Sao Paulo Sports

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Boating and Sailing

Dive Point. Schooner tours around the main beaches of Rio and as far afield as Búzios and Arraial do Cabo are offered here, as well as deep-sea and wreck diving. Be sure to ask if prices include all the necessary equipment and training (if required). Av. Ataulfo da Paiva 1174, SS 04, Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 22440–035. 21/2239–5105;

Saveiro’s Tour. Take a trip down the coast to Angra or catch one of the two-hour daily cruises around Guanabara Bay—views of Sugar Loaf, Botafogo Bay, and the Rio-Niterói Bridge are among the highlights. Saveiro’s also hires out speedboats and sailboats by the day. Some of the boats adopt a party vibe with free caipirinhas and loud music, so if this isn’t what you seek, double-check in advance. Marina da Glória, Av. Infante Dom Henrique s/n, Lojas 13 e 14, Glória, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 20021–140. 21/2225–6064;


Gávea Golf and Country Club. With a stunning setting overlooking the ocean and framed by the towering Pedra da Gávea mountain, Gávea Golf and Country Club has an impeccably groomed course. It’s members-only on weekends, but nonmembers can play during the week. Clubs are available to rent. Estrada da Gávea 800, São Conrado, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 22610–000. 21/3322–4141;

Golden Green Golf Club. This small but well-maintained golf course may only have six holes, but given the exclusivity and prices of the alternatives, this could be your best option for getting in a little play in Rio. Nonmembers are welcome every day, but it’s a little out of town. There is the option to circle the course three times and play a full 18 holes. Av. Prefeito Dulcídio Cardoso 2901, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 22631–050. 21/2434–0696.

Hang Gliding

Rio Hang Gliding. This highly reputable and experienced hang-gliding outfit, run by Brazilian champion Konrad Heilmann, who has more than 30 years of experience, will collect you from your hotel, take you through the basics, and then run you off Pedra Bonita mountain into the sky high above Tijuca Forest. The excellent instructors can also film or photograph the experience for an extra charge. Fluent English and German is spoken and there are opportunities for beginners. Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro. 21/2422–2411; 21/99843–9006;

São Conrado Eco-Aventura. This reliable and experienced team can provide you with a bird’s-eye view of Rio either by hang glider or paraglider, and they also lead jungle treks and Jeep tours. It is possible to book adventure packages combining several activities for a discounted price. Other options include mountain climbing and rappelling in the Tijuca Forest. São Conrado, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro. 21/2522–5586;

Hiking and Climbing

Given the changeable weather and the harsh terrain, guides are recommended for all major walks and climbs in Rio. Of particular note within the city itself are the hikes up Corcovado from Parque Lage and the trip through Tijuca Forest to Pico da Tijuca.

Centro Excursionista Brasileiro. The largest and oldest mountaineering organization in Brazil, Centro Excursionista Brasileiro runs climbing courses and leads treks throughout Rio State and as far away as Minas Gerais, providing guides, maps, and all the gear you’ll need. Av. Almirante Barroso 2, 8th fl., Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 20031–000. 21/2252–9844;

Rio Adventures. This professional outfit with English-speaking guides runs a range of adventure sports activities and tours, including stand-up paddleboarding, white-water rafting, jungle treks, and climbing trips. Praça Radial Sul 25, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 22260–070. 21/3587–3282; 21/96479–7414;

Horse Racing

Jóquei Clube. This beautiful old racetrack conjures up a bygone era of grandeur with its impeccably preserved betting hall, 1920s grandstand, and distant beach views framed by Cristo Redentor and the Dois Irmaos mountain. When the big event of the year, the Grande Premio, comes around in August, expect the crowds to swell and everyone to be dressed to the nines. Entry is free year-round—race days tend to be Monday, Friday, and Sunday. Dress is smart–casual, with no shorts or flip-flops allowed in the main stand. If you’re casually dressed, you can sit in the cheap seats at the front. Praça Santos Dumont 31, Gávea, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 22470–060. 21/2512–9988;


Kartodromo Premium. This is the biggest recreational karting track in Rio (1.6 km/1 mile). Group parties are accepted. If you’re solo, you can enter in a cup against other members of the public. Av. Ayrton Senna 3010, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 22775–005. 021/2431–9373; 021/9995–3535; 021/2421–3535; 021/9995–3535; Daily 5 pm–midnight.


Estádio Maracanã. The vast stadium is nothing short of legendary, and watching a soccer game here is a must if the season (from mid-January to November) is in swing. The obsessive supporters are devoted to their team colors but not afraid to trash their own players, the opposition, other fans, and of course the referee. The huge flags and fireworks are always spectacular. Tickets are available in advance and often on game day from the stadium ticket office. The branco or white section of the archibancado, or upper tier, is the safest option for the neutral fan. Expect to pay around R$35 for a ticket there, and arrive in good time to grab the best seats and soak up the atmosphere. Major refurbishments were made to prepare the 78,838-seat stadium for the FIFA 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics. On non–match days visitors can take tours of the stadium. Tour agencies offer the combined package of better seats and a return transfer to your hotel, as well as a group to share the experience with. Rua Prof. Eurico Rabelo s/n, Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 20271–150. 800/062–7222;


Surfing remains hugely popular in Rio, and stand-up paddleboarding is a current trend—kiosks offer stand-up paddleboards and classes all along the Zona Sul beaches. Kite surfing is growing rapidly, too, with several schools opening on Barra beachfront and out of town toward Cabo Frio.

Kitepoint Rio. One of several companies based in beach kiosks along Avenida do Pepê near Posto 7, Kitepoint provides all the equipment and training you’ll need to master the sport of kite surfing. Wind conditions have to be just right, though, so patience is a virtue when seeking lessons. Av. do Pepê, Kiosk 7, next to Bombeiro, Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 22622–170. 21/8859–2112; 21/9200–0418;

Surf’s Up Rio. Run by globe-trotting, multilingual surfer Gabriela Pulcherio, this agency offers individual and group surf lessons, as well as stand-up paddle boarding experiences, both on Zona Sul’s beaches and as part of day trips out to the natural reserve of Guaratiba. 21/99214–0797;


Parque do Flamengo. Municipal tennis courts are rare in Rio, so the two near Flamengo Beach, both in good condition, are popular. The courts can’t be booked, but a half-hour wait is likely to be rewarded. South of Parque Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes, off Av. Infante D. Henrique, Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, 20021–140. 021/2265–4990.

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