As you enjoy the sun on Rio de Janeiro’s famed Ipanema beach, if you take a slight glance to the west your eyes will undoubtedly latch onto the impressive two-pronged granite tower that springs from the ocean’s depths. In a city full of iconic mountains that grace the front of postcards, Dois Irmãos is one of those classic peaks that contributes to the city’s beauty.
While most of those who visit Ipanema beach are satisfied appreciating the peak from afar, many choose to get a more intimate view of the mountain by hiking to the top.
Viewed from the west, the 1,700-foot peak looks impossible to summit. The sheer granite faces dive a thousand or so feet vertically down towards the ocean. The cliffs are so steep that no plants manage to take root. However, on the opposite side of the mountain, the grade is a bit more forgiving, and there is a trail that snakes through the jungle up to the summit.
Dois Irmãos — which translates to two brothers in Portuguese — had been on my to-do list for a while, but due to the logistics of the hike that requires first navigating the Vidigal favela, I was waiting for a friend who knew the route to accompany me and show me the way. After a bit of badgering, I was able to find a friend equally as enthusiastic about hiking who would join me on a scorching summertime afternoon to the top of the mountain.
Here’s a photo journey of that late-afternoon hike: