Bucketlist Travels logo

Travel bucket list idea:

Tijuca National Park

  • Rio de Janeiro , Southeastern Region, Brazil

Last updated: 05 April, 2024

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.

Recommendations

3
  • Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Region, Brazil

Glider takes off from mountain top

Bucket List Experience

Hang glide off Bonita Rock

With warm weather and towering coastal mountains creating almost constant thermals, myriad broad sandy beaches for landing strips and spectacular views over boulder-mountain studded bays, Rio is a hotspot for hang gliding.

The sport is long-established here, and a number of operators offer tandem or solo flights, which take off from the paragliding station atop the giant 520m-high monolith of Bonita Rock (Pedra Bonita).

If you’ve ever wanted to try hang gliding, this is as good a place as any.

Adult price: £120

Min age 14

Good for age: 14+

Duration: 3 hours

  • Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Region, Brazil

Hike up Tijuca Peak

Bucket List Experience

Hike up Tijuca Peak

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.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 4 hours

  • Rio de Janeiro , Southeastern Region, Brazil

This hulking 842m-high granite monolith, Pedra da Gavea, towers above both Corcovado and Sugar Loaf; the 6-hour hike up through the wildlife-filled rainforests of the Tijuca National Park is ultimately rewarded with some of the best views in Rio.

Even in high season, you’ll share the experience with just a handful of other walkers. The catch is that it’s a half-day hike and a scary rope-secured scramble to the summit, making this a challenge solely for the vertigo-tolerant, fit, agile and wild at heart.

Climb in Rio lead a range of guided climbs up Pedra da Gavea for the more serious mountain climber.

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 6-8 hours

Logistics

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

Getting there & doing it

Morning or full-day tours will pick you up between 8am-9am. Afternoon tours will pick you up between 1pm and 2pm.

When to do it

The best time to visit is in the early morning during the dry season (from April-November) when the wildlife is most active. The park is miserable when it’s raining and unsafe after dark.

Who to go with: organised tours

12

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

  • Rio de Janeiro

The main point of the tour is showing the best viewpoints in Rio and also do a hiking to access hidden caves and waterfalls in the national park on cold days we also offer the option to visit the Pedra Bonita(The beautiful rock) one of the most beautiful peaks in the city. All the time we try to spot the park’s flora and fauna including: tucans, monkey, sloths, snakes and quatis! Also get to know interesting facts and stories about the park from our guides. Rio is world famous for its amazing landscapes and Its Incredible urban forest(one of the biggest in the world). For sure the Tijuca Forest is a must see in Rio. This tour will show the Best Spots of the Forest and make the visitors few the vibe of this amazing place in the heart of Rio. We Always work with small groups maximum of 6 people per car/ guide to keep the quality of our services.

Price R$430

Min age 0

Rating 4.87 / 5 [117 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Rio de Janeiro

A half-day hike guided tour in Tijuca Forest National Park, one of the biggest urban rainforests in the world. Our experienced guides will take you on an amazing adventure hiking up one of the most stunning summits in Rio. You'll visit Pedra Bonita (696m=2283ft) a popular lookout in the Tijuca Rainforest with amazing views to the coastline of the city and a view to Gavea Rock, the flat 'table mountain' in Rio that provides incredible picture opportunities. During the tour, you'll experience the nature and the feeling of being in the tropical rainforest. In addition to the fun and adventure our team will provide information and curiosities about the flora and fauna, like monkeys, quatis, and toucans, that may appear in the way.  Highlights:  - Tijuca Rainforest National Park (03rd biggest urban forest in the world) - Amazing views in clear days (696m=2283ft= as high as the Christ Redeemer statue)

Price R$280

Min age 8

Rating 4.97 / 5 [107 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • 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]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Rio de Janeiro

Enjoy close the natural diversity of Rio de Janeiro. Begin your tour at the Botanical Garden (options with and without tickets included) and visit the Sensory Garden, the Brazilwood (tree that gives name to the country), the Turtle Lake and the lake with the giant-water-lily. Walk through the bicentenary imperial palm trees as you go to the orchidarium and bromeliad house. Then, visit the Vista Chinesa gazebo (on Saturdays and Sundays will be off the route as vehicles are not allowed) and enjoy a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro. In a distance, you can also see Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf. Follow to an adventure at Tijuca National Forest, one of the largest urban forest in the world. Observe the Taunay Waterfall and walk through a simple trail as you learn more about the Atlantic Forest, its flora and fauna. Get back to the vehicle and pass by the famous São Conrado beach to observe the hang gliders and paragliders, before returning to the hotel through a panoramic route.

Price $40

Min age 1

Rating 4.33 / 5 [89 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Rio de Janeiro

In a jeep, travel through the city to the rainforest of Tijuca National Park, on a half-day ecological tour. With guided walks along the trails, it will be possible to see monkeys, sloths, coatis and many birds. Contemplate the flora, history and wildlife and know that you are in one of the largest Urban Forests in the World. A little piece of Atlantic Forest in the heart of Rio de Janeiro.

Price R$258

Min age 0

Rating 4.53 / 5 [54 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >