Ways to the Top:
At the entrance to the Favela is the town center where you can get a ride up to the top for 2-5 real. There are two options for rides. You can ride a motorbike taxi – This will give you a thrilling, near-death experience as the driver winds up the mountain side as fast as he can. Option two is to take a VW bus up. Locals get priority over tourists so you may have to wait on 1 or 2 vans before you get a seat.
Walk up – (fun way)
For those looking for more exercise and a way to really see the favela this is my preferred option. We were skeptical and a little scared at first, but we had spoken to some local ex-pats (aks gringos) who said they did it all the time for exercise. After we got past the noisy square at the entrance, we felt more comfortable. The walk through the favela will add 45-60 mins to your hike.
Motor Taxi – 2 R$ (not recommended)
A crazy exhilarating ride up the mountain on the back of a motor bike where a driver will race up the mountain.
Van – 2-5 R$ (option 2)
For $2-5 you can have a VW van take you to the entrance of the trail. You’ll likely be cramed in with other locals as this is their preferred mode of transportation home.
Note about walking through the favela: While we didn’t have any issues walking up the favela and most people don’t, no one can guarantee your safety in the favela or Rio for that matter. While traveling you always have some risk of theft or safety. We didn’t take any pictures of the favela because we didn’t want to flash our expensive camera or iPhone to any lurking thefts. Also, It is recommended not to take pictures of the locals. They don’t want people walking through their neighborhood taking pictures of them just like you wouldn’t in your own neighborhood.
View of Rocinha city from the hike
Entrance to the hike:
The entrance to the hike is somewhat difficult to find. It starts next to a futball pitch (soccer field) you will have to walk through a fence gate, on the track, and you’ll see a gate that has the hours of operation on it. To get to the top is ~1.5 hours from here but the view is worth it.
You have the same options as getting up. The vans may be crowded as the locals have priority on seats over tourists. We recommend walking down.
Marmoset Monkey on the trail – They are VERY friendly
View of Pedra da Gávea half way up the trail
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