5 Best Trails in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has 2 of the largest urban forests in the world within the territory of the city, Pedra Branca State Park and the Tijuca Forest. With that the options of trails are many. We have selected here the 5 best trails in Rio de Janeiro.

5. Pico da Pedra Branca trail
Although long, the trail of Pico da Pedra Branca is very easy to do. At 1024 meters high, Pico da Pedra Branca is the highest in the city. It is 7.3km long to be covered between 3 to 4 hours of walking. Perfect trail for those who enjoy contact with nature, inside the Pedra Branca State Park, the largest forest within the urban area of the world, the peak is between the neighborhoods Vargem Grande, Campo Grande, Recreio, Jacarepaguá and others in the West Zone. To get there, go to Estrada da Pau da Fome nº 4003 in Jacarepaguá.

Pedra do Quilombo. Foto: Hugo de Castro

4. Pedra do Telegrafo trail
The Pedra do Telegrafo Trail is a short trail, with 354 meters, the route has steep parts and points of attention. It takes around 45 minutes to reach the summit.To start the walk, you have to go to Barra de Guaratiba, in the West Zone, and look for the staircase of the Church Nossa Senhora das Dores, where the adventure begins.The trail is very crowded on weekends, a tip is to arrive early to avoid lines to take photos and if possible watch the sunrise.

3.Trilha do Morro da Urca trail
The access to the Morro da Urca Trail is on the Pista Claudio Coutinho, located in the left corner of Praia Vermelha. The whole environment is charming, even more on sunny days. The trail is not very long, between 30 and 45 minutes to reach the top. Morro da Urca is the first stop on the cable car that goes to Sugar Loaf. Upon arriving at Morro da Urca you can buy the cable car ticket to climb up to Sugar Loaf or even to descend back to Praia Vermelha, if you want to avoid walking back. The trail closes at 6pm, it means the only option to descend after that time is to buy a ticket for the cable car.The view is amazing and the tip is to watch the sunset.

2. Pedra Bonita trail
The Pedra Bonita trail takes an average of 35 minutes hiking. Despite having some steeper stretches, the degree of difficulty of this trail is considered light, without major difficulties.The start of the is next to the free flight runway, from where hang gliders and paragliders take off. The access to the trail is in São Conrado, up the Estrada das Canoas. From the top, an incredible view of the South Zone, West Zone and the grand Tijuca Forest, bordered by the immensity of the Rio de Janeiro sea. On the top you will have 360 degree view to some of the most beautiful spots in the city and the tip is to enjoy a stunning sunrise.

1. Pedra da Gávea trail
Pedra da Gávea is the largest block of stone by the sea in the world, named for its similarity to the observation basket located on the mast of the Portuguese caravels, called gávea in Portuguese. Known as the head of the emperor, the side of the Stone opposite the sea, looks like the shape of a face, and for this reason it was called by the Indians “Metaracanga”, the decorated head.The 842m height of the stone gives a beautiful view of the entire Rio border, between the South and West Zone, and allows you to observe the mountains of the Tijuca Forest.It is a long and heavy trail. Although it has some points of reference during the journey, the constant erosion of the terrain, the difficulty of orientation and the great demand for physical preparation, make the company of experienced guides indispensable. Its critical point is the Carrasqueira, a stone wall, almost straight, which is crossed with a small climb.