Hike Rio de Janeiro's Urban Rainforest (1 Day)

Trek through the forest, shower in a waterfall and see endless views of mountains, beaches and favelas without ever leaving the city. 1 day.

Follow a loop trail through the Tijuca Forest National Park, spotting birds and monkeys in the canopy above on your way to the highest peak. Visit waterfalls that plunge down from the cliffs and secluded viewpoints overlooking the city and Guanabara Bay.

Your hassle-free adventure includes:

  • Experienced, English speaking guide
  • Local transportation to and from your hotel (South Zone only)

Perfect for:

Those who want to see an entirely different side of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

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.

Of course! The group size is from two to ten people, so you’ll be hiking with a group of like-minded travellers - a great way to make friends.

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 these are also the wettest months - outside this time the weather is very warm and pleasant.

The only extra costs are lunch and drinking water, plus travel if you’re staying outside the South Zone.

A moderate level of health and fitness is required along with the ability to hike over fairly rough terrain, both up and down, for around five hours with plenty of breaks to rest.

As well as a bathing suit and towel for the waterfall, we’d recommend you bring lunch, plenty of water (at least two litres per person,) sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, a small backpack and comfortable boots and clothes suitable for a hike in the wild (no sandals).


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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 one of the world’s largest urban rainforests, spread over some 39 km² and home to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife, as well as thirty waterfalls and endless biking and hiking opportunities.

Start point?

Your guide will collect you from your hotel between 08:00 and 09:00, provided it is in the South Zone of Rio, which includes many of the most popular neighbourhoods, like Urca, Botofogo, Flamengo and Gloria, as well as the beaches of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana. If you’re staying anywhere else in the city (Lapa or Santa Teresa for example) you’ll need to make your own way to a pre-agreed meeting point.

Finish point?

At the end of your hike you’ll be returned to your hotel between 17:00 and 18:00 approximately.

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, Views and Shower in a Wild Waterfall

After being collected by your guide, drive to the Tijuca National Park, known locally as the Floresta da Tijuca and the start of the jungle trail.

Head into this slice of wild and protected rainforest, learning about the plants and wildlife that live there, including moneys and parrots, as you try to persuade yourself that you’re still within the city limits of Rio.

Visit the highest waterfall in the Park, Cascatinha Taunay, or Taunay Falls, cascading 100 feet out of the trees above you.

Continue to the charming pagoda at the Vista Chinesa or Chinese Viewpoint, set 380 metres above the city with views over Sugarloaf Mountain and the famous beaches of Ipanema, Copacabana and Leblon.

Climb up through the forest to the top of Tijuca Peak, the highest point in the park for a bird’s eye view of Rio and the waters of Guanabara Bay.

Follow the loop as it winds down through the forested valley, taking in the 917m Tijuca Mirim Peak along the way.

Cool off under the Cachoeira das Almas, or Waterfall of the Souls, named after the rituals practiced by former slaves in its clear waters.

Total time walking – 8km, 4 to 5 hours, 521 metres elevation

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