If you’re visiting Rio de Janeiro, and need a break from the bustling touristy areas, as well as some fresh air, Pedra Bonita is a place with beautiful views of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Pedra da Gávea and the Tijuca forest, and it only takes a moderate 20-30 minute hike.
The start of the trail leading to Pedra Bonita is located right next to the parking space of the hang-gliding ramp of São Conrado, so before or after the hike a visit to the ramp is a definite bonus.
How to get to Pedra Bonita
From Zona Sul (Copacabana, Ipanema…) to the start of the trail is about 18 km (see map below) or 20 km if you take the more scenic coastal road, and depending on the day of the week and the time, it could take some time to get there… so plan accordingly.
Here’s a map, showing the route from Copacabana (Zona Sul) to the hang gliding ramp.
Once you arrive at the parking of the hang gliding ramp, go back about 200 m to find the entrance to the trail, which is indicated with a sign saying “Trilha da Pedra Bonita”.
According to the sign, the average time to complete the trail is 25 minutes, but if you set a good pace, you can do less than that.
The trail is 1.5 km long and climbs the whole time, taking you from +/- 500 to almost 700m. It is a easy trail (even children can do it), with steps where the inclination is too high, so it isn’t a lot more difficult than climbing a staircase.
On the top, you have one of the most privileged views of the city of Rio de Janeiro: The tijuca forest, Rocinha (the biggest favela in South America), The beach of São Conrado (where the hanggliders land, Christ the Redeemer, Barra da Tijuca, Pão de Açucar, Pedra da Gávea (another great hike)… all of it is spread out in front of you.
Of course, the best time to enjoy these views, is on a clear day, and as mentioned earlier, while you’re there, why not take advantage of the fact that the hang-gliding ramp is right there… It’s really cool to see the people take off with their gliders or delta wings. Maybe you even get tempted to try it yourself. Oh, and the ramp also has a bathroom and a small bar where you can have something to drink…
I’ll shut up now, and let you enjoy the view through some of the pictures I took there…
Already been to Pedra Bonita? How did you like it?