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Best Hiking Trails in Brazil

Overview

Brazil is a huge South American country known for many things outside of hiking but, despite not having the heights of the Andes like many of its neighbours, there are many mountainous areas to hike in this country, starting right in Rio de Janeiro. There are many regions of Brazil that have mountain hiking trails, including the serrated peaks of Serra dos Orgaos in Rio de Janeiro state, the Serra de Mantiqueira in Sao Paulo state, and Parque Nacional de Caparao in Minas Gerais state. Of course, if you’re sticking close to the city of Rio de Janeiro, there are the popular hikes of Sugar Loaf mountain and Corcovado (with the Christ the Redeemer statue).  The best months to go hiking in Brazil vary, as it is such a huge country.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Brazil. 

Capital: Brasilia

When To Hike in Brazil?

April – October: Driest months are June – August throughout the country
November – March: In some areas these months might be ok to go
November – March: In some areas these months are too rainy to go hiking

Climate: Tropical (wet and dry seasons) mainly with some Mediterranean (rainy winters, hot and dry summers) in the south in the mountainous areas; driest time from June – Aug across the country; some regions much rainier than others; temps usually steady throughout the year, but in some regions much hotter during winter months

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium: Most places recommend going with a guide (even Rio), some places you can’t go except with a guide

Transportation required: Public transit in some areas but car for most places

Where to stay in Brazil for hiking:

  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Porte Alegre
  • Campos do Jordao
  • Petropolis
  • Belo Horizonte
  • Lencois

Top Places to Hike in Brazil

Much of the best and accessible mountain hiking can be found in the southeastern side of Brazil from the coast and heading inwards. Highest Mountain: Pico da Neblina (2995 m) in the Serra da Neblina, remote part of Amazonas state, right on border with Venezuela. Various mountain ranges found in Brazil.

Filter out hiking places of Brazil by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Rio Grande do Sul

  • Rio Grande do Sul – Serra Gaúcha (low mtns near Porte Alegre, main city)
  • Parque Nacional de Aparados da Serra 
  • Parque Nacional da Serra Geral (both of these parks are very close to each other) 
  • An area known as Grand Canyon of Brazil but unclear if there is hiking here

Santa Catarina

  • Small state with coastal mountains and other mountains
  • Parque Nacional de São Joaquim 
  • Parque Estadual da Serra do Tabuleiro
  • Parque Nacional da Serra do Itajaí

Paraná

  • Parque Nacional Guaricana

São Paulo state

  • Serra de Mantiqueira (2500m peaks); Paulista coast is beautiful
  • Parque Estadual de Campos do Jordão – www.saopaulo.sp.gov.br/conhecasp/parques-e-reservas-naturals/parque-estadual-campos-do-jordao – Campos do Jordão is good base to explore the Serra de Mantiqueira  
  • Parque Amantikir
  • Pedra do Bãu (1950 m) a popular climb, not sure if you can hike it
  • Ubatuba – coastal town backed by peaks of Serra do Mar 
    • Beautiful beaches
    • No info on hikes here
  • Ilhabela – island off the coast
    • Parque Estadual de Ilhabela

Rio de Janeiro state

  • Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina
    • Caminho do Ouro (Gold Trail)
  • Ilha Grande – island just off the coast, green, low mountains
  • Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos – Petrópolis good base 
    • Morro do Açu
  • Parque Municipal Montanhas de Teresópolis
  • Parque Nacional do Itatiaia – high mountains; could be difficult to access
    • Três Picos

Rio de Janeiro

  • City is nestled between forested mountains so there’s lots of hikes to access from here
  • Parque Nacional daTijuca (also known as Floresta da Tijuca) – www.parquedatijuca.com.br 
    • Has well-marked trail system
    • Can hike to summit of Pico da Tijuca (1012 m)
    • Corcovado (710 m) is the mountain with the Christ the Redeemer statue 
  • Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain, 395 m) – popular climb
  • Parque Lage

Goiás

  • Serra Dourada; not a big hiking place
  • Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Veadeiros – three trails

Minas Gerais state

  • Belo Horizonte is the main city for this state
  • Parque Nacional do Serra do Guandarela – close to Belo Horizonte 
  • Parque Nacional de Caparaó – summit hikes, contains highest peaks in southern Brazil, popular 
    • Pico da Bandeira
  • Parque Nacional da Serra do Cipó – huge mountain park
  • Parque Natural do Caraça
  • Serro de São José – mountain hikes

Bahia state

  • Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina  – www.guiachapadadiamantina.com; Sincora Range; need a guide
    • Lençois is a good base – www.guialencois.com.br 
    • Guia Turistico Chapada Diamantina – tourist information centre
  • Vale do Pati – 68 km hike through the interior highlands of Bahia

Brazil's Long Distance Trails

  • Transcarioca Trail – 180 km trail through Rio de Janeiro
  • Ilha Grande Circuit – 5 day circuit of the island near Rio de Janeiro
  • Vale do Pati – 68 km hike through highlands of Bahia
  • Mount Roraima is shared with Guyana and Venezuela, and most people hike from Venezuela but can hire company in Brazil to take you
  • Trans Brazil Trail – a proposed 8000 km trail along the coast from its border with Uruguay in the south to its northern border with French Guiana

Brazil's Walking & Hiking Resources

Brazil Hiking Books: No hiking specific book

  • Lonely Planet Brazil, by Lonely Planet, Regis St Louis, Gregor Clark, 2019, published by Lonely Planet Publications
  • The Rough Guide to Brazil (Travel Guide eBook), by Rough Guides, 2018, APA Publications

 

Brazil Hiking Associations:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Brazil:

You can find more details on hiking these trails in trail maps/apps or other websites:

  • Sugar Loaf Mountain – Rio de Janeiro
  • Corcovado – Rio de Janeiro
  • Pedra da Mina
  • Pedra do Sino –  Serra dos Órgãos National Park
  • Pico Caratuva – Paraná state
  • Pico da Bandeira – Parque Nacional de Caparao
  • Trilha do Boi – Parque Nacional de Aparados da Serra
  • Pedra do Baú – Serra da Mantiqueira

Easy Hiking Trails in Brazil:

  • Cachoeira da Fumaça – Chapada Diamantina National Park
  • Pedro do Telégrafo

 

Brazil Hiking Websites:

 

Brazil Weather Website:

 

Brazil Official Tourism Website: there are websites for each state

 

Brazil Hiking Apps: 

 

Brazil Hiking Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Iguazú Falls (shared with Argentina and Paraguay)
  • Amazon
  • Beaches
  • Rock climbing in Rio
  • Carnaval
  • Samba
  • Neimeyer architecture
  • Other areas to hike/visit: 
    • Pico da Neblina in remote part of Amazonas state, difficult to access
    • Parque Nacional dos Lençois Maranhenses – otherworldly landscape
    • Parque Estadual da Pedra Azul (in Espirito Santo state)

Other Important Points