Hike through the favela of Vidigal
The Twin Hills hike is extremely popular because it’s a relatively easy trek (takes about an hour) and because it’s located at the favela of Vidigal which is close to the tourist area of Rio.
From the top of Morro Dois Irmãos, you’ll be able to witness the most intriguing contrasts in Rio- the favela world, represented by the colorful shacks perched on the hillside, and the “asphalt” represented by the luxurious Sheraton Hotel right next to Vidigal and the golden beaches of Rio. Both worlds are separate in the eyes of many, yet they fit in one picture.
Morro Dois Irmãos – Twin Hills:
The departure point is at the top of the favela of Vidigal, one of the most famous favelas in Rio. So, if you want to visit the favela, taking this hike is an excellent alternative to the controversial favela tours.
The favela was pacified by the Pacification Police Units of Rio in preparation for the World Cup and is generally considered to be a safe favela. Many favela tours take place there, and Airbnb’s are rented out all over the favela.
For all the info about favela tours- the Good Bad and the Ugly click here.
At the entrance to the favela, take a moto-taxi and then hike for about an hour to the top.
The hike is shaded, but that also means less wind and more humidity. Consider arriving as earlier as you can so you won’t sweat your balls off.
The trail is easy to follow, but it’s not super wide at times, so you might have to move some leaves out of your way. Most of the trail you’ll be hiking on hard ground, and rarely you’ll a steeper climb.
“Where nature exists, life exists” a sign along the hike will read.
After about 30 minutes of climbing, you will reach the first viewpoint in which you can take a break. At that point, you will see the favelas of Rochina and Vidigal, Pedra Bonita, and the forest surrounding the area.
At the top, you’ll be able to relax and admire the view. You will see Botafogo and Leblon and the iconic Corcovado, the Jesus statue.
Once you descend, feel free to have some lunch or grab an açai at the favela, talk to the locals, and then you can walk down to the beach beneath the Sheraton Hotel.
How to get to Dois Irmãos (Twin Hills)
Take an uber to the entrance of Favela Vidigal, located in the Southern zone (Zona Sur) of Rio right after Leblon and next to the Sheraton Hotel.
Then take a moto-taxi from the entrance for 5R$ or a van for 1-2 R$ until the football stadium of the favela which is the head of the trail (just say Dois Irmãos and they’ll take you).
You can either take a moto-taxi/van back or walk down your way back for about 15- 20 min.
- Try to leave as early as you can, even at 5/6 am so you won’t sweat your ass off and encounter too many people at the top.
- Bring water.
- Get down before sunset since you can hurt yourself if it’s dark when you come down (I broke my thumbnail once on the way back)