Rio is a city of spectacular views, but few can match the vista from the Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers) mountain, which looks down over Ipanema and Leblon and out to the Atlantic horizon. Start early to miss the crowds, pack a simple lunch, take a combi (minibus) up through Vidigal favela, then hike through the forest for 40 minutes to the peak, where you can feast your eyes while filling your stomach. Once you are back down at sea level, cool off by jumping in the sea. Just be aware that the security situation in Rio is in flux so even though Vidigal has long been one of the safest favela communities, it is worth asking around whether this is still the case before setting out.
If this gives you a taste for more adventurous hikes and still more incredible panoramas, try climbing the Pedra da Gávea, strolling up the Bico do Papagaio (Parrot’s Beak) or – further afield in Rio state – visiting Paraty’s Ponta Negra or hiring a guide for the stunning two-day mountain trail from Teresopolis to Petropolis.