The Dois Irmãos, Two Brothers Mountain in English are a real landmark of Rio de Janeiro and when looking from the Ipanema Beach, it looks impossible to simply walk up this steep mountain. However, it has a gentle slope on the back so the hike is much easier than you’d think. If you like a challenge, the Dois Irmãos Hike is a great choice for you!
|Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours up and down (starting from the footbal field)Distance: 3.8km
When to hike: All year, except if it has been raining the previous days.
What to bring: Hiking boots / trainers, comfortable clothing that can get dirty, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and lots of water.
How to get to Dois Irmãos
Address: Avenida Niemeyer 210 – Entrance to Vidigal
By foot: Walk up the Avenida Niemeyer at the end of Leblon Beach until you see the entrance to the Favela Vidigal on the right (after the Sheraton Hotel). From the end of Leblon it’s 1.3 km.
By bus: Take the bus number 360, 2335, 2335 or 2338 from Leblon, Ipanema or Copacabana Beach (3.00 BRL)
Important: In the mornings (until 10.30), the traffic is redirected and cars/buses can’t go up the Avenida Niemeyer. If you want to hike in the morning you have no other option than to walk.
Once you’re in the favela, you can either take a public van up to the football field (campo de futebol) and start your hike from there or follow the main street until you see the football field on your left (behind a curve, so be on the lookout). If you don’t know the place, we recommend you to take the van, you can always decide walk through the favela on your way down. The van leaves just behind the entrance of Vidigal (see map) and costs ca. 2.50 BRL.
From the football field
You have to cross the football field and go through a gate on the other side to start the hike. Follow the path that is going into the forest and after some minutes of easy hiking, you’ll get to a steeper part with lots of logs that will serve you as steps. Another 10-15 minutes and you’ll come to a viewpoint from where you can see São Conrado, Pedra da Gávea, Pedra Bonita and Rocinha.
From there, you hike up a path going up the hill straight ahead. Again, the path starts off pretty easy and you’ll be likely to see butterflies and lizards on the trail. However, soon you’ll get to a steep part where you might need to grasp on to roots and branches to make your way up. After a while you’ll get to a second viewpoint facing Rocinha, a rock promontory from where you can already get a glimpse of Gávea and Christ the Redeemer. Now you’ve already done the worst part. In another 15 minutes you’ll be standing on top of the Dois Irmãos Mountain and understand why Rio de Janeiro is called “The Marvelous City.” Just keep walking until you get to a junction where you go to the left. Take as much time as you need to enjoy this spectacular panorama view over Ipanema, Lagoa, Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf… it’s all there!
It’s nice to plan some time for beers or lunch after the hike. At the bottom of the Favela there are many little places where you can eat and refresh yourself. That’s why it’s a good idea to walk down and stop wherever you want. If you’re too tired, you can also take the van down and tell the driver to stop if you see a good bar. For example: Restaurante Cardápio by Dona Solange Barbosa de Andrade Avenida Presidente João Goulart 625 Self service buffet and you pay per weight, open from Tuesdays to Sundays.
Alternative entrance for the hike
If you’re feeling adventurous, try an alternative route to start the Dois Irmãos Hike. Either walk up the main street until you come to the UPP station (on the top of the favela) or take the van until the final destination. Once you get off the van, walk past the UPP station (to your left) up the steep hill. You will pass by a shop where you can buy water if you haven’t bought it at the bottom of the favela. A bit further along the road you will see a small house with stairs that lead up to a small wall to your right. There’s a doghouse on the steps so they’re easy to recognize. Don’t hesitate to ask people for directions to the “Mirador Dois Irmãos” if you’re not sure whether you’ve found the right “entrance” to the hike. Now that you’re at the wall, you just walk on it for 20 meters until you reach a small path to you right (doesn’t look much like a path but it’ll get better). Follow the path for about 15 minutes until you reach the first viewpoint. Then continue as described above.
Let us know if you have any questions or further tips for this hike.