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Rio de Janeiro Cruise Port Tips

Rio de Janeiro mountaintop
Mountaintop view of Rio de Janeiro. Credit: Pixabay license

The Rio de Janeiro cruise port terminal, known as Praca Maua or Pier Maua, offers an extensive number of events and attractions within walking distance.

This colorful Brazilian city is known for its annual carnival, which takes place during the weeks before Ash Wednesday in February. Cruise visitors can take shuttles from the port to the festival.

Other major events include the International Art Fair ArtRio, the Rio Festival and Fashion Rio. But visitors will find plenty to do even during a brief visit thanks to the many attractions within walking distance of the cruise terminal.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

Walking Around Attractions

The first attraction to greet visitors is the futuristic Museum of Tomorrow, which sits right on the pier. The museum features science-oriented events and exhibits.

Another major attraction just a brief walk from the pier is the Rio Art Museum, which specializes in modern art.

Shore Excursions

Christ Redeemer is the most famous and photographed attraction in Rio. This massive statue of Christ with outstretched hands sits at the summit of Corcovado Mountain and overlooks the city.

From the station, most guests take the ride up to the top, through the dense Tijuca rain forest to the 125-foot-tall statue. Once there, with a panoramic view from the top, the guide will show the group spectacular sights of Rio and the surrounding countryside.

A visit to Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain will cost about $60 as a shore excursion.

Sugarloaf Mountain is a round and narrow peak that juts 1,300 feet above the city at the mouth of Guanabara Bay. It is famous for the cable car rides that take visitors to the top for panoramic views of the city.

Visitors first go to the Urca neighborhood, home of the famous Sugarloaf. From Urca, they take a cable car up a steep climb to the top.

Nature lovers may want to hike through Tijuca, the world’s largest urban rainforest. It is home to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife. A typical shore excursion costs $65 or more per person.

Walking tours of Old Rio often take place in the evening and last up to four hours. Tour guides take visitors along narrow cobblestone streets past baroque buildings. Important sites include the Imperial Palace and Sao Bento Monastery.

Rio Cruise Port Weather

Rio de Janeiro weather is appealing because it is warm throughout the year and has a moderate risk of rain, even in winter.

The average high temperature ranges from the high 70s Fahrenheit in the winter months of June through August to the mid 80s during the summer from January through March.

Average monthly rainfall ranges from about two inches in the winter to a peak of nearly seven inches in December. Historically, it rains about six days in the winter months to 13 days in December.

The best time to visit Rio on a cruise depends on what visitors want to do when they get there. The winter months of June through August are best for land activities because of low risk of rain. Temperatures are cooler. The summer months of December through March are best for water activities because of warmer temperatures, although the risk of rain is higher.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
May 25, 2021

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