The Petropolis Teresopolis crossing is located within the Serra dos Órgãos National Park in Brazil, amidst the exuberance of the Atlantic Forest and between the mountain towns of Petrópolis, Guapimirim and Teresópolis.
Considered by many as the most beautiful trekking or long-distance hike in Brazil, the Petrópolis Teresópolis crossing presents several breathtaking viewpoints and visuals. With many obstacles, steep climbs and descents is considered a difficult trekking and has about 32 km linking the municipality of Petrópolis to Teresópolis.
The Petrópolis Teresópolis crossing usually takes place in 3 days, being the route divided into Petrópolis park entrance to the Açu castles summit, then from the Açu castles to Pedra do Sino summit and then from Pedra do Sino to Teresópolis park entrance.
Day 1: Rio de Janeiro - Petrópolis Headquarters - Açu Castles Camp
The first day of Petrópolis Teresópolis crossing is the most demanding. During the 7 km up to Castelos do Açu mountain shelter we gain approximately 1100 meters of altitude. The trail to Açu mountain goes through a dense forest and with a strong ascent to Pedra do Queijo viewpoint. Then the trail gets a little less steep until arriving at Ajax viewpoint, which has natural water supply. After Ajax, we need to face the section considered the most difficult of the ascent to the Açu castles: the Isabeloca mountain. This ascent is named after an alleged passage of Princess Isabel on the spot. Once Isabeloca is over, we’ll cross the Chapadão do Açu, a counterfort, before arriving at the Açu castles. This is the first place to overnight and where the first mountain shelter of the expedition is located. The view from the top of Açu castles closes the first day with a golden key. From there it is possible to see all Rio de Janeiro and Guanabara Bay in addition to the entire mountain range of Serra dos Órgãos.
Hiking distance: 08km
Overnight mode: Camping
Meals included: Dinner
Day 2: Açu Castles Camp - Pedra do Sino Camp
The second day is undoubtedly the most beautiful of Petrópolis Teresópolis crossing. The entire course goes on an average altitude of 2,000m. After leaving the Açu castles, we’ll cross a valley and then climb to the top of Morro do Marco. After descending this hill, we arrive in Luva valley and then ascend to the summit of Morro da Luva. The trail follows another section of rock summits, where navigation is complicated until reaching the section called The Elevator. The Elevator is a ladder made of steel rebar stuck to a steep stone that gives access to the summit of Morro do Dinossauro. Once at the top of Morro do Dinossauro, we find the first great view of the Pedra do Garrafão and Pedra do Sino stones. From there we start the descent to Vale das Antas and the trail continues to the summit of Morro da Baleia, where you can see the rock wall of Pedra do Sino, Garrafão and the trail channel where The 'Cavalinho' passage is located. The 'Cavalinho' (The small horse) has this name because to overcome this stone, a movement similar to mounting a horse is necessary. After overcoming 'Cavalinho', the trail follows the channel until it reveals Pedra do Sino and reach a bifurcation that gives access to its summit and to the Shelter #4. The Pedra do Sino is the highest point of the crossing with its 2275m of altitude. At its summit there is an incredible 360º view, being possible to see several mountain ranges of the region and Rio de Janeiro city.
Hiking distance: 10km
Overnight mode: Camping
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Pedra do Sino Camp - Teresópolis Headquarters
The third day is the least physical demanding of the crossing. The trail follows for approximately 12 km to the Teresópolis park dam, the final crossing point. During the descent we visit two waterfalls. The highlight is the waterfall called Véu de Noiva (Veil of the Bride) of Teresópolis with its 16 meters height. At certain times of the year it gets totally dry. We will finish the most beautifull trekking at Teresópolis City (where we will see the God's Finger Mountain Range rock formation) and then we will return to Rio de Janeiro city.
Hiking distance: 12km
Overnight mode: n/a
Meals included: Breakfast
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