Rio de Janeiro State is known for its beautiful beaches and bustling cities, but it also boasts impressive mountain ranges. The Serra do Mar stretches along most of the state’s coastline, providing breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. The Serra dos Órgãos, in the Teresópolis municipality, is home to the famous Dedo de Deus peak. Another great mountain range is the Serra da Mantiqueira, with its iconic Pico das Agulhas Negras. These mountains are perfect for hiking, rock climbing, and outdoor activities. That makes them a must-see for nature enthusiasts visiting Rio de Janeiro state. So let’s discover together a little bit more about some iconic Rio State mountains!
The Most Iconic of Rio State Mountains
About 60 kilometers (97 miles) north of Rio City, the Dedo de Deus peak (God’s Finger) is an iconic mountain in the Serra dos Órgãos mountain range (Serra dos Órgãos National Park). Standing at 1,692 meters (5,551 feet), it is one of the highest peaks in the region. It is also a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers. It was first climbed on 9 April 1912 by five mountaineers from Teresópolis. The name Dedo de Deus comes from its distinctive shape. Indeed, it resembles a hand pointing up to the sky, with the peak as the finger.
The mountain is a granite structure, and its steep, rugged terrain presents a challenge for climbers, making it a popular spot for advanced climbers seeking a thrilling adventure. Despite its difficult ascent, the view from the top is breathtaking, with panoramic views of the surrounding valleys, mountains, and forests. The mountain is an important regional symbol, featuring local legends and folklore, adding to its cultural significance. It also appears on the Rio state flag and coat of arms. It is undoubtedly the most iconic of the Rio State mountains.
Three Peaks Range
About 20 kilometers (32 miles) to the east, the Três Picos, which translates to “Three Peaks”, is a mountain range in the Serra do Mar. As the name suggests, the mountain range characteristic is three prominent peaks, each reaching a height of over 2,000 meters (6,562 feet). The highest peak, Pico Maior, stands at 2,366 meters (7,762 feet) and is the third-highest point in the state. In addition, the Três Picos is a popular destination for hiking, trekking, and rock climbing, with difficulty levels to suit all abilities.
The range features unique rock formations, including cliffs, gorges, and waterfalls, which add to its stunning beauty. The area is also rich in flora and fauna biodiversity, including several endangered species. Consequently, the Três Picos State Park was established in 2002 to protect the region’s natural resources and provide recreational opportunities for visitors. The park offers a range of activities, including hiking, camping, and birdwatching, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts in Rio de Janeiro. By the way, we have a two-day trek specially designed to visit this beautiful place. Take a look if you are interested!
Pico das Agulhas Negras
Pico das Agulhas Negras, located in the Serra da Mantiqueira mountain range, south state, is one of the highest peaks in the country. In addition, its elevation of 2,791 meters (9,157 feet) makes it the highest of the Rio State mountains. “Agulhas Negras” means “black needles,” referring to the spiky rocks that make up the mountain’s summit. The peak is in the Itatiaia National Park, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including several rare and endangered species. Moreover, the park offers several trails leading to the summit, from moderate to challenging.
The ascent to the peak is popular among hikers, with stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including valleys, forests, and waterfalls. Due to its elevation, the temperature at the summit is often colder than at the base. Thus, the peak sometimes gets snow during the winter, which is exceptional for Rio de Janeiro. The Pico das Agulhas Negras is an iconic symbol of Brazilian mountaineering. It attracts climbers from all over the world, seeking a challenging and rewarding ascent.
More Rio State Mountains
We have chosen the mountains that we consider the most iconic, but the list goes on. Moreover, some mountain ranges straddle the neighboring States, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais. Note that there are also very famous mountains inside Rio de Janeiro city. We invite you to consult the article we have already dedicated to them. Have a great hike!