Stunning coastal views, wildlife spotting and access to Sugarloaf Mountain make this one of the most popular walking trails in Río.
Pista Cláudio Coutinho (Cláudio Coutinho Trail) is a paved waterside walking track that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. This 1.2-mile-long (2-kilometer) flat trail skirts the southern slopes of Urca Hill and overlooks Guanabara Bay. Visit Pista Cláudio Coutinho for the chance to spot monkeys, snap memorable photographs and climb to a hilltop lookout.
The walk is easy and begins at the northern end of Vermelha Beach. It then proceeds to wind around tree-covered slopes and a craggy coastline. Stop at multiple spots to admire the spectacular vistas. Look back at Vermelha Beach and out to the mouth of Guanabara Bay, where it converges with the Atlantic Ocean. Spot families of marmoset monkeys, characterized by their striped tails, plus birds such as the bright red Brazilian tanager.
A few hundred yards from the start of the path is a side trail, which leads up to Urca Hill. Allow about 40 minutes to reach the hill and be prepared to hike up some steep inclines. The rewards for climbing the trail are top-down views of Botafogo Beach and Vermelha Beach and a sighting of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. From the hill ride the cable car to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain or back to Vermelha Beach.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try the challenging climb up Sugarloaf Mountain. It begins at the eastern end of the path. The trail is precarious and unmarked, therefore recommended for experienced climbers only. Arrange help from a local guide.
Walk to the trailhead from the northern end of Copacabana Beach or catch a public bus. Buses also connect with the popular tourist neighborhoods of Ipanema and Leblon.
The trail is open daily, from dawn until dusk. Come early to avoid the crowds or late in the afternoon for a pretty sunset. Bikes, rollerblades and skateboards are prohibited. There are several bars, kiosks and restaurants on Urca Hill and Sugarloaf Mountain.