I just spend the day cycling around Rio de Janeiro and it’s a surprisingly good places for cycling in some parts of the city, just like some other areas are not that suited for it. I will show you a few places here where it’s good to go if you plan to go cycling around Rio de Janeiro.
Starting at Flamengo park.
As I am staying in the part of Rio de Janeiro called Catete, it’s Flamengo park that was my starting point, as this is right by Catete. Flamengo park is right next to Flamengo beach. You have good bicycle lanes all the way along the beach as well as in the park. It’s a part of Rio de Janeiro I really like, as it’s a very social area. There are lot’s of people there going to the beach and to the park, even if the beach is not good for swimming, as it’s one of the inner beaches of Rio de Janeiro, where the water is too polluted to swim. But brazilians go to the beach mainly to socialize and just hang out and Flamengo beach is always full of locals. It’s a super local beach by the way with very few tourists.
Cycling to Botafogo.
Botafogo is a part of Rio that is right next to the part called Flamengo. These two parts of Rio de Janeiro used to be the upper class neighborhoods before tunnels to Copacabana and Ipanema was build. These days they are more middle and upper middle class neighborhoods and quite pleasant parts of Rio de Janeiro to be in. After Flamengo beach, the bike lanes continue down to Botafogo and Botafogo beach and over to the oldest part of Rio de Janeiro called Urca. Right as you get to Urca, there is a tunnel through the mountain that takes you to Copecabana and there is bicycle lanes through the tunnel, so it’s safe to cycle through the tunnel to Copacabana.
Cycling at Copacabana.
Copacabana beach and promenade is 4 kilometers long and there is a bicycle lane there too. Be ware though that it’s quite crowded with pedestrians there at times and joggers use the bicycle lane too, so you should not cycle fast along Copacabana, but who wants to do that anyway when you are at one of the most famous beaches in the world?
Cycling at Ipanema.
After Copacabana, I cycled over to Ipanema beach. You need to pass through some residential neighborhoods to cross from Copacabana to Ipanema, but there is a bicycle lane there too and it’s a very pleasant part of Rio de Janeiro, with several nice cafes and also a couple of good bicycle shops, should you need that. Ipanema, has like Copacabana, a bicycle lane along the beach and it’s a long beach too that ends at the part of Rio called Leblon. Ipanema is more upscale than Copacabana and you can find some very pricey and trendy cafes in this part of Rio de Janeiro. You have small local hangouts too though and you do not need to kill your wallet if you want to stop there for lunch or coffee. Ipanema is all in all a really cool place to hang out and the beach there is considerably more popular with the locals than Copacabana is.
Cycling around Lagoa.
After Ipanema, I cycled up to the part of Rio de Janeiro called Lagoa. Lagoa is situated behind Ipanema and is a very nice part of Rio de Janeiro as well, but a little more quiet and laid back than Ipanema. There is a big lagoon (Lagoa means lagoon) in this part of the city and there is again bicycle lanes all around the lagoon and you have many people renting out all types of bicycles there. So if you just want to take a little stroll around Lagoa on a bicycle, then you can hire one here too.
I biked back the same way that I came and the whole thing took me most of the day, but I made many stops along the way. This is really a route that I would recommend people to take if you want to go cycling around Rio de Janeiro. There are plenty of other parts of the city that are not suitable for cycling, so make sure to pick some good spots if you want to spend a day in the saddle when you are in Rio de Janeiro. It’s really a great way to explore the city.