Itacoatiara, Niterói - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hike and See the Best Views of Rio from ItacoatiaraJust a thirty minute cab ride from downtown Rio over the Rio-Niteroi bridge, one of the longest bridges in the world, this little beach town of Itacoatiara lies. It is a surfers' haven and a sleepy little beach town that swells on the weekends with people who know about this gem.
Surfers hang out at the local beach stands, checking out the waves and the women, and a massive rock called Costao frames the beach on the left side. A steep, but rather short, walk up the rock gives way to incredible views-- not only of Itacoatiara, but of all of Rio. See Sugarloaf, the rocks at Ipanema and even Pedro Bonita Rock in the distance, the launching point for most of Rio's hang gliding tours.
I would recommend going on a weekday on off-peak hours to avoid rush hour traffic, where a 30 minute ride could easily turn into an hour and a half. Plan to stay the entire day- you'll be glad you did.