Pedra Bonita Trail in RJ: where it is and how to get there



One of the most famous radical activities in Rio de Janeiro is the hang gliding or paragliding flight that leaves the Pedra Bonita free flight ramp and will land on São Conrado beach in Rio de Janeiro. If you are a fan of extreme sports, this is one that you cannot miss.

If this is not 100% your case, don't worry because today I am going to talk about the Pedra Bonita trail, which is between the South Zone and the West Zone, in Rio de Janeiro. I believe that this is one of the most privileged views of the city, because there you can see the entire border of the South Zone and Barra, not to mention that Pedra Bonita is in front of Pedra da Gávea, providing a unique visual spectacle.

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  • Average Pedra Bonita Trail Time: 30 minutes
  • Distance: 1150m
  • Height: 693m
  • Route: Parking from Pedra Bonita to Mirante da Pedra Bonita
  • Difficulty: Moderate

How to get

Let's go from the beginning. There are two ways to get to the beginning of the Pedra Bonita trail. Either way, you will have to go to the parking lot for the hang glider ramp. The fastest way is through the Canoas road, going up through São Conrado:

  • Bus: Take any bus that takes you to São Conrado. From there you have to take line 448 Macaraí x São Conrado. This line will take you to the entrance of the free flight runway parking lot. It's a boring climb to do on foot, but if you're not driving, it's not the end of the world either.
  • Car: To get to the Pedra Bonita Trail, departing from the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, you need to take the Lagoa - Barra highway. If you come from Barra da Tijuca, just take the return when you arrive in São Conrado. At the end, there will be the exit (on the right) for Joá. This is already the Canoas road and going up a little you reach the intersection to Estrada da Pedra Bonita, which is on the left (you need to cross the road, so be careful).

If you arrive late you can even take a line of cars to go up to the parking lot, so go early. Another thing, if it's your first time, there may be some cars “skipping the line”. There is no need to be irritated, because it is usually the hang gliding instructors who prefer and an exclusive parking lot up there. And finally, remember to take money to pay the R $ 5 for parking.

If you want to take an alternative (and longer) path, you can also reach the entrance to the parking lot for the Pedra Bonita trail, going up through the Horto (in the Botanical Gardens) and passing through the Chinese View and Mesa do Imperador.

Free Flight - Hang Gliding and Paragliding

Before talking about the Pedra Bonita trail itself, let's talk about the radical practice of free flight. This is the point of Rio de Janeiro for those who enjoy flying Hang Gliding or Paragliding. Looking directly at Pedra Bonita you can even see the free flight ramp:

Arriving at the Pedra Bonita parking lot is not much of a mystery. You will see a ramp that leads to the exclusive parking for those who are going to jump. Right in front of you is a series of small stairs that take you to the free flight runway:

Arriving on the ramp is just leisure. Here the view is already spectacular and you can watch the people jump before you. On the ramp go the hang gliders:

See that arriving close the view is already privileged and you can see the beach of São Conrado, where you will land a few minutes later:

Below the ramp (path on the left) there is a space for paragliding. This is a slightly less radical option than hang gliding, but it also provides an incredible flight experience.

Here is a list of 3 companies that fly there. Remembering that it is your responsibility to research these companies (I never used them), I just did a search on Google to show you some options:

  • Best Fly Rio
  • Free Flight in Rio
  • Delta Wing Rio de Janeiro

Although not the most recommended, if you get there (on weekends) and want to take a paragliding tour it is possible (even without scheduling), paying on time.

Pedra Bonita Trail

Now that we’ve talked about one of the most fun activities you can take as a mega RJ experience, let’s talk about what really matters. Access to the Pedra Bonita trail begins just before parking. On the way up, if you pay attention, on the right side you will see a sign indicating the Pedra Bonita Trail:


There is another alternative way to get to Pedra Bonita, which is on the right side of the exclusive parking lot. It is a little steeper and closed than the normal trail:

They say you save a little time by going for it. When in doubt, take the normal trail even if you have no mistake. Despite being a light trail, you can get tired on the way and, if necessary, just stop and rest. Other than that, the risk of getting lost is zero, the climb is very smooth.

As soon as you get up there you have a view of the South Zone on the left, with São Conrado, I die two brothers and Ipanema:

Right in front there is Pedra da Gávea (as I showed at the beginning of the article) and to the right the West Zone. What I enjoyed most was the view of all the lagoons in Barra da Tijuca. It is a really different view over there.

And now that you've arrived (and it wasn't even that difficult), just enjoy it. It is worth taking a sarong (careful not to fly), lying down and enjoying the sensational vibe that is staying up there. For those who like privileged views of Rio de Janeiro, this is hard to beat. It's also time to take some pictures fotos

Other paths: Trilha da Agulinha

If you are not satisfied with just one trail, there is a second that you can enjoy. The Agulinha trail is a good alternative to do along the Pedra Bonita trail. To do this, just go to the left corner of the exclusive parking lot. Just before the stairs that lead to the free flight runway, you have the trail entrance:

Looking at a panoramic view of the 3 stones, you can see on the right the stone of the Gávea, a little further down the beautiful stone and there on the left the Agulinha:

Rafa's tricks

There are 3 tips that I like to give to those who want to do the Pedra Bonita trail:

  • If you want to go in the morning, go early, really early - If not, the risk of you waiting a long time to get a place is great. The last time I went, I got there around 9 am and it took me about 30 minutes just to park. There are people who wait up to more than 1 hour sometimes.
  • If you want to go in the afternoon, enjoy the Sunset - Just be careful, because enjoying the sunset means going back with the darkest trail, so make sure that the phone's flashlight will work, that it will be on battery, to avoid stress unnecessary. As the trail is fast (it takes about 20 minutes to get back), it is not so worrying and the view will be worth it.
  • If you are adventurous, take a hang gliding or paragliding flight - Anyone who has been there has no regrets and makes many compliments

A little more knowledge about Pedra Bonita

To close the Pedra Bonita trail, it is worth knowing a little more about the origin of one of the most practical (and practical) trails in RJ. Throughout the 19th century, this entire region had been occupied by small farms that grew food. The original trails led to these places, so much so that you can see the original pavement made of kid's feet on the Pedra Bonita trail until today.

What everyone knows is that the Pedra Bonita trail is in front of the rock formation of Pedra da Gávea. A nice curiosity that not everyone knows is that her name is the head of the emperor, due to the similarity with a face. This “face” is facing Pedra Bonita and one of the legends of the folklore of Rio de Janeiro is that this head is actually a sphinx of a Phoenician king who tried to dominate Rio in ancient times. Yes or no, I get the coolest story.

Then tell me (in the comments) what you thought of the Pedra Bonita trail and which others you wanted to see me writing around here.





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