Morro Dois Irmãos is Rio’s famous double peaked mountain on the coast in Zona Sul.
This was our first time hiking the Dois Irmãos summit trail, but we knew that we would have to wind our way up through the favela Vidigal to reach the trailhead. Not knowing exactly what the trip through the favela would be like, we decided to hike without kids. The entrance to the Vidigal neighborhood is off the coast road just south of Leblon. My husband and I each hopped on a Moto Taxi (motorcycle) and held tight as we took off up the narrow and steep main road through Vidigal (regular taxis won’t take you up but you can grab a moto taxi, wait for one of the small transport white vans, or walk). The motorcycle taxi was fun, if a bit hair-raising when my driver acted like it was a race to the top and squeezed between two white vans 🙂 I have trust issues.
The moto taxis dropped us off near a school – we walked through the fence by the soccer field and found the trail.
Part way up, we stopped to take in the view of the surrounding mountains, the beach of São Conrado and Rocinha – the largest favela in Brazil.
Above the tree line
When we reached the summit, the clouds would only open small, ever changing windows for us to see glimpses of the Leblon and Ipanema beaches below. There was a pleasant wind blowing and it was cooling when the clouds blew against us.
Rocinha view again on the way down.
We decided to just keep walking down the hill through Vidigal. They say Vidigal is Rio’s “most foreigner friendly favela” but I still put my pocket-size Canon Power Shot away so as not to draw undo attention (My big camera stays at home most of the time). There were plenty of people out and about and at no time did we feel uncomfortable, however, living in Rio we always hear stories of robberies so we try to carry only what we really need or can live with losing.
Before heading home we enjoyed some fresh coconut water and relaxed watching the waves in Leblon. It was a very satisfying outing – we’ll bring the kids next time, but I don’t know if I’ll put them on a Moto Taxi 🙂
For more hikes in Rio de Janeiro check out my previous post.