Galeão Airport -- Most major airlines fly to Rio de Janeiro, sometimes with a stop or connection in São Paulo. International passengers arrive at Antônio Carlos Jobim Airport (tel. 021/3398-5050), more commonly known as Galeão Airport, 20km (12 miles) from downtown.
On the third floor of Terminal 1 is a Banco do Brasil office (daily 8am-10pm), as well as ATMs of HSBC and Banco 24 Horas, both of which use the Visa/PLUS system. The American Express office (daily 6:30am-10pm) is in the second floor departure area of Terminal 1.
Taxis at Galeão are a challenge. Drivers will start to hassle you the minute you step through the sliding doors. The safer but more expensive bet is to buy a prepaid fare at the TransCoopass desk in the arrivals hall (tel. 021/2209-1555; www.transcoopass.com.br; all major credit cards accepted). Rates range from R$60 to Flamengo, and R$70 to R$80 to the beach hotels of Copacabana and Ipanema. These prepaid taxis are about 40% more expensive, but give you peace of mind; it doesn't matter if you get stuck in traffic or the driver takes the long route. On the other hand, if you know what you're doing (or can bluff), you can cut those prices significantly just by hailing a regular taxi out in front of the terminal. A ride to Copacabana should cost about R$45 in average traffic conditions. Note that if you don't know what you're doing, your friendly Rio taxi man may well take you on a detour long enough to double that price, or even claim the meter reads in dollars.
Gray Line (tel. 021/2512-9919; www.grayline.com) offers a minibus transfer service from Galeão to the hotels of the Zona Sul or Barra. Cost is US$21 (payable in advance online or the equivalent in Reals to the bus driver) one-way, with one bag free, extra bags R$5 (payable to the bus driver). Buses depart daily once an hour from 8am to 7pm. You meet the uniformed Gray Line driver by the RioTur booth in either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. Transfers can be booked in advance on the Internet.
Santos Dumont Airport -- Rio's second airport, Santos Dumont, Praça Senador Salgado Filho (tel. 021/3814-7070), is downtown, surrounded by the Baia de Guanabara. Most Brazilian airlines now use Santos Dumont for domestic flights. These airlines include TAM (tel. 021/4002-5700; www.tam.com.br), Gol (tel. 0300/115-2121; www.voegol.com.br), Azul (tel. 021/3003-2985; www.voeazul.com.br), Webjet (tel. 0300/210-1234; www.webjet.com.br), TRIP (tel. 021/3003-8747; www.voetrip.com.br), and Ocean Air (tel. 0300/789-8160; www.oceanair.com.br).
Taxis from Santos Dumont are less of a problem. Prepaid taxis are available from the TransCoopass (tel. 021/2209-1555; www.transcoopass.com.br) booth in the arrivals hall. The prepaid service costs about double what a metered taxi will cost. Better just to hail a cab from the taxi row in front of the terminal. Airport cabs are about 20% more expensive than a normal taxis (not officially, but almost universally so in practice), but distances from Santos Dumont are short enough that this won't make a huge difference. A metered taxi to Ipanema should cost around R$30.
A variety of bank machines, including a Banco do Brasil and HSBC, are located at the center entrance of the airport.
All long-distance buses arrive at the Novo Rio Rodoviaria, Av. Francisco Bicalho 1, Santo Cristo (tel. 021/3213-1800; www.novorio.com.br), close to downtown near the old port. It's best to use a taxi traveling to or from the station. It's not the best part of town, particularly with all your bags. Prepaid taxi vouchers are available at the booth next to the taxi stand. A ride from the bus station to Ipanema costs about R$40.
By Cruise Ship
Cruise ships dock in the terminal almost opposite Praça Mauá. Downtown is an easy walk, and public transit is close by. If returning to the ship after dark, it's best to take a taxi. Praça Mauá becomes a somewhat seedy red-light district in the evening.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.