Rio de Janeiro: A Hiker’s Paradise!
It won’t take long for you to be seduced by Rio de Janeiro’s charms and be willing to explore the city and the state a little further. Undoubtedly, Rio de Janeiro is a vibrant and intoxicating place with a beautiful landscape of mountains, beaches, waterfalls, rain forests, making it a hiker’s paradise. The sensual curves of its natural terrain beg visitors to explore the area on foot.
Travel off the beaten track and experience Rio de Janeiro’s nature up close. The Tijuca Forest is home to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife (many threatened by extinction) found only in the Atlantic Rainforest. This is the world’s largest urban forest covering an impressive 3,200 hectares, Rio de Janeiro is really a city that offers something for everyone!
Best Places to Hike
The jagged mountain walls of the Tijuca-Carioca massif, the Corcovado, Sugarloaf, Dois Irmãos and Pedra da Gávea have some of the best trails for hiking. While you may lose your breath on a hike, you can stop to take in a ‘breathtaking’ view of the natural surroundings. Many of the hills have been re-established as protected parks or environmental areas with trails to the top. These aren’t particularly tough to climb and can be achieved in less than an hour. So, if you are looking to admire the sunset of enjoy a picnic lunch, these are these hills are the best places for a short hike.
The Ultimate Hiking Challenge
For a more challenging hike, Sugarloaf and Corcovado offer greater rewards. These mountains can be surmounted on foot, which is a satisfying experience for any hiker. The hikes up these mountains can be strenuous and are best accomplished with the help of an experienced guide. For Corcovado, the trail begins at Parque Lage, an oasis in the neighborhood of the Botanical Garden. The trail continues on the western side of the mountain and ends about 100 meters from the top,
Hiking on Sugarloaf
The hiking trail for Sugarloaf begins at Pista Cláudio Coutinho, a walkway that originates from Praia Vermelha in Urca. This trail offers a splendid view of the Guanabara Bay. The mountain itself looks different from various angles, so you may be fooled on your hike, as some parts may seem steep, but can be easily conquered by foot and rope.
There are plenty of adventure clubs in Rio that offer guided tours. Make sure you hire an accredited guide so that you can enjoy the trail safely. Better still, join a climbing party that has the appropriate equipment.
Hiking on Tijuca Forest
You’ll travel to the main entrance of the Tijuca National Park where your off-road vehicle awaits to take you on an unforgettable narrated journey underneath the canopy of the forest.
The forest shelters an enormous variety of birds and butterflies as well as prego and sagui monkeys. While in the forest, you’ll stop and your knowledgeable guide will take you on a walking path to enjoy a leisurely informative walking tour, allowing you a close look at the natural gifts Rio has to offer. Chance sighting of sloths, monkeys and toucans are among the variety of species that you may see.
You will make a stop at the Chinese Lookout. From a Chinese-style pavilion there are great views of the Corcovado and Sugar Loaf mountains, Ipanema and Leblon beaches, and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. Then continue with your drive to the Taunay Waterfalls for another stop before heading towards
Comfortable walking shoes, long pants, long sleeved shirts and insect repellent are recommended.