Considered the best viewpoint over the Serra dos Órgãos mountain range, you'll trek to Portais de Hércules on this two-day excursion from Rio de Janeiro. Perfect for athletic travelers short on time, you'll depart the capital early on day one, trek through forest and plateaus to Castelos do Açú basecamp, and reward yourself the following morning with a sunrise trek to the famed lookout.


  • Trek through the Serra dos Órgãos National Park
  • Take in a breathtaking sunrise from Portais de Hércules
  • Enjoy views of the iconic Dedo de Deus (God's Finger) rock formation
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Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Transfer to Petrópolis; Trek to Castelos do Açú shelter Castelos do Açú
Day 2 Sunrise Portais de Hércules trek; Return to Petrópolis; Transfer to Rio  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer to Petrópolis - Trek to Castelos do Açú shelter

Hercules Portals Trekking Organs Range
Trek through the stunning Serra dos Órgãos (Organ's Range) landscape 

This morning you'll transfer from your hotel in Rio de Janeiro to the city of Petrópolis in the Serra dos Órgãos National Park. Starting at Bonfim Valley, you'll lace up your hiking boots and follow the classic trail to the Castelos do Açu mountain shelter with a steep climb through dense forest to the Pedra do Queijo viewpoint for the first breathtaking vista of the journey. From here, you'll continue to the Ajax lookout and then on to cross the Chapadão do Açu plateau (where, on a clear day, you can see the ocean) and finally make your way to the Castelos do Açu and your campsite.

Enjoy a golden sunset from the top of nearby Morro do Cruzeiro peak before returning to camp and settling in for the night.

Hiking duration: 5-7 hours
Hiking distance: 6 miles (9 km)

Day 2: Sunrise Portais de Hércules trek - Return to Petrópolis - Transfer to Rio de Janeiro

Sunrising at the Hercules Portals
Watch the rewarding sunrise from the Portais de Hércules viewpoint

Rise early this morning for a hike in the dark to reach the Portais de Hércules viewpoint in time for the sunrise over the whole of the Serra dos Órgãos Mountain Range. After spending time taking in the sweeping views and photographing memories, you'll make the ascent to your camp for breakfast and to pack up your gear. When it's time, you'll work your way back to Petrópolis and where you will then transfer to your hotel in Rio de Janeiro. 

  • Hiking duration: 7-10 hours
  • Hiking distance: 9 miles (14 km)


Map of Rio de Janeiro Trek: Portais de Hércules - 2 Days
Map of Rio de Janeiro Trek: Portais de Hércules - 2 Days