Hike the Rock Giant in Rio de Janeiro

Climb to the summit of Pedra da Gávea, for panoramic views over Rio de Janeiro. 1 day.

Hike through the world’s largest urban forest, the Tijuca National Park, spotting birds and monkeys, and then be rewarded with 360º views over Rio’s golden beaches, forested mountains and favelas. Experience rock climbing before taking a refreshing swim in a waterfall.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • Experienced, English speaking guide
  • All climbing and safety equipment
  • Local transport to the start of the hike and back

Perfect for:

Those who want to add a physical challenge to their time in Rio, and earn epic views over the entire city.

Need To Know

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There are direct flights to Rio de Janeiro with British Airways, as well as a wide choice of indirect flights via São Paulo and Europe.

An experienced, English speaking guide will be with you for the whole trip. You’ll also be driven to and from the start of the trail from the meeting point at the Metro station.

You should wear comfortable, light hiking clothes as it’s often very hot on the mountain and you’ll also need comfortable hiking boots or trainers. Make sure you bring plenty of water (we recommend three litres across two drinking bottles and plenty of snacks or lunch), plenty of sunscreen and we recommend a baseball cap or wide-brimmed hat.

The only extra costs are:

  • Travel to and from the Jardim Oceânico Metro station - an easy ride on the subway or in a taxi from anywhere in Rio.
  • Any snacks or lunch you wish to bring (recommended)
  • Plenty of drinking water (we recommend 3 litres - there is nowhere to buy more water on the hike)

Of course! The group size is from two people up to eight, so if there are other travellers booked on the trip then you’ll be in a small group of like minded travellers.

The weather in Rio is generally hot and sunny, with temperatures all year round between 25°C and 35°C. December to March is summer although also the wettest months, however even outside this time the weather is very warm and pleasant.

Please note that the trip may be cancelled in the event of bad weather conditions as the trail will be unsafe

You should have a good general level of fitness as you’ll be hiking for five to six hours, of which at least half will be up a steep trail. No experience is required as you’ll be fully briefed on the climbing part of the trip, but if you have a fear of heights it’s maybe not for you!


View map

Known as the Cidade Maravilhosa, or ‘Marvellous City’, Rio de Janeiro is an unforgettable mix of golden beaches, forested mountains and favelas scattered amongst upmarket neighbourhoods. As well as its famous beaches like Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana, the city is also the birthplace of Samba and home to a thriving nightlife.

The Tijuca National Park is claimed to be the world’s largest urban rainforest, spread over some 32 km² and home to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife, as well as thirty waterfalls and endless hiking opportunities. Pedra da Gávea, known as the ‘Rock Giant’, is a granite monolith reaching 842 metres above sea level - one of the highest mountains in the world to drop straight into the ocean. Legend has it that the mountain has the face of an ancient giant on the side.

Start point?

You’ll meet your guide at Jardim Oceânico Station at 07:00, an easy Metro ride from anywhere in the city.

Finish point?

You’ll return to Jardim Oceânico Station at 15:00.

Getting there and away?

Travelling from the UK, there are direct flights to Rio de Janeiro with British Airways, as well as a wide choice of indirect flights via Europe or São Paulo.

What to Expect

Day Trip: Hike, Climb and Swim

Meet your guide at the Jardim Oceânico Metro station at 07:00.

Your host is passionate about adventure sports and a born and bred ‘carioca’, the nickname for Rio’s residents - who despite being deaf since he was two years old, is a real-adventure sports enthusiast. He’s an excellent lip reader though, so you’ll be able to communicate easily.

Drive ten minutes to the Tijuca National Park, an urban rainforest filled with hiking trails, waterfalls, birds and monkeys. The granite mountain you’ll be climbing today is known as the ‘Rock Giant’, or Pedra da Gávea in Portuguese.

Reach the start of the trail and start hiking. Head upwards through the forest, keeping an eye out for monkeys, brightly coloured butterflies and tropical fruits growing in the wild.

Getting steeper, you’ll scramble up steep, smooth granite rocks with your guide on hand to advise and support.

Hike for around two and a half hours until you reach the steepest section of the trail where rock climbing equipment is required.

Get roped up and with your guides help climb the thirty-metre high cliff face known as Carrasqueira.

Reaching the top, continue hiking for another thirty minutes to reach the summit at 842 metres high, with 360° views over the entire city, the ocean and the surrounding forested mountains.

Relax and take in what’s arguably the best view of Rio de Janeiro, including Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana Beach, favelas and skyscrapers, all overlooked by the statue of Christ the Redeemer.

After plenty of time to relax, retrace your steps down the trail, stopping at a waterfall deep in the forest for a well-deserved swim.

Reach the end of the trail where you’ll be driven back to the Jardim Oceânico Metro station where your hiking experience ends.

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