With stunning mountain ranges and world-famous beaches, there’s no mistaking that Rio de Janeiro remains to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world; (and that’s not an exaggeration).
But to take Rio’s beauty to a whole other level (literally), there’s also a ton of hikes visitors can take up its many different hills, peaks and mountains, all of which offer spectacular views of Rio from above. From easy, family-friendly treks to do with the kids, to challenging hikes up to summits reaching 354 above sea level (or more!), Rio’s hiking paths are designed for visitors of all ages and expertise.
So if you’re getting bored of chilling on a beach all day (yes, that’s actually possible) and going on tour after tour in Rio de Janeiro, or even if you’re itching to lace up your sneakers and head up to the nearest mountain, here are some of the many hikes known for their splendid views of the city, and beyond:
1. Pedra Bonita
Approximate walking time: 90-minutes (there and back)
With São Conrado, Dois Irmãos, and Corcovado to your left, Barra da Tijuca to your right and even views of the Christ the Redeemer statue from afar, it’s easy to see why this peak achieved its name. It also remains to be one of the most popular hikes to do in Rio, and, if you’re up for it, you can even paraglide from the top of the summit as well.
2. Morro da Urca
Approximate walking time: 1 hour (there and back)
If you’re looking for an easy trek to do with the family, or even if you don’t feel like breaking a sweat just to enjoy breathtaking views of the city, then Morro da Urca is right down your hiking path. Not only is it the first stage for tourists heading up Sugarloaf Mountain via a cable car, there’s even a viewing platform so you can enjoy majestic views of the Urca and Guanabara Bays and even as far away as Botafogo.
3. Pedra do Telegrafo
Approximate hiking time: 30 to 40 minutes (one-way)
This is hands-down one of the most popular hikes to do in Rio, not only because of its wondrous views (which are very wondrous indeed), but also because it provides visitors with the ultimate optical illusion photo shoot. (You can “hang” from the edge of one of the mountain’s rocks and make it look as though you’re falling into the abyss – talk about Instagram-worthy!). But besides this, the trek also boasts famous views of the Praia do Meio, Restinga da Marambaia, Barra Funda, Barra de Tijuca, and much, much more.
4. Dois Irmãos
Approximate hiking time: 90 minutes (one-way) or 3 to 4 hours (there and back)
If you’re up for the challenge (or you want to work off all those caipirinhas you’re bound to be drinking during your stay in Rio), then this spectacular 1.5 kilometre trek up to Dois Irmãos is well worth it. Located at the end of Leblon beach, the top of this mountain provides visitors with unspoiled views of the Christ the Redeemer statue, plus you can even get some glimpses of the nearby favela on your way up as well.