Rio de Janeiro roads network

Located on the southeastern coast of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro has an extensive road system that extends throughout the country. There are 2 major airports, one for domestic flights and the other for international flights. The ports in Rio are mostly used for cargo and the occasional cruise ship. Rio de Janeiro has a underground railway system called metro. It covers 47 km with two lines, and 35 stations. A third line is being built and it’s to be completed by 2018.

Arriving in Rio de Janeiro

The Road to Rio

There are several major routes running into Rio. Coming from Sao Paulo, a 6-hour drive or Salvador, a 22-hour journey, drivers can take the scenic route BR-101 along the coastline or the faster BR-116 that runs inland. BR-040 takes you from Brasilia to Rio and takes about 20 hours. The primary bus station is Rodoviária Novo Rio. These buses take the same routes from Sao Paulo, Salvador and Brasilia. The Bus Station has undergone a process of renewal in 2010 and is now much more modern. From there you can go to all major Brazilian cities as well as for some countries in South America. Actually the roads linking the vast majority of the tourist cities of Rio de Janeiro State in fair condition, but the tolls inflates the cost shift. Almost all major roads also have good services as cafeterias, gas stations etc. The toll ones also offer quickly assistance in case of emergencies.

The Train to Rio

Travel by rail is not recommended. Services are very limited and rarely on time. The trains seem to be slower than driving between the major cities. The main rail terminal is Central do Brasil. The best way to go from one city to another is the bus system, it’s unexpensive and comfortable.

The Plane to Rio

Rio de Janeiro has two airports. The Santos Dumont airport is for domestic flights from other parts of Brazil. It is quite centrally located and only a few kilometers from downtown Rio. From Santos Dumont aiport there are beautiful views of the Sugarloaf and Corcovado.

The International Plane to Rio

The international airport is called Antonio Carlos Jobim or more commonly the Galeão airport. This airport is approximately 20 km (11 Miles) from Rio. Taxis and a shuttle service can take travelers to and from their hotels. There are smaller airports in Campos and Macae used mostly for private flights and helicopters.

Getting in an out of Rio de Janeiro is quite simple. Flights leave and arrive daily from both airports. The roads are well kept so driving to and from the city should pose no problem. Although avoid Rio during rush hour as traffic can be horrendous.