Pedra De Gavea
There’s more to Rio than just the famous Beaches, samba and caipirinhas – the city’s peaks offer an amazing view of the city and have some of the most fantastic urban hiking. So during my holiday in August last year I challenged myself to Hike to the top of Pedra de Gavea. For me this was a bit of getting out of my comfort zone as the hiking includes some rock climbing that is probably not the most ideal when you having fare of heights. The rock climbing is a small portion and considered as beginner level. The part can be done without rope but for safety ropes are recommended and for me a must so we hired a guide from the company RioXtreme that provided all the necessary equipment needed.
Arriving at the start point the guards warned us that there had been occasional reports of armed robberies on the trail, so this got us thinking that this might not be a good idea. I have been hold up and robbed before with gun so I can promise it’s not an experience anyone would like to have. But despite of this we decided to go ahead and do the hiking. The hike is strenuous and not for beginners. So if you have not done this type of hiking before I would recommend to chose one of the easier mountains in the Tijuca forest.
Pedra de Gavea is a part of the Tijuca forest that is the world’s largest urban forest. With its elevation at 844 Meters it makes it one of the highest mountains in the world that ends directly in the ocean. The hiking to the top takes about 2.5 hours so we made sure we had enough water and snack to eat.
A few short breaks was needed along the way.
Us and the Guide with a nice view in the background. Reaching this point we got the first close-up view of the top, and looking closely at the rock you can see features of a human face. The mountain is surrounded by mysterious legends and stories.
Reaching where the rock climbing part comes in, a crowd of people where climbing up, so we took a short rest and enjoyed the Bird-eye view of Barra de Tijuca.
Now being in front of the 30 meter wall that is nearly vertical and getting ready to climb is where the ropes and hardness come in handy. If you do this part without ropes you better be careful as people have died here from falling. I did my best to not look back at any given time during the climbing.
And finally getting to the end of the wall, happy I made it this far. The rest of the trail was steep and muddy but not to challenging compared to this Rock climbing part.
Arriving at the top we where meet with a spectacular view of the city of Rio de Janeiro. A bit foggy but we could still see both Corcovado and Pão de Açúcar. From this view, what is considered as one of the greatest cities in the world looks more like a jungle surrounded with beaches than a big city.
After some time at the top enjoying the view it was time to head down again. As most of the part going up is steep going down is a quite big challenge as well and a killer for the legs. The guards had recommended us to get down early. The guide was eager to go fast down so that made us a bit nervous as we where sure the reason was he was nervous as well due to the guards warning about the robberies, so we tried our best to follow his tempo. This made it even more hard for the legs so we where quite happy when we arrived down at the starting point and could rest again. But what a fantastic hike. Next time I’m in Rio I will try out some of the other peaks in the Tijuca forest.