If you love hiking, Pedra da Gávea should be high on your priority list of hikes to do in Rio de Janeiro. The hike is not for beginners, it’s challenging and involves a steep section of rock climbing. If you feel ccomfortable with advanced mountain hiking it can be done independently (bring a rope), if not there are several agencies in town that can help you with a guide.
Pedra da Gávea is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most recognizable mountains. Together with Dois Irmãos (the Two Brothers Mountain) it forms the famous skyline that can be seen from Arpoador. In earlier times, the top used to be a viewpoint to spot incoming ships.
|Duration: 4-6 hours up and downDifficulty: Very Hard
When to hike: The hike is possible to do throughout the whole year but it’s best done from March-November because then it’s not too hot.
What to bring: Hiking boots / Trainers, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, food and water. Also a rope for the rock climbing.
How to get to Pedra da Gávea
By bus: Any bus going to Praça Euvaldo Lodi in Barra da Tijuca.
By Car: If you are coming from Copacabana/Ipanema/Leblon, take the tunnel de São Conrado. When you get out of the tunnel, take the first street to the right. Here you will reach Praça Desembargador Araujo Jorge. Follow Estrada do Joá for one block, and turn left to Avenida Fleming. After three blocks follow Estrada do Sorimã, which takes you up to the entrance of the Pedra da Gávea trail, parking is available.
When you get to the starting point of the trail, you have to sign yourself in with name, number and country. From here, you follow the rocky road until you get to a junction where you have to go to the left. This is actually the only place where it’s possible to go wrong.
Follow the trail into the jungle and hike for about one hour until you reach Praça Pedra da Gávea da Bandeira. Here you will get the first close-up view of the mountain, which looks like a human face that is watching you. On the left side you get a view of Floresta da Tijuca, where you will see Pedra Bonita. You will also see all the way east to Pão de Açúcar.
When reaching the small Praça da Bandeira, turn right for Pedra da Gávea. It’s easy to see where to walk.
After leaving Praça da Bandeira, follow the trail for another 20-30 minutes and you will get to Carrasqueira, which is the biggest challenge of the hike – the climbing point. The wall is about 30 meters tall and almost vertical. Here it’s recommended to bring a rope for your own safety. If you are going with a guided group, they will have brought the necessary equipment for you.
The climbing part can take from 20 minutes to one hour because it’s steep and you often have to wait in a line to do the climbing. Again, this part is for advanced hikers, if you have doubts, better go with a guide.
After the climbing part, you will be walking on the right side on the mountain and there are some spectacular views coming up. You will get a panorama view of the eastern part of Rio de Janeiro, where you will see the 17 kilometer beach neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca.
From here, just hike for about 30 minutes until you get to the top of Pedra da Gávea . Once you get to the top of the mountain, the view is breathtaking. Here it’s nice to sit down, eat some food and enjoy the amazing view for a while. You get a view over Zona Sul, Zona Oeste, Floresta da Tijuca, the Atlantic Ocean and on a clear day you can see all the other major peaks in Rio de Janeiro, like Corcovado, Dois Irmãos and Pão de Açúcar.
If you have any question about the Pedra da Gávea hike, feel free to ask!