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7 Of Rio de Janeiro's Best Hiking Trails To Explore
Rio de Janeiro, the most famous city in Brazil, is known for its Carnival parties, New Year’s Eve celebration, beaches, Sugar Loaf and Christ the Redeemer. But, it also has some of the best hiking trails around, too.
Surrounded by peaks and mountains, and covered by rainforests, the city of Rio is a great place for those who enjoy hiking.
Rio de Janeiro offers several tour options for hikers of the most varied levels of experience. Travel Noire rounded up the best hiking trails that reward adventurers with the best views in the city.
If you choose one, just remember to wear comfortable clothing and bring water to hydrate yourself during the hike. Ah, and don’t forget the camera to snap those breathtaking photos as you discover why Rio is also known as the Marvelous City.
1. Pedra do Telégrafo Trail
Pedra do Telégrafo is one of the most Instagrammable hiking trails in the world. The picture of people hanging dangerously on a stone close to the edge amazes and terrifies viewers all around the world.
But the cliff is not the only attraction of the hike. Pedra do Telégrafo offers a wonderful view of Rio de Janeiro’s west zone region. It can take 45 minutes to get to the top, and you don’t need to be a professional athlete to hike there.
Children and even older people with normal health conditions can enjoy the trail. It is very safe.
It is 3 miles from Copacabana, Rio’s famous tourist neighborhood, and it can take more than one hour to get there. There are some tour agencies that can take you there.
The most important tip is to get there early. Because of its popularity, there is always a line of people who want to take pictures on the rock, especially on the weekend.
Ah, don’t tell anyone that the cliff is actually an optical illusion.
2. Pedra da Gávea Trail
The Pedra da Gavea trail is one of the most beautiful and challenging hikes in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Located within Tijuca National Park and passing through the Atlantic Forest, the trail is a steep ascent to the world’s tallest coastal monolith.
It takes 5-6 hours to get to the top. It is a steep hike, with many natural obstacles and challenges along the way.
After about two-thirds of the hike, hikers must face a 30-meter “scramble” – a steep, rocky section called Carrasqueira where people have to climb using proper equipment to get to the top safely.
After another 30 minutes of hiking, you’ll finally arrive at Pedra da Gavea’s incredible summit – an impressive plateau offering 360-degree views of Rio de Janeiro and its spectacular landscape.
Due to its difficulty, it is recommended to hire a guide to make the hike more pleasurable and safer.
3. Pedra Bonita
Pedra Bonita is one of the most beautiful postcards from Rio, and it is considered a relatively safe trail in the city. The hike has a moderate degree of difficulty.
It might take 50 minutes to get to the top of the hill, and it’s worth it. The arrival at Pedra Bonita peak is breathtaking. On the left side you will see São Conrado and, on the right side, Barra beach—two of the most famous beaches in Brazil.
Pedra Bonita is located in Rio’s south zone, and it is very close to Copacabana, only 1 mile away.
4. Sugar Loaf Mountain Trail
Sugar Loaf is the second most visited tour attraction in Rio, after the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. Despite the fact you can go to the top of the mountain by a cable car, it is also possible to get there by a trail.
Known as Claudio Coutinho trail, the hike is very easy, and it might take 30 minutes to get to the beautiful view of Guanabara Bay from the top of the Sugar Loaf mountain.
During the hike, you will be able to see local birds, lizards and little monkeys that inhabit the place.
5. Duke of Caxias Fort
Located in the Copacabana neighborhood area, Duke of Caxias Fort trail is one of the safest trails in Rio de Janeiro. After all, it is inside a military complex, which is also Brazil’ Army Study Center.
You can get there by bus, bicycle or car. Duke of Caxias Fort offers free parking too. The trail itself is very beautiful, with an amazing view of Copacabana Beach.
To enter the Duke of Caxias trail, you will need to pay US$ 1.
6. Dois Irmãos Mountain Trail
Another stunning option, Dois Irmãos Mountain trail, offers one of the most incredible views in Rio de Janeiro.
The trail starts in the Vidigal favela and ends at the top of “big brother” mountain. It takes 40 minutes of hiking, and it is not considered a difficult trail.
From there, it is possible to see the Christ the Redeemer statue, Ipanema beach and Sugar Loaf.
To find the trail, go to the soccer field in Vila Olímpica do Vidigal, where the trail begins. The best option to get there is to take a motorcycle taxi (US$2) at the entrance to the community.
It is recommended to hire local tour guides so, in addition to hiking, you can also enjoy Vidigal’s favela tour and support local businesses.
7. Pedra do Elefante Trail
Although it is not as popular as the other trails located in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Pedra do Elefante Trail is located in Niterói, a neighboring city of Rio. This beautiful hike surrounded by the rainforest takes you to a rocky peak that looks like an Elephant, which is why it received this name.
From the rock, a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean and an astonishing view of Rio, Sugar Loaf and Christ the Redeemer statue are seen. Pedra do Elefante is the highest peak in Niteroi, standing at 412 m above the stunning beaches of the city.
The hike starts through an uphill climb along a narrow Atlantic rainforest trail. During the hike, the visitor will be surrounded by some splendid tropical plants bursting with colour. It may take 1 hour to get to the top. Arriving at the top, the 360º visual is breathtaking . The never ending beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and the fascinating topography of the state of Rio. This is not an easy trail, so it is recommended to hire a guide for enjoy the hike as much as possible in a safer way.