Neighborhoods, Outdoor activities, Sightseeing

Lagoa – The Heart of Rio de Janeiro

Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon – Lagoa – is also known as The Heart  of Rio de Janeiro and lays in district Lagoa in the Zona Sul of the city, behind the Ipanema neighborhood.

With 2,4 million square meters of surface area, the lagoon is connected to the ocean through a canal that goes alongside the edge of the Jardim Ala park.

It is a very popular place amongst the locals for practicing sports such as rowing, boat pedaling, cycling alongside the water on the 7,5 km long path, jogging or just walking to enjoy the view. Food kiosks around the lake offer fruits, food and fresh cold coconut water.

With a beautiful view of the Christ the Redeemer, the Dois Irmaos (Two Brothers) mountains or just of the city lights in the evening, the Lagoa is a must go spot in Rio de Janeiro.

Eat and Drink

With such an amazing location, the Lagoa first invites to outdoor activities. And it should not limit to sports or walks, but also to enjoying a drink or some delicious food while in the area.

The most sought after option is an outdoor picnic by the lake side. Find a spot under a shading tree or just by the water and enjoy the sun going down. It is beautiful and on the budget.

Try some tasty local pastries and a coconut while on the go from the numerous food carts on the way around the lake.

If you are not on a budget and want to try some Amazonian influenced cuisine, try the Palaphita Kitch by the water side. It has a great location to watch the sunset, but a little pricey when it comes to drinks and snacks.


If you want to rent a bike, there are several options on the Cantagalo side of the lake, near the Palaphita Kitch restaurant. The price is about 20R per hour.

You can also rent bikes for 4 – for the whole family’s entertainment!


In the same area you can also rent the swan shaped pedal boats – pedalinhos – one of the favorite things to do for couples or for families with children. The price should be of around 40R per hour, but they usually rent also for half an hour at a time.


  • Engage in the local life of Rio de Janeiro and make the Lagoon your sport hall. Biking, jogging, roller skating – the 7,5km path around the lake lets you do your thing.
  • Use the free diverse leisure equipment to train your muscles, while enjoying the view. Several basketball, tennis courts and skateboard ramp are also free to use.
  • Take a blanket, a few beers and snacks and your friends and enjoy a wonderful location picnic.
  • Just like in any other big city on the world, using your common sense can keep you away from trouble. Don’t linger around the lake too late in the night – things might get shady.

Interesting facts

  • Every year the municipality of Rio de Janeiro kicks off the Christmas season with fireworks over its floating Christmas tree sitting on the lagoon. About 85 meters high and with more than 3 million lights, the Christmas tree becomes a huge attraction for both locals and tourists.


  • The lagoon will be one of the main stages of the Rio Olympic games of 2016, for rowing and sailing competitions.
  • Some of the most important sport clubs (and most expensive) of the city are located by the lagoon