Dos Irmaos Hike

Going to the Christ statue costs around 50R$ (46R$ by train and 49R$ by van). You cannot see the statue very well because you are right beneath it, but you can admire a breathtaking view of the city, the ocean, the islands, the mountains around the city, the city of Niteroi and the mountains behind it.  However, I`ve had people in the hostel that would go there on a cloudy day just to mark it on their lists. For those like me who can`t afford to go there, the mountains around the city also show amazing views for free.

The Dos Irmaos Mountain (Two Brothers) is situated between Ipanema and San Conrado. We took a bus to Ipanema and then we walked on the coast line until we`ve reached the main square of the Vidigal favela. I was accompanied by two german guys that were staying in the hostel. The plan was to get a moto taxi to the end of the favela, but the drivers were asking for 10R$, so we took a van for 2.5R$. The motorcycle was a better option, but in the van we could see what kind of people live there.  I think they asked this much money because we were obviously tourists, but you can negotiate the price at 5R$.

The van left us on the top of the favela. There we met two girls from Switzerland. So they were all speaking german, but it didn`t matter to me. We were actually lucky to find the girls because it`s very hard to find the right path and they already knew the way there. We left the main street and we had to climb on a short concrete fence and to walk  on it for a while. After 20-30 m we found the path and we didn`t have any problems on our way to the top. The way is steep and you sometimes have to walk on stones, so it`s better to have appropriate shoes, especially if it`s raining or if it`s humid. However, the two girls were wearing flip-flops and they didn`t have problems climbing the mountain or on the way down.

This is an original atlantic forest. We could see marmosets on the way, but this time we knew that we cannot feed them.  We also saw many butterflies in all colors and shapes and many vultures. I don`t know the names of all the plants, but the vegetation was higher than me and I was completely wet even though it wasn`t raining.

We were really lucky about the weather. When we started climbing it was really cloudy and chilly and it even rained a bit. This didn`t discourage us and we continued our journey. When we`ve reached the top it was completely clouded, we couldn`t see anything, but in five minutes the sky stared to clear and we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the view. We were able to see Copacabana and Ipanema, the Lagoa, Niteroi and the mountains behind it and eventually we were able to see the statue. Behind us we could see Rocinha, San Conrado and Pedra Bonita. We could admire the people who were hang gliding from Pedra Bonita and the vultures circling the area. It takes about 45 minutes to get up there and we spend more than one hour admiring the view.

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When we returned to the favela we ended up behind a school`s playground, but I don`t know if I would be able to find it again from the other direction.

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View of favela Rocinha from Dos Irmaos

This has been one of my favourite tours in Rio because it includes everything. You can see the beach, visit a favela, ride a moto taxi uo the hill, visit an atlantic forest, discover the wildlife around Rio and enjoy an unforgettable view of Rio, all for free (besides transportation).

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