Are you looking for some jungle adventure with caverns and waterfalls? The Trilha dos Primatas, hike of the primates in English, is a short and easy hike in Rio de Janeiro’s famous city jungle Parque Nacional da Tijuca, leading to a big rock with a small waterfall. This hike is the perfect choice if you want to escape the city heat and spend an afternoon in the refreshing cold of a jungle waterfall.
|Duration: 50-60 minutes up and down
Distance: 900 m
When to hike: All year, except if it has been raining the previous days.
What to bring: Hiking boots/trainers, comfortable clothing, bikini, canga, sunscreen, mosquito repellant, food and water.
How to get to Trilha dos Primatas
The hike starts in the neighbourhood Jardim Botânico. It’s best to go by car and use GPS, even taxi drivers might not now about this hidden treasure. Actually, the last part of the road Sara Vilela doesn’t even show anymore on the GPS. Don’t freak out and follow the road, it’ll lead you to a small parking lot with a sign “Trilha dos Primatas“. Have a look at the map for details.
The starting point of the Trilha dos Primatas hike is marked by a big sign with a map of the track. The hike itself is short, easy and very entertaining. You really are in the middle of the jungle while hiking the Trilha dos Primatas and you have to watch out not to stumble over the many roots and lianas that are growing everywhere. After 5-10 minutes of leisured hiking, you’ll reach a small creek. Cross the creek and climb over the tube on the other side, then continue the path to the left for another 5-10 minutes.
You’ll reach a junction with a pointed rock where you have to go to the right. Only 5 meters from the junction you’ll see a small stone with a yellow shoe print, so you’ll know you’re on the right track. Shortly after the junction you’ll see a stone cave to your left with a fireplace.
Keep walking and you’ll start to hear the sound of the waterfall. More likely than not you’ll also hear sirens and helicopters throughout the hike, if it wasn’t for that, you’d forget that you’re in Rio de Janeiro. When you reach the waterfall, you’ll have to cross the creek again. You can either stay here and take a bath in the natural pool or continue 20 meters further up to get to the second waterfall. Here you can actually have a picnic on a large flat rock and go have a shower every now and then to cool of. So bring your bikini, canga and food to make the most of your trip to Trilha dos Primatas!
Attention: When you go down again, there’s one point where the path splits in two. Instead of continuing straight, you need to take the left. There’s an arrow carved into the tree pointing in the correct direction. The Trilha dos Primatas hike is very well marked in general, if you have doubts, just look around you for marks on the trees and stones.