Dois Irmãos, Vidigal
I’ve been meaning to do this walk for a while and am so glad I finally got around to doing it. It was so amazing that I vow to do this at least once a year. This is by far the most awesome trail and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a point of difference when visiting Rio. Just to be clear, I’m not much of a walker and prefer sitting/lying on the beach doused in tanning oil getting as much sun as possible (yes I will be a wrinkled prune at 50 but I’m totally fine with this…. I love sunshine…)
Start early to avoid the heat (Circa 630-7am) Take a taxi to the square located on Avenida Predidente Jão Goulart with Avenida Niemeyer – This is the entrance to the Community of Vidigal. Taxi’s aren’t allowed to enter but will drop you off by the square which is located at the entrance.
There are a few little shops, do make an effort to grab a bottle of water or a little snack either on your way up or your way out it show’s your support of the community.
From here you need to either take a moto taxi, walk or mini bus up to the start of the trail. People are super friendly so ask and be sure to bring someone who speaks Portuguese or if not enlist a guide (your hotels will be able to give you suggestions). I usually mini bus up and then walk down.
The trail is approximately 1.5 Kilometres and will take you between 45 minutes to an hour to get to the top.
The walk took our group approximately 45 minutes to an hour we were a mixture of walking levels and ages. I’m not an avid walker but found this walk the toughest so far, that said I had been out the night before….. On the way down we encountered a group of tourists which consisted of children from around 10 years of age, adults in their late 60’s, and a girl doing the walk in her bikini and flip flops (not to be advised). I by this point was heavily sweating out the cachaca from the night before and having a break every 5 minutes, the other group looked like they were having a leisurely walk.
- Trainers (You will see people in Havianas – don’t be tempted you might step on something nasty)
- Sufficient drinking water – at least 1 litre. This can be bought from the local shop located on the square at your arrival point.
- Your camera (Be conscious as to where you use this, nature shots are great – if you want to take pictures of people or their homes ask for permission first)
- Money (enough to cover your taxi journey, the motto-taxi for up/down the hill (Approx. 5 – 10 RLS), water (Approx. 4-10 RLS))
- Bug Spray
- A hat
- Don’t take photo’s inside the football stadium area (start of trail). There is a sign that asks you not to so please be conscious of this
- Walking off of your own is also not advised. The community (formally known as a ‘Favela’) has been pacified but stay in groups of at least 3.
- Avoid this trail on wet days or days shortly after heavy periods of rain. There are various steep sections which will be dangerous if attempted when the ground is wet and slippery.
- Do the walk with someone who is able to speak some Portuguese and if you you don’t have any Portuguese speaking mates then hire a guide your hotel will be able to advise.
This picture doesn’t really do the climb justice, it can be pretty steep at times so beware.
The girl in this shot climbed the mountain in her bikini and havianas… Very impressive, but not to be recommended.