Hike the Serra dos Órgãos National Park in Brazil

Trek through the rainforest, climb forested slopes, see isolated waterfalls and walk above the clouds. 3 days.

Follow one of Brazil’s most famous hiking trails as it winds through lush Atlantic rainforest and across rustic bridges. Climb the Via Ferrata, or Iron Stairs, for jaw-dropping views of rugged peaks and then spend the night in a mountain shelter.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Fully trained, English speaking guide
  • 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and snacks
  • Drinking water
  • Entry to the National Park
  • All safety equipment.

Perfect for: Active travellers who want to experience the full natural splendour of Brazil and don’t mind earning it.

Need To Know

The only extra costs are travel to Petrópolis for the start of the tour and back from Teresópolis at the end of the tour.

You should have a good general level of fitness to undertake the hike - it is considered an intermediate level walk, with up to 7 -8 hours of walking each day and plenty of uphill stretches, although there will be time to rest and take a break.

Absolutely! The trip runs with a minimum group of 2 people and a maximum of 6, so you’ll be hiking with other like-minded travellers. Lot’s of people book our trips as a solo traveller - it’s a great way to meet people.

You’ll need to pack-

  • Comfortable walking boots
  • Light, comfortable clothing
  • Sleeping bag (down to 0°C)
  • Any personal toiletries or medication
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Wide brimmed hat or baseball cap
  • Insect repellent
  • A head torch and spare batteries
  • A fleece or jumper for evenings
  • Water purifying tablets or drops
  • A rucksack with a rain cover and hip support belt
  • Trekking poles are highly recommended
  • Waterproof jacket

The Serra dos Órgãos is cooler than Rio de Janeiro due to the altitude, with temperatures in the day usually reaching 15-20°C and often sunny. At night the temperature drops as low as 0°C so you should be prepared with some warm clothes for the mornings and evenings.

The food is simple but filling, usually pasta in the evening, with sandwiches and nuts for snacks and plenty of hot drinks.

We can cater to dietary requirements - please let us know at time of booking.

Rio de Janeiro is the closest airport and from there you take the bus to Petrópolis (around one hour and a half). You’ll need to have at least one night in Petrópolis before the hike as you meet at 07:00. Your trip ends in Teresópolis, also around one hour and a half by bus from Rio - you’ll be able to return to the city on the afternoon of day three if you wish to.

Travelling from the UK, British Airways operates direct flights to Rio de Janeiro. There is a wide choice of airlines offering indirect flights via Europe, or Avianca fly from London via Bogota, Colombia.

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Located just be an hours drive from Rio de Janeiro, the Serra dos Órgãos National Park feels a world away from the bustle and traffic of the city. The park was named by Portuguese settlers, who thought that the granite peaks in the area looked like the pipes of an organ - or órgãos in Portuguese. Home to thousands of species of birds, mammals and insects, along with hundreds of plant species unique to the area, the park contains winding valleys, plunging cliffs and rocky granite outcrops that jut out above the rainforest covered slopes. At 2,255 metres the summit of Pedra do Sino is the highest point in the park, with views over the surrounding mountains and forests, as well as Rio de Janeiro and Guanabara Bay in the distance.

Start point?

Your guide will collect you from your hotel in Petrópolis at 07:00.

Finish point?

You’ll return to the National Park centre in Teresópolis at 14:00 on the last day

Getting there and away?

Regular buses run from Rio de Janeiro to Petrópolis and take around an hour and a half. It’s best to arrive the night before your tour, as you’ll be meeting your guide at 07:00 on day one. After the tour, you should be able to travel back to Rio de Janeiro the same afternoon if you wish.

What to Expect

Day 1: The Hike Begins

Get picked up from your hotel in Petrópolis, known as the Imperial City, the summer residence of Brazil’s emperors.

Drive to the trailhead and begin your hike through the rainforest, keeping an eye out for monkeys in the canopy above, as well as the many plant species that are unique to the region.

Follow the trail as it climbs above the clouds for unforgettable views of the world below.

Reach Castelos do Açu camp where you’ll spend the night, in time for dinner and a beautiful sunset.

Total distance walked – 8km, 3.5 to 4 hours

Day 2: Climb the Iron Staircase

Rise early to watch the sun climb over the mountains of the Serra dos Órgãos national park.

After breakfast, trek through the forest and across six different peaks with plenty of breaks to enjoy your surroundings.

Face your biggest challenge so far – the Via Ferrata, or Iron Staircase, a stepped climb up a stone hill, or cavalinho, supported by safety ropes.

Reach the summit of Pedra do Sino, the highest point in the Serra dos Orgãos National Park, for sunset and some serious stargazing, before spending the night in a mountain shelter.

Total distance walked – 8km, 6 to 7 hours

Day 3: The Journey Back

Follow a shaded trail as it descends the mountain with views on a clear day all the way back to Rio and Guanabara Bay.

Wind through the forest, with plenty of stops to rest and photograph one of Brazil’s most unique natural environments.

Arrive at the visitors centre in Teresópolis where your adventure will end, but not before taking a revitalising dip in the river.

Total distance walked – 11 km, 4 to 5 hours


On your first night, you’ll stay as the Castelos do Açu camp in dorms with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. Hot showers are available, however, they are solar powered, so weather dependent.

On night two you’ll stay in a mountain lodge inside the Serra dos Orgãos National Park. Accommodation is rustic and simple, with bunk beds in a dorm and shared bathrooms. As with the previous night hot showers are available depending on the weather - and it goes without saying there’s no wi-fi or phone signal.