The best trails (and viewpoints) to discover in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro

It is not new that Rio de Janeiro is recognized nationally and internationally for its natural beauty. There are miles and miles of beautiful beaches combined with a vast area of ​​Atlantic forest that can be explored by the most diverse hikers, from amateurs to professionals.

I don't know about you, but I feel that, even today, a good part of this natural beauty is unknown and untouched by a good part of Cariocas. I even think there are more tourists getting to know what Rio has to offer, while Cariocas spend their daily lives going to Ipanema beach on weekends and taking a walk around Lagoa (nothing against that, of course, but I think that we can and must know more about our Wonderful city!)

So to start our column of Adrenaline tracks 10, I decided to bring my favorite tracks in RJ:

Morro da Urca Trail

If you are starting to do trails or if you are short of time, an excellent option is the Morro da Urca trail, with quick access through the Cláudio Coutinho trail (at Praia Vermelha) in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, you can get to first cable car station at Pão de Açúcar in an easy 30 minute walk. A good tip is to go up at the end of the day, between 4pm and 5pm to enjoy the cable car descent, which after 7pm becomes free for those already up there.

Sacopã Lookout Trail

Another good option for a quick and easy trail through the south of RJ, more specifically in Lagoa, is the trail from Mirante do Sacopã, which starts at Parque da Catacumba and lasts about 20 minutes. In the end, you will have a beautiful view of the Lagoon and after descending, you can enjoy a good deer in the surrounding kiosks.

Horto Waterfalls Trail

A third option with difficulty level of the easy trail is the Cachoeiras do Horto. Enjoy that you are close to the Vista Chinesa and go to the viewpoint. This is one of the most beautiful views of the city of Rio de Janeiro and one of my favorites.

After spending some time looking at the view of Vista Chinesa, it is worth starting the trail, which takes no more than 30 minutes going at a leisurely pace. Although it is easy, there is a “climbing” moment in some roots that you need to pay attention to. Despite this most difficult part, you will be rewarded with a very cool waterfall known as Cachoeira do Chuveiro. It's really nice to be under there:

Hill Trail 2 Brothers

Increasing the difficulty a little, it is worth visiting Morro 2 Irmãos. This trail can be considered with a medium degree of difficulty. You can start by climbing Vidigal on foot or if you are too lazy, take a motorcycle taxi to the beginning of the trail, which is right at the top of the hill.

Once there, you will go through a path that has a viewpoint that gives you a complete view of Rocinha and, arriving at the top, you will have one of the most beautiful views of RJ. For those who like Ipanema, seeing the beach from the angle of 2 Irmãos is surreal. As a freebie you can still see Lagoa, Sugar Loaf, Corcovado, etc.

Maybe this picture would be better without my presence in it, but you understand what I mean by the beauty of the view ????

Morro da Babilônia and Chapéu Mangueira Trail

In terms of difficulty, this is perhaps the most complex. To start, if you really do the trail that starts at Chapéu Mangueira and ends at Morro da Babilônia, you will have to pass through a military area (which is theoretically forbidden to pass). Besides, the trail is a little bit tighter than the others I mentioned until now.

In case you are excited, you will have the possibility to take a look at the red beach from an angle opposite Morro da Urca. The photo below is of the fisherman's stone. On the way you can still have a very nice view of the red beach seen from above, with Morro da Urca on the other side and, in the end, already arriving at Morro da Babilônia, you have a panoramic view of the World Cup.

An unmissable tip, regardless of the time of day you take the trail is to stop at David's Bar at the end to enjoy a good beer and a well-served food.

Missing tracks

I ended up not putting some very nice trails that many people know as Pedra Bonita and Pedra da Gávea and others not as famous as Morro dos Cabritos. I left them for future posts.

What is your favorite trail in RJ?

Enjoy that you have read this post so far and share with us what is your favorite trail in the city of Rio de Janeiro!

Frequently Asked Questions

What unique characteristics do the trails and viewpoints in Rio's South Zone offer, and how accessible are they for casual hikers?
Trails in Rio's South Zone are known for their breathtaking views of the city and coastline. Many are accessible for casual hikers, offering a range of difficulty levels from easy walks to more challenging climbs, catering to various fitness levels.

Comments (3)

 2016-08-01 -  Julia Aquino
what driving can i use to get back to the house in relation to the trails, especially the waterfall?!?!
 2016-08-02 -  Rafael
@Julia Aquino. Hi Julia, how are you? In general, car, taxi, uber or bus. In the case of the Horto waterfall trail it is possible to go from 409 to the end point and take a good walk (15 to 30 minutes walking) until the beginning of the trail depending on your pace or by taxi / uber to the entrance or car (it is I need to park a little further down or a little further up the trail - I recommend above, where you have the Chinese view).
 2016-08-02 -  Julia Aquino
there is no physical preparation, huh?!?!

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