Experience – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Dois Irmãos
Morro Dois Irmãos, located at the western end of the Ipanema/Leblon beaches, is one of Rio de Janeiro’s most recognizable landmarks. At 1,749 ft (533 m) it’s taller than Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) (1,296 ft / 395 m), but not nearly as tall as Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer) (2,310 ft / 704 m).
While it might not look it from the Ipanema/Leblon, getting to the top of the taller (more western) summit is possible without ropes or any climbing experience.
- Location: Vidigal, Rio de Janeiro
- Summit elevation: 1,749 ft / 533 m
- Elevation change: 1,073 ft / 327 m
- Round-trip distance from trailhead: 1.86 mi / 3 km
- Round-trip time from trailhead*: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
- Water on trail: No
Getting to the beginning of the Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers) trailhead might be the most difficult part of the entire hike.
The trailhead is located in Vidigal, one of Rio’s many favelas.
The official trailhead is located at the northwest corner of Campo do Vidigal (a gated soccer field). However, there are multiple unofficial trailheads that can be accessed at different points on the hill.
While the trailhead can technically be reached by car, a popular way of getting around inside Vidigal is by moto-taxi.
Moto-taxi stands are located at the entrance to Vidigal. Tell the moto-taxi drivers “Dois Irmãos trilha” and they’ll understand what you’re talking about. While riding a moto-taxi through Vidigal isn’t the most comfortable situation, it’s faster than walking and ensures you arrive at the trailhead.
If you don’t want to take a moto-taxi, there are also vans (kombi) that leave from the moto-taxi stop.
The trail up Dois Irmãos starts with a modest incline and proceeds to alternate between hiking semi-steep areas and walking across flat parts of the trail.
The trail is well shaded, and has spectacular views of São Conrado, Rocinha, Pedra Bonita, and Pedra da Gávea as you make your way to the summit. Make sure to keep your camera handy, as there are three to four good photo opportunities on the way up.
The trail is very easy to follow, and it takes between 40 minutes and an hour and a half to reach the summit, depending on your pace.
As you get close to the summit, the path opens up from the cover of trees and shows you beautiful views of the ocean to the south.
The summit is marked with a stone pillar. To get the best views, you’ll want to continue walking past the pillar to the rock sloping down towards the hill right below you.
Depending on the weather, you’ll have incredible views of the entire Zona Sul neighborhood, Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf), Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer), and Niterói.