3 hikes to discover Rio de Janeiro in a different way
3 hikes to explore Rio de Janeiro in a different way discovering how a tropical forest smells living a unique experience.
By Cristiane Helena
After 2016 Olympics, Rio de Janeiro became the most famous Brazilian city in the world. Rio is well known for the busy Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and the Carnaval Festival full of “samba” and “caipirinhas”. Yes, Those are great and you can have lots of fun with those choices. But besides the beautiful beaches, the city has many cultural options and a lot of nature to explore. You probably heard of the Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer. Have you ever thought about what you can find in your way to these touristic places?
What exists around the Christ Statue? Which sounds are there? The Brazilian tropical forest smells what? Are there animals? Instead of taking a car to go up at the mountain could you walk up there throw the greens trees?
Here some information for you willing to fully explore the city.
Morro da Urca (220 meters of high)
In my opinion this one is the easiest hike in the city. Morro da Urca is the little brother of Sugarloaf Mountain, it is located the first stop of the Sugarloaf’s cable car (http://www.bondinho.com.br/site/en/). To get the hike you have to go to “Praia Vermelha” and take the the way on the left named “Pista Claudio Coutinho”. So you walk ahead through the beautiful way and find easily the marked-out the start of the hike. The track is easy and there are some steep parts.
Once you reach the top you’ll see the gate (closed at 6pm, but 7pm on summer times) to entry the cable car station, you can buy tickets to take the cable car to the Sugarloaf it costs R$40,00 but this information’s ticket is only in portuguese (http://www.bondinho.com.br/precos-e-horarios/).
Morro dos 2 irmãos (533 meters of high)
Every summer a lot of people go to “Pedra do Arpoador” to applaud the sunset. The sun go down on the water just next to Morro Dois Irmãos is part of the most famous sunset landscape of the city. So you look to the 2 mountains and you think : and if I was there now? What I would see? I say you, but don’t worry it will not ruin your experience, be there is unique. Basically you’ll see the south zone of Rio de Janeiro: Leblon, Ipanema, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Copacabana. The interesting thing is to go there you should cross the Favela do Vidigal, one of the most famous favela of the city and while you are hiking you can see the huge Favela da Rocinha.
Once you’re in the Rocinha favela, you can take a public van (R$3,50), from the square just at the entrance of the favela, up to the football field (campo de futebol) where you get out of the van and start your hike. It’s easy to find-out.
Christ the Redeemer (710m of high)
Yes, instead of taking a car or the train with all the others tourists you can and you should hike up there. Frankly is not easy at all for the hike beginners, but for sure you’ll see the biggest Art Deco Statue of the world with different eyes. To start this adventure you have to go to the “Parque Lage”, a public park in the neighborhood at Jardim Botânico which, by the way is an interesting place, where you can access the start of the track to up through the forest.
Once in the Parque Lage you walk to the main edification of the space, a big house of the XIX century, you pass directly and you go to the end of the parking and take the track going to the right until see the sign “Trilha Corcovado”. The track on the Tijuca Forest have steep parts, small waterfalls and bit of easy climbing.
Besides all I recommend never feed the animals and use sunscreen, mosquito repellant and bring water with you.
Go ahead and discover Rio de Janeiro!