Sunrises and sunsets are daily miracles that we have the opportunity to experience. There is nothing like seeing the progression of the sky light up in vibrant colors. Rio de Janeiro has proven to have some magical ones with beautiful viewpoints to witness these daily.
Here are seven spots to catch views of sunrise and sunset while traveling in Rio:
- Mirante Dona Marta– You can hike the Favela Santa Marta trail or take an Uber/taxi up to the top. It offers a complete view of much of the city and landmarks like Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer.
- Morro Dois Irmãos- This is my favorite viewpoint so far. Dois Irmãos are two peaks between São Conrado and Leblon. You have a view of them from Ipanema and Leblon beach. You can walk from Leblon or take an Uber/taxi to Vidrigal. Once at Vidrigal, you can walk, take a motor taxi, or a van up to the trail entrance. Note that this is one of the safest favelas in Rio. FYI- it’s a long, steep walk up to the top. At the top, you can ask for the ‘trilha’/trail entrance. You’ll enter through the forest and an about 40-minute hike will leave you at the most amazing viewpoint with 360 views.
- Sugarloaf Mountain- This peak in the Urca neighborhood has amazing views of the entire city. You can hike Urca hill or take the cable cars linking to Sugarloaf mountain. This is a beautiful viewpoint for sunset. You have views of Corcovado mountain, Christ the Redeemer, Guanabara Bay, and Copacabana beach.
- Pedra da Gavea– This hike is about 2.5- 3 hours to the top and is one of the most challenging. It’s a steep climb, and a section requires you to rock climb. It’s best to have a guide to provide equipment, techniques, and for general safety. The reward is beautiful views of Rio de Janeiro including Guanabara Bay and the beaches of Ipanema, Leblon, Barra da Tijuca and São Conrado. The trail opens at 8am so this is one for sunset.
- Pedra de Arpoador/Ipanema Point– This is the rocky point located between Copacabana and Ipanema beach. You can walk around the rocks and find a place to sit to catch a beautiful sunrise or sunset and watch the surfers.
- Christ the Redeemer– This is one of the most popular touristic landmarks in Rio de Janeiro. It sits up top the Corcovado Mountain. The trail begins at Parque Lague next to the botanical gardens. You make your way through the Tijuca National Rainforest and up to the Christ the Redeemer statue and can experience panoramic views of the city. This hike technically opens at 8am so is better for sunset.
- Telegrafo– This is a popular touristic destination that also has beautiful views of the city. Many people take creative photos with this rock that creates the illusion you’re hanging high above the sea. The hiking trail takes 30-40 minutes walking and has panoramic city views. You can do this hike for sunrise and/or sunset.
Traveling alone and interested to join a group? Check out these Airbnb experiences:
- Pedra de Gavea Trail
- Hike to Pedra do Telegrafo
- Hike to Sugarloaf with a professional
- Morro Dois Irmãos Trail
- Sunrise at Mirante Dona Marta and Visit at Christ the Redeemer
Important things to bring:
- Hiking shoes
- Breathable clothing
- Flashlight or headlamp (good for hiking down at sunset)
- Passport or ID card, passport copies accepted
Who else loves golden hour and cotton candy skies?! Enjoy these spots while you’re in Rio de Janeiro.