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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 09 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Alex Robinson

This beautiful and little-known two-hour trail hugs the coastline between Barra de Guaratiba village in Rio’s extreme southern suburbs and the long crescent moon surf beach at Grumari.

The path climbs through protected rainforest, affording wonderful views over the long, wild beaches of da Marambaia and from the Telegraph Rock lookout (with a seemingly endless spread of beaches and mountains at your feet). It then drops to a series of rocky coves and bays before emerging on long, pearl-white Grumari beach.

There’s wildlife to see on the way – electric blue Morpho Blue butterflies as big as a handkerchief, hummingbirds, capuchin monkeys and soaring frigate birds. And the bottle-green, surf and body-surf friendly sea at Grumari is as fresh and clean as you’ll find anywhere in Rio.

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 4 hours

Getting there & doing it

Self-guiding is possible but difficult. Guaratiba village is nearly 50km south of Ipanema, so taxi costs are high and navigating Rio’s roads with a hire car is a challenge. The start of the trail in Guaratiba is not obvious and locals speak no English, so asking directions is not an option.

Save yourself time and trouble by booking a bespoke guided tour and walk with Rio Eco Sporte who will pick-up and drop off from any hotel in central Rio or Barra da Tijuca. They’ll even fix you up with a surfboard for Grumari.

You can buy water and snacks in Guaratiba village and there is a decent al fresco seafood restaurant overlooking the beach at Grumari.

When to do it

Available all year round. But avoid the Telegraph Rock at weekends when it is extremely busy with Instagrammers – who queue for hours to get a shot of themselves seemingly hanging over a precipice at the edge of the rock (the drop is in reality only a few feet).

To have the views and the trails pretty much to yourself and to see the wildlife, leave before dawn on a weekday and aim to be on the trail around 7am.

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Rio de Janeiro

Southeastern Region, Brazil

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