Río is understandably a highlight destination for many that travel to Brazil. With such a popular destination, it’s easy to miss out on the authentic lifestyle of many Brazilians living here. But that is changing quickly.
While visiting a favela in Rio is nothing new, guesthouses are starting to offer accommodation for those interested in the authentic lifestyle. As more favelas become pacified, more travelers are becoming interested in mixing with the locals here. The Favela do Vidigal is adjacent to Ipanema Beach, and offers spectacular seaside views. Staying in a guesthouse at the top of the hill allows guests to fully utilize this view! With its easy accessibility to the beaches and heart of the city, it’s no wonder that the Vidigal Favela is becoming a more popular destination to spend a few days. For more information and some specific places to stay, check out Airbnb.
A key attraction of the Vidigal Favela is its proximity to the Dois Irmãos (two brothers) hike. This hike is to the top of the iconic mountain seen from Ipanema Beach. While an amazing hike at any time of day, it is an exceptionally beautiful place to watch sunrise over Rio. From that vantage point, you can see Ipanema Beach, Christ the Redeemer, and Sugarloaf Mountain, as well as many mountains and islands. Staying in Vidigal makes hiking at sunrise a viable and reasonable option.
From the top of the favela, this moderate hike should take less than one hour beginning at the football fields. Cross the gate and follow the path leading into the forest. Make sure to be on the lookout for the monkeys along the way! The path will begin to steepen, and you will come to a viewpoint on the left (this is not the end). Keep heading uphill until you can see all of Rio before you! If heading out for sunrise, remember to bring a head torch along with a jacket (it gets windy). You may need some pointers along the way, feel free to ask the locals as they are very kind and willing to help give directions!
Photo Credits: Author’s Own