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Hike up Tijuca Peak

  • Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Region, Brazil

Last updated: 05 April, 2024

At just over 1,000m, Tijuca Peak is the highest of Rio’s boulder-mountains, and the views from the summit are spectacular – with Rio’s stunning landscape of bays and forest-covered mountains at your feet.

The hike itself is one of the best walks in Tijuca National Park – cutting through wildlife-filled forest, before climbing steeply through a long staircase of steps literally cut into the rock face. It’s easily done as a round trip in around 3 hours, and you can visit Tijuca’s waterfalls or even the Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado on the way back. Plenty of Rio tour operators offer the hike.

Who to go with: tour operators

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  • Rio de Janeiro , Southeastern Region, Brazil

Dense forest greenery

Bucket List Experience

Tijuca National Park

Most of central Rio’s boulder-mountains are protected as a vast sweep of wild tropical forest – cut by mountain streams and waterfalls and busy with toucans and monkeys as small as a kitten.

With fabulous views of the Christ the Redeemer statue and Rio’s beaches at every turn, Tijuca is a wonderful place for a steep cycle ride or hike with a view. Jungle trails run to a series of spectacular peaks – including Gavea Rock (Pedra Gavea, the world’s largest monolith), Bonita Rock (Pedra Bonita, where there’s hang gliding) and Tijuca Peak (Pico da Tijuca), the highest peak in Rio.

The path up Gávea involves an exposed rope-assisted scramble that hovers over a sheer precipice. It’s not for the faint-hearted but the views are incredible. The path to Pedra Bonita is steep but short and easier – taking around 40 minutes, with stunning views over southern Rio. Active types should not miss the exceptional 3-hour hike to Tijuca Peak.

Good for age: 4+

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 4 hours

Getting there & doing it

Reaching the trailhead at Bom Retiro within the park and navigating the path up, is possible under your own steam, but not advised. It’s easy to take a wrong turn and get lost. It’s better to book a half- or full-day Tijuca National Park bespoke tour, and include the peak, the Cachoeira das Almas waterfall, the Gruta do Belmiro caves or even the Christ statue in your trip. All are visitable en route.

But begin with the climb – light is best in the early morning and there’s a long, exposed section that gets hot and sweaty in the middle of the day. Bring plenty of water, a sunhat, sun protection and a head for heights. The trail culminates with a gruelling series of steps cut into the completely exposed rock

When to do it

Avoid weekends when the National Park and the mountain are at their busiest with local hikers. Aim to start the hike in the early morning. This is when it’s coolest, the air is clearest over the city (for the best views) and you will see the most wildlife.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Rio de Janeiro

A challenging hike in a very unusual part of Tijuca Forest, one of the biggest urban forests in the world. On this circuit of trails you'll walk approx. 5h, for 10,4km (6.5mi), with an elevation gain of 848m (2,670ft) and discover the nature and beauty of the jungle. Reach the Taquara Hill (814m=2670ft), a 100m higher than Christ Redeemer with mazing views to the valley of the forest and the city, in clear days. Visit caves and also coffee farms ruin. After the hike, refresh in a waterfall* (bring towel/ bathing suit). On the route to the park, stop by another summit for pictures and admiring the landscape. The scenery of this tour is amazing with nature and a lot of adventure. You'll also learn the history of Brazil, of  the forest, the coffee farms of that area, and the reforestation that happened in the 1800's. *The flow on the falls varies according to the rain. *it also goes to Vista Chinesa but only on working days (on weekends/holidays Vista Chinesa is closed for vehicles)

Price R$380

Min age 14

Rating 4.96 / 5 [94 ratings]

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  • Rio de Janeiro

We are certified tour guides with many years of experience on the Parque Nacional da Tijuca. On this particular trail we will visit the historical circuit, where Brazilians in the past used to grow coffee and raised livestock. We still can see some of the ancient buildings of that time during the hike. Along the trail, hikers can enjoy a wide variety of plants and wildlife. Together We will talk about their characteristics and their interaction with the environment. We also promote environmental awareness and collaborate with different NGO's working for protection and conservation of nature.

Price R$350

Min age 1

Rating 5 / 5 [57 ratings]

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  • Rio de Janeiro

Hike through Tijuca National Park's rainforest on a 6-hour eco-tour contemplating one of the most splendid views of Rio contrasting with the greatest urban forest in the world. Accompanied by an expert guide, expect a trilling tour full of nature with waterfalls, springs, small lakes, viewpoints, and historic sites. Animals, particularly monkeys, coatis and birds, can be seen all around during walks in the lush landscape and falls. The walking distance is about 7 km, round trip, is mostly in the shade, ranging from light to medium level of difficulty. The hiking time is about 4 hrs at a slow pace. Visit the calm and beautiful waterfalls where we stop for bath and pictures. Bring swimsuits along so that you can splash around. We then continue on for more 10 min up to the scenic weir called “Açude da Solidão”. Take a break at the edge of it and enjoy snacks picnic style. After having such an adventurous day, relax on the journey back to your hotel.

Price $210

Min age 9

Rating 5 / 5 [17 ratings]

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  • Rio de Janeiro

Experience some of Rio de Janeiro’s stunning natural beauty on this hiking tour through the Tijuca Rainforest. Declared a national park in the ‘60s, Tijuca is home to Rio’s highest peak – Pico da Tijuca. Hike to this scenic spot with an experienced guide, learning about the rainforest as you go, and be rewarded with remarkable views of Rio and Guanabara Bay when you reach the top. It’s an active and educational way to spend a day in Rio!

Price $80

Min age 14

Rating 4.63 / 5 [11 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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