What sets Rio  apart from other great cities is its tropical climate and the fact that it’s hemmed in between dazzling white-sand beaches and jungle-carpeted mountains. Whether you prefer to contemplate nature calmly or experience it in all its adrenaline-spiking intensity, Rio can satisfy all your outdoors desires.
Mix and match options for radical relaxation and adventures depending on your mood, with healthy, organic eating options in between. Whether you decide to follow the path of least or most resistance, you’ll come away feeling toned, healthy, refreshed, and rejuvenated.
Start off your day with a leisurely walk along Ipanema beach . Buy an água de coco at any beachside kiosk and then get some sun. Have lunch in Ipanema, which has some great inexpensive organic restaurants. Or take a bus (or cab) to Leblon, where you can lunch at acclaimed organic eateries such as Celeiro or Vegetariano Social Clube . If you’re fond of natural beauty products, stop by Granado (Rua General Artigas 470, Loja A, tel. 21/3231-6759, www.granado.com.br ), a century-old pharmacy with its own line of natural products made from native fruits and flowers.
From Leblon, you’re only a tunnel away from São Conrado . Take a taxi to the launchpad atop Pedra Bonita and then hang glide  all the way down to Praia do Pepino. If you’re not up to the adrenaline rush, hang out on Praia do Pepino and watch others commit folly, or continue along in the cab to secluded Praia do Joá (remembering to ask the driver to pick you up again).
Another alternative is to go straight from Leblon (by bus or cab) to Praia do Pepê at the beginning of Barra da Tijuca, where sports fans can indulge in an afternoon of surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, or futevôlei.
Return to the Zona Sul and have dinner at eclectic Zazá Bistrô Tropical .
In the mood for some pampering? Take a bus or cab to the Jóquei Club (Praça Santos Dumont 131, tel. 21/2259-1596) in Gávea and spend the morning at Nirvana (Praça Santos Dumont 31, Jóquei Club, tel. 21/2187-0100, www.enirvana.com.br ), where after taking a yoga, capoeira, or bio-gymnastics class you can get a massage or holistic treatment at the spa. After lunch at the on-site organic restaurant, get a taxi to travel via the Horto Florestal to Corcovado . Make sure you get the driver to stop at scenic lookout points such as the Vista Chinesa and the Mesa do Imperador before you arrive at the statue of the Cristo Redentor , where you’re treated to a breathtaking view of the city. From here take the train down to Cosme Velho  and, after checking out the bucolic Largo do Boticário , walk 30 minutes through the leafy bairros of Cosme Velho and Laranjeiras to Largo do Machado.
A more active alternative to this day is to sign up for a hiking or biking tour that takes you through the Parque Nacional da Tijuca , with stops for swimming in waterfalls and/or climbing of spectacular outcrops such as the Bico do Papagaio or the Pedra da Gávea.
No matter what you do, at the end of the day you won’t be far (by taxi) from the bucolic bairro of Santa Teresa , where you can combine a short walk with dinner at Aprazível , which boasts a lovely garden and bewitching city views.
To take advantage of this day’s activities you’ll need to rent a car or hire a taxi for the day. From the Zona Sul, drive west to the splendidly isolated beaches of Prainha and/or Praia de Grumari . Surfers will be in heaven, but the botanically inclined can take advantage of walking trails that weave through the conservation park of native restinga that backs both beaches. In order to have lunch at Quinta (Rua Luciano Gallet 150, Vargem Grande,
tel. 21/2428-1396, www.quinta.net ), an Arcadian eatery lost in the jungle that serves meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients, you’ll have to make this trip between Friday and Sunday. A more rustic alternative (open Wed.–Sun.) is 476 (Rua Barros Alarcão 476, Pedra da Guaratiba, tel. 21/2417-1716), which also boasts an impressive incredible natural setting.
After lunch, visit the Sítio Roberto Burle Marx , home of the famous artist and landscaper (advance reservations are necessary), before driving or taxiing back to Ipanema ’s Praça Nossa Senhora da Paz. From here, do some sustainable shopping; Maria Oiticica (Rua Afrânio de Melo Franco 290, Shopping Leblon, Loja 112-B, tel. 21/2508-6083) makes stunning jewelry out of polished Amazonian seeds, while Sementeira (Rua Visconde de Pirajá 414, Loja 212, tel. 21/2508-6083) is a great place to pick up stylish beach and yoga attire made from natural fibers.
Perusing and purchasing done, you can walk to Praia do Arpoador . Grab a table at Fasano Al Mare  and watch the sun set, and then stick around to feast on raw oysters, fresh crab, and other seafood specialties.