshment the tour continues to the baroque gem of the Sao Bento Monastery or Sao Francisco de Assis Church, dating from the 16th Century. After, you will be taken to the Quinta da Boa Vista, where the Royal Family moved to, after it was given to them by a wealthy Portuguese merchant. Finally, we will visit Santa Teresa, where the last trams of Rio still run. A bohemian neighborhood nowadays, in the past it was a favourite place for immigrants and high income residents, attracted by its fabulous views over the city. Its aqueduct is now used by the tram to reach the city centre.

Explore some of our favourite holidays
What to do in Rio de Janeiro

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