Costão de Itacoatiara Trail: where it is and how to get there

Costão de Itacoatiara Trail: where it is and how to get there

Learn how to get to the Costão de Itacoatiara Trail, how to climb and the time taken to enjoy an incredible sunset in Niterói. For those who want a trail tip outside the city of Rio de Janeiro (but still close enough to go and return the same day), one of the best options in my opinion is the Costão de Itacoatiara trail.

Costão is located in the oceanic region of Niterói and has easy access via car or bus (easy, but relatively time-consuming, because it is far away). This is a great day trip, leaving home early, enjoying the Itacoatiara beach, which is also wonderful and, at the end of the day, going up the Costão to enjoy it.

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  • Average Costão de Itacoatiara Trail Time: 30 minutes

  • Distance: 1000m

  • Height: 217m

  • Route: INEA Reception Desk to Costão de Itacoatiara Viewpoint

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Caution: Those who are afraid of heights or suffer from vertigo may have problems at the beginning of the ascent of the rocks

How to get

Let's go from the beginning. To get to Itacoatiara (oceanic region of Niterói) if you are leaving RJ:

  • Bus: You can take the 770D (Castelo - Itaipu) from Viação Pendotiba, at the Menezes Cortes Bus Terminal and get off at the entrance to Itacoatiara, at the point almost in front of a police booth. From here you can walk to the beach (correct me if I'm wrong)

  • Ferries + Bus: Just go to Praça XV, take a ferry towards Niterói and, when you get there, take bus 38 (Centro - Itaipu). It will drop you off at the same location as the 770D.

  • Car: Departing from downtown Rio, take the Rio-Niterói bridge and always follow the signs for "Ocean Region". The journey from Centro - Itacoatiara takes 45 minutes or so, without traffic.

As you have seen, there is not much mystery.

Itacoatiara Beach

Arriving, look for a place to stay on the beach, as the coast is on the left side of the beach (looking at the sea), head there. This is the side that most often has surfers too.

Surf and Bodyboard

If you enjoy surfing, this is definitely an option here. Due to the formation of the waves, it is a beach that usually attracts more bodyboarders, but I have certainly seen enough people who enjoy catching a wave there and it is worth trying depending on the day.

Costão de Itacoatiara Trail: where it is and how to get there : Costão de Itacoatiara Trail - Bodyboard on Itacoatiara Beach: Photo by Alexandre Paredes
Costão de Itacoatiara Trail - Bodyboard on Itacoatiara Beach: Photo by Alexandre Paredes

Costão de Itacoatiara Trail

Access to the Costão de Itacoatiara trail is through an entrance on one of the streets of the neighborhood, more precisely on the last street in Praia (street on the left). Some say it is on Rua das Rosas and I have seen people saying that it is on Rua das Papoulas. As one is the end of the other, it doesn't make much difference =]

And this is the entrance you will see before starting the Costão de Itacoatiara Trail. It is controlled by INEA agents, as it is an area of ​​environmental protection. If I'm not mistaken, you sign a book to enter, but other than that, you don't have too much worry and no obligations, just get up and go up.

Starting the trail you will walk a little bit passing through the forest until you reach a "glare" where there are stools to rest. Soon after you will see a sign for where to go ...

Passing this sign, soon, you arrive at the ascent of the stone part (already in Costão). This is the steepest part of the trail and, although it is not difficult, it can frighten anyone who is afraid of heights. My tip is to go with care and, if you are a little more afraid, give that crawl that helps to give more balance.

Remember that depending on the time of day the stone can be very hot, so it is advisable to go in sneakers or boots (it is not a good idea to go in slippers).

After that, it's just joy. The Costão de Itacoatiara Trail ends right up there on the 217 meters high of incredible hill and you have a privileged view of Itacoatiara beach, the Niterói oceanic region and you can even see Pedra da Gávea (you can see in this photo down here, right at the bottom of the left side).

Other Activities: Climbing

If you are one of those who are not content with just one trail, there are several possible routes for those who know and like to climb. See a map of some of them, located on the West face of the Costão de Itacoatiara.

Costão de Itacoatiara Trail: where it is and how to get there : Costão de Itacoatiara Trail - Climbing the Costão
Costão de Itacoatiara Trail - Climbing the Costão

It is worth saying that I never did a climb in Costão (or any other that required knowledge of climbing), but the feeling must be good to have a view as cool as this the whole way. This one is going up the Alan Marra Wall, on the East face of Costão.

If you don't have the knowledge and experience, I don't even need to tell you to look for professionals for this type of adventure, right ?!

Rafa's tricks

There are two main tips that I like to give regarding the Costão de Itacoatiara Trail.

The first is for you to go up in the late afternoon to enjoy the sunset. In this case, arrive early, enjoy the beach a lot and go up before the INEA gate closes (his time is 8 am to 5 pm). So you can have this kind of view from up here:

The second tip is for you to go up early in the morning. As the trail is short (30 minutes to go and a little less to return), if you are at the peak, you can also do the Enseada do Bananal trail. I do not recommend that you do both in the late afternoon so as not to be cramped in a matter of time and come back in the dark (it can be uncomfortable).

Obviously, as I said throughout the post, the coolest part of the Costão trail is also to enjoy Itacoatiara beach. It is a waste to go just to enjoy the trail and leave the beach aside.

A little more knowledge about Itacoatiara

Just to bring a little knowledge of Wikipedia about the name Itacoatiara, it comes from the indigenous language and means “Pedra Pintada”.

Another legal curiosity is to know that Costão belongs to the Serra da Tiririca State Park. It was formerly known as Serra de Inoã or Maricá and is formed by 8 hills (from Elefante, Alto Mourão, Costão, Morro do Telégrado, Catumbi, Cordovil, Penha and Serrinha). Its current name has to do with the passage of donkeys through a path full of plants popularly known as Tiriricas.

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