Best time to visit Rio de Janeiro

Hiking in Rio de Janeiro

Rio with its hills and urban forests is a hiking paradise

Best time: June–September


Rio de Janeiro, with its numerous little paths in Tijuca forest—an Atlantic rainforest just in the middle of the city—or in the Botanical Garden with great views of the city and an opportunity to observe exotic plants and animals, is a hiker's paradise. Among all the beautiful and exciting places you can hike to in Rio, there are some very special ones. Firstly is Pedra Bonita. It isn't exactly the easiest one, but it's totally worth the effort because when you reach the peak, you'll feel like you're on the top of the whole city. The peak is quite flat and ideal for a picnic with the view of the Rocinha favela and the landscape of the entire city. Secondly, there's Morro do Leme, a not so popular destination; that's why it's usually quiet and peaceful. This trail is probably the easiest one in Rio and one of the safest. You can hike to it from almost anywhere in Zona Sul. On the top of the hill, you'll find an old fort that is now a military museum, which is worth seeing as well. Thirdly, there is Morro da Urca, the hill next to Pão de Açúcar (the Sugarloaf Mountain), one of the main attractions of Rio. Instead of just taking the cable car from the bottom of the mountain, hike up the Morro da Urca and take the second cable car. Don't forget your hiking shoes, because the trail is paved and can be a bit slippery. Brazilian winter (June–September) is perfect for hiking because it's less rainy, so you probably won't get soaking wet durin​g your​ hike and will get to see more because of less fog.

Practical info

What are some great hiking trails in Rio de Janeiro?

Rio de Janeiro has many options for hiking, but some of the best trails include Pedra Bonita, Morro do Leme, and Morro da Urca. Pedra Bonita provides breathtaking views of the city from its flat peak and is an ideal spot for a picnic. Morro do Leme is tranquil and has an old fort transformed into a military museum at the top. Morro da Urca, located near Sugarloaf Mountain, provides secure trails and a second cable car ride. Show more

When is Rio de Janeiro hiking season?

The dry season in Brazil, between June to September, is the best time to go hiking in Rio de Janeiro. During this time, there is less rainfall, and view blockages by fog is unlikely. This period is also suitable for discovering exotic plant and animal species while hiking in the city's urban forests and national parks. Show more

What safety precautions should I take while hiking in Rio de Janeiro?

While hiking in Rio de Janeiro can be secured, maintaining marked paths and avoiding hiking alone at night is critical. Like other outdoor activities, durable shoes, enough water, and a completely charged phone are essential. Additionally, traveling with a group or hiring a knowledgeable guide who understands the area and can offer valuable insights is highly recommended. Show more

What are the best Rio de Janeiro hiking trail views of the city?

Pedra Bonita, Morro do Leme, and Morro da Urca are all outstanding hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the city. The flat peak of Pedra Bonita and the Morro da Urca offer sweeping natural beauty of the city, and one can view the entire city. Morro do Leme's military museum offers an extraordinary perspective on the city's history. Many visitors to any of these trails take amazing photographs while enjoying Rio de Janeiro's magnificence. Show more

What should I take for a hike in Rio de Janeiro?

As Rio de Janeiro becomes hot and humid, it is advisable to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing suitable for hiking. Also, hikers should wear durable hiking shoes that provide excellent traction and support. Bring essentials such as a backpack, including plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, first aid kits, and a completely charged phone. A hat, light jacket or rain poncho, which can be useful for fast-changing weather conditions, should also be carried. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin