5 Most Beautiful Hikes in Rio de Janeiro

Want to explore Rio de Janeiro on foot? Here are the 5 most beautiful hiking routes:

Morro da Babilonia

Chapeu Mangeira hill (where the pacified Babilonia favela is situated) is an amazing location for a hike and easy to reach from anywhere in Zona Sul, as it sits in between Copacabana and Urca.

The hike itself is easy, and the marked trail through the forest prevents you from getting lost. In its entirety, it lasts only about 4km in each direction. Most hikers take about 1 hour to go up the hill, making sure to stop for photo opportunities and snacks.

Edson Flavio de Sousa / Own Work
Edson Flavio de Sousa / Own Work

From the top of the hill, there is an outstanding view of Flamengo to one side, Praia Vermelha to another, and Pao de Acucar in another direction – providing an unusual and memorable perspective of the city.

Morro do Leme

If you’re in Copacabana, this is the easiest hike for you to take by far! Morro do Leme is located on the far end of Copacabana beach (technically where it turns into Leme), and can be seen from anywhere on the beach you happen to be sipping a caipirinha.

The hill is part of military compound property, and is super safe and you will see military guards patrolling constantly. After you pay your entrance fee, you’ll walk right past them and head up on your easy, paved hike. The entire trail takes less than 15 minutes (and actually doesn’t require sneakers, but better to leave the Havaianas in your hotel room).

Stephanie Kempker / Own Work
Stephanie Kempker / Own Work

Once you’ve reached the top of the frequently empty Morro do Leme, you’ll be greeted by an old military fort, complete with signs in English and Portuguese explaining its function.

Even more importantly – you’ll get some of the best views of Rio de Janeiro available in the city.

Pedra Bonita

Pedra Bonita is located outside of Zona Sul, but near enough for a convenient taxi trip, and definitely worth the trek. It is situated in the Tijuca forest, which is said to be the largest urban forest in the world, and offers sweeping, 360 degree views of Rio de Janeiro in all its diversity and glory.

Once you’ve arrived to the base of the trail, you can take a short detour to watch hang gliders and paragliders jump off the mountain side before continuing up to the top yourself.

Stephanie Kempker / Own Work
Stephanie Kempker / Own Work

The entire hike on Trilha da Pedra Bonita takes only about 25 minutes, and is pretty steep at some points but not difficult. Once you reach the top, you’ll feel as if you’re above the whole city.