A hike to Dois Irmaos
Rio de Janeiro is a beautiful combination of beach, mountains and tropical forest, all within the city, which offers hikers a lot of options to spend the day outdoors.
One of the greatest trails that can be done in Rio de Janeiro is the one up to the Dois Irmaos mountain, one of the landmarks of the city. While watching the mountain from Ipanema beach it may seem impossible to walk up to the top, you may find it actually not so hard and with an incredible reward at the end.
Located in the Vidigal neighbourhood, the southeast side of Zona Sul, the trail starts at the top of the community. You can easily get there by taxi from your location or taking a moto-taxi or van from the entrance in the community. Or you can walk up through the Vidigal community, if you want to observe the area closer. Nothing to worry about, it is a very safe community and walking right through it can only improve your opinion about what favela life means in Rio de Janeiro. The only thing to worry about are a few quite steep hills on the way up.
The hike can take between 45 minutes to one hour, one way, depending on how hot it is outside and how fit you are. It is not a difficult hike, only filled with amazing and surprising views of Sao Conrado, Rocinha or the ocean.
For the better trained ones, the hike will seem very easy. For the not so fit, the trail might seem a bit difficult, but in the end nothing will matter: the views are exceptional! Amazing and spectacular 360 degrees views of Leblon and Ipanema, Rocinha – one of Brazil’s largest favelas, Lagoa… you name it! There are not enough adjectives to describe the excitement of being on top and watching the world unfold beneath!
When to go to the top of Dois Irmaos:
- Try going during the week – the weekends are generally very crowded and will make it more difficult to enjoy the views. And to make beautiful pictures to show off with.
- Avoid going immediately after a rainy day, because the trail might get splippery and muddy in some places, making it a bit difficult to go up if you don’t have proper shoes.
- The whole trip might take up to 3-4 hours, depending on how long you decide to stay up. So better not go too late in the afternoon, to avoid coming back in the dark.
What to take:
- Water, definetely. The hot air and effort will dehydrate you faster than you think. Make sure to take enough water with you. There is usually someone selling drinks about the middle of the hike, but better make sure you are covered.
- Sunscreen – even though walking through the forest, there are parts of the trail out in the open and the sun is really strong.
- Good shoes – the path is slippery in some areas, or tree roots or rocks come off the ground. So you might want to reconsider wearing flip flops when going up to Dois Irmaos. Running shoes seem to do good, if you haven’t packed your whole trekking gear.
- Snacks – you will love the views so much that you won’t want to leave the top too soon. Take some snacks with you, so you don’t have to leave on the count of your growling stomach. Just don’t leave any trash behind.
When you come back from the hike and enter the community again, look for Alto de Vidigal hostel and have a cold drink while resting and enjoying great views of the community and ocean. And if you are lucky, a live band might be playing great entertaining samba.