What are the waterfalls in Rio de Janeiro
Famous for its beaches, Rio de Janiero has a privileged geography, that in combination with its protected tropical forest, offers several waterfalls to its residents and visitors. While there may be plenty of attractions within the city to explore the culture and nightlife, not many remember the lush green environment that Rio de Janeiro has in abundance. The city holds many hidden places of wonder, that we couldn’t avoid mentioning, specially the waterfalls in Rio de Janeiro.
Waterfalls in Tijuca National Park
There are several waterfalls in Tijuca National Park and the first thing you need to know is that Tijuca Forest is just one of four sectors of Tijuca National Park and not all of them are located in this sector. You are able to walk up to all of the waterfalls, although some have entrance restrictions for its water is destined to human consumption. From the popular Cachoeira das Almas to the hidden Cachoeira do Horto, waterfalls in Rio de Janeiro can be the refreshing escape you are looking for. Some may find it a romantic experience, but you should expect other visitors along.
The highest waterfall in Tijuca National Park is located in Tijuca Forest sector, near the main entrance. Cascatinha Taunay is a 35 meters exuberant cascade and even though entering the water is forbidden, its beauty is worth the visit and the photos. One can hike to the Mirante da Cascatinha in a 20 min trail to see the fall from a nice belvedere. A little further away from the park entrance, Cachoeira das Almas has a lot of history. The name is translated as “Waterfall of the Souls” and comes from the rituals that former slaves used to practice in the area. Shower in Almas water is allowed.
On another sector of Tijuca National Park, lies Cachoeira do Horto. It can be accessed by a 25 min hike and reserves a natural pool one can enter and have fun. The other waterfall in the same sector that you can check out is the Cachoeira dos Primatas. It has two waterfalls, one with a nice view to the city and another one with a more voluminous cascade. The hike to Primatas is through the Cachoeira da Gruta trail, where you will have the opportunity to stop by the Gruta waterfall before reaching Primatas itself.
Waterfalls in Zona Oeste
The most adventurous people cannot miss Zona Oeste waterfalls. Far from the touristic zone, they are different from those situated in Tijuca National Park. Places like Açude do Camorim and Cachoeira do Mendanha will surprise you.
Visiting Campo Grande neighborhood, in Zona Oeste, can be quite a long excursion, but the trip is worth the effort when it comes to visiting Cachoeira do Mendanha. Composed of several wide falls and some natural water slides, Mendanha is a favorite among Cariocas. Another option is to go to the outskirts of Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, in Pedra Branca State Park, where you will find the Açude do Camorim, a big lake artificially created in 1908. The trail to the lake takes approximately one hour and one may visit the Camorim stunning waterfall, which includes small natural pools.
Waterfalls around Rio
There are also very good waterfalls nearby Rio, in the cities of Visconde de Mauá (4h distant), Paraty (4h distant), Teresópolis (1h distant) or Nova Friburgo and Lumiar (2h distant). Ilha Grande also has several waterfalls and some are really good for swimming.