By Pedro Souza
October 31, 2017

Rio de Janeiro is indeed a beautiful state. Being home to an array of dazzling beaches and arguably the most beautiful city in the country, it also has much more to offer. If you are a fan the outdoors and know how to appreciate a good day hiking, there are many trails available for you to choose. To help you with your choice, we have selected some of the best trails in the state.

1: Trilha da Pedra Bonita
Right next to the city of Rio de Janeiro Lies Pedra Bonita, a rock formation that has become a popular point for hang-gliders. The Pedra also offers a stunning view to the city of Rio, which is sure to delight anyone that is willing to take the trail. The trail itself goes up to the Pedra through the thick Atlantic Jungle, which is teeming with wild animals. While the trail is quite steep, it takes only about 40 minutes, and is a great option if you want to bring your family for a fun evening. To get there by car, you should take the Lagoa Barra road in the south of the city and take the entrance that leads to Joá. After driving for a while in the Estrada das Canoas road, a sign will point the way to Pedra Bonita. If you would rather go by bus, you can take the line 448 from Maracaí to Conrado, which passes through the entrance to the trail’s parking lot.

2: Mirante Excelsior
Located in the Parque Floresta da Tijuca, the Mirante Excelsior is a bucolic semi-abandoned lookout with an amazing view. The way to the lookout was once paved, but hasn’t been maintained since around 1945. Little remains of the pavement nowadays, making it mostly a trail. On the way, which takes around one hour, visitors can appreciate the scenery and the lush vegetation that surrounds it. The large canopy of the trees add to the beauty of the place, giving the impression that one is in a natural cathedral. The scenery at the top doesn’t disappoint as well, offering a wide view of the mountains in the area, the city of Rio and the Guanabara Bay. To get there, you have to drive to the Parque Floresta Tijuca, passing through the main gate at a square. After that, drive until a place called “Barracão”, where the entrance to the trail is located.

3: Cachoeira Conde D’eu Trail
A geographical accident of the Paquequer river, The Cachoeira Conde D’eu waterfall is truly a wonder to behold. Falling from a height of 127 meters, it is the highest free-falling waterfall in the state of Rio. When the water hits the well at the bottom, it sends a spray upwards that turns into a rainbow on sunny days, adding to the beauty of what is a dazzling sight in itself. The waterfall is located near the Dona Mariana district, in the town of Sumidouro. To get there, one needs to take the road RJ-148 from Sumidouro and then follow the signs pointing to the waterfall. At one point, it is impossible to go ahead by car, and this is where the trail begins. Going through the thick vegetation, you can hear the sound of wild animals and the constant rumble of the waterfall in the background. At the end of the trail, you can bathe in the waters and get some relief from the heat.

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