There are plenty of places to practise all sorts of sports in Rio de Janeiro, and I’ve picked out five of them to get your heart racing. The activities I suggest here are accessible to everybody, so you won’t have any trouble enjoying them. They’re sports that I enjoy and practise often, because with so much natural beauty at our doorstep, there’s no excuse to stay at home with your feet up!
Biking at the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon
Biking at the Rodrigo de Freitas LagoonThe Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon (Lagoa Rodrigo Freitas) is easily accessible, as it is surrounded by the neighbourhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Jardim Botânico; you can get to it by underground (metrô), bus, car or bike, and it’s really quiet during the week. The track circling the lagoon is 7.5 km. There are various bike rental places, playgrounds for the little ones, and when you start to feel peckish, you can make the most of the delicious restaurants and food stalls all around.
Yoga at Joatinga Beach
Joatinga Beach (Praia da Joatinga) is like an oasis in the heart of the city, surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful houses. Practising yoga on one of the picturesque rocks located there is a real adventure! But don’t worry, if your balance is a little off, there’s a grassy area and many more rocks below. This little slice of paradise between the beaches of São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca has not yet been overexposed. The best time to go is during the week or before 9 a.m. on the weekend. There are a number of bus lines that take you there, but it’s easier to get there, and more direct, by car. In this post (in Portuguese), you can find more information and photos of the route to Joatinga Beach.
Stand Up Paddle in Copacabana
Between the beach and the vibrant nightlife, Copacabana is a place that never sleeps. This is a place where you’ll run into people from all around the world as well as find shops and restaurants offering a variety of wares and cuisines. There are more than 10 beach stands offering SUP rentals and lessons, at the very end of the beach, near Posto 6. Paddling against the backdrop of Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) and the Copacabana Fort on the other side, makes for a relaxing and iconic Rio experience. The water conditions and excellent infrastructure make this a perfect place to learn or practise this sport. After returning your board, you can have a break and chill at the Confeitaria Colombo Copacabana Fort, one of the city’s most popular cafés.
Jogging on the Tim Mala Bicycle Lane (Niemeyer)
This bicycle lane (ciclovia) was recently opened, and I had been dying to go there for a ride. I’m still a bit scared to go on my bike, because of the height . . . Ciclovia Tim Mala, which offers a 3.9-km track linking Leblon beach with São Conrado, was opened to the public on 17 January this year. In my humble opinion, it is one of the most beautiful bicycle lanes in the world! Is there anything more wonderful than biking overlooking the sea? Even on a cloudy day, you can really appreciate the scenery, and there are also lookouts along the way to stop, take in the view and have a break while taking stunning photos.
Kitesurfing in Barra da Tijuca
Even though kitesurfing isn’t a sport that I practise, I think it looks great and it deserves to go on my little list of must-do sports. Barra da Tijuca is the best beach for kitesurfing because the main stalls offering classes are there. I often find myself passing by in the late afternoon, admiring the dance of the kites in the sky with the sunset in the background. It’s an incredible sight to behold and along with kitesurfing, you can also choose from surf lessons, beach volleyball, futevôlei (a uniquely Brazilian invention combining football and volleyball), beach tennis, beach football, and functional training, among others. This photo is from Posto 3, near Pepê Beach, a popular hot spot in the area which attracts beautiful people all day long, as well as boasting kiosks with great infrastructure and delicious gastronomy. I hope that I have inspired you to visit these great places in Rio and try out some new sports here!