Rio from above, flying via Santos Dumont Airport

I’m not afraid of flying, but I have to confess that every time I land in Santos Dumont airport I get a little nervous!

For those who are not familiar with the airports in Rio, let me explain. Rio has two airports! Antonio Carlos Jobim Airport (or Galeão, GIG) is the biggest and the only international airport of the city, located in the north zone of the city, in Ilha do Governador neighborhood. Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) serves only domestic flights,  much smaller and quite close to downtown Rio, located in the edge of Guanabara Bay.  Santos Dumont airport has a short runway and that’s the reason why I feel a little uncomfortable when landing there.

To land in Santos Dumont the airplane has to make a turn over Guanabara Bay to be in the right position to land in Santos Dumont runway, and although I don’t like to admit,when the pilot announces “Crew, prepare for landing”, deep inside I keep wondering if the pilot is gone make it. So to distract myself from this silly wonders I take my camera and take lots of pictures of the breathtaking view of Rio de Janeiro.

Despite my stupid fear, whenever is possible I get a window seat. Anyway, if you are flying to Rio or just going away by Santos Dumont airport, make sure you have window seats, so you can have a view of the wonderful Rio de Janeiro landscape from above.

Those photos I took last week when I flew to Florianópolis and back to Rio via Santos Dumont. This time to entertain me a little bit, I played with my son of  finding some Rio sightseeing spots from the airplane window, like Maracanã Stadium, Nilton Santos Stadium, Jockey Club, Candelaria Church, Sambódromo and the beaches. Have you ever flew by Santos Dumont airport? I would love to know what did you find about it!

After take-off , flying over Guanabara Bay

After take-off , flying over Guanabara Bay

After take-off, the airplane fly overGuanabara Bay

After take-off, Rio de Janeiro mountains on the background, Sugar Loaf, Corcovado, Pedra da Gavea  and more…


Still after take-off, Niterói City view and Guanabara bay


On the very right, Sugar Loaf, then going to the left Copacabana beach, Ipanema and Leblon.


South Zone beaches, from right to left Copacabana, Ipanema-Leblon and São Conrado


Arriving in Rio, flying over North Zone, in the middle Engenhão (Nilton Santos Stadium)


Corcovado mountain on the background


Maracanã Stadium in the middle , just on the left of the plane turbine



  1. Despite all my past trips, I never get tired of airplane pictures! Beautiful views of Rio! …Landing in YUL (Montreal) is… hum… let’s say a lot less glamourous! Ahaha!

    1. Thanks Annie!! Yeah, but do not be fooled by those beautiful pictures, when we are right here on the ground, things are not so pretty as they seem to be from above. You will see in your ride from Galeão airport to your hotel, when you’re Rio. : ) By the way I would love to know your first impressions of Rio!

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