OFFSITE SESSION 2
Urca Hill Trail and Tijuca National Park
From urban nature to native flora and fauna
Urca Hill Trail
Tijuca National Park
Paineiras Visitor Center and Christ Redeemer
This full-day field trip will include visits to the Urca Hill Trail and Tijuca National Park (location of the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue). Meet in the lobby of the Novotel at 7:30am, from there we will head to downtown Rio (about a one-hour drive) and our first stop, Vermelha Beach, where we will hike the last (or first, depending on your perspective) segment of the Trans-Carioca Trail.
To experience “urban” nature, nothing better than to walk along the recently restored Urca Hill Trail, near Vermelha Beach. This half-mile trail, about a one-hour hike, takes you through winding paths and stairs to the top of the Urca hill (650 feet above sea level), where you will find the second cable car station that gives access to Rio’s famous Sugar Loaf Mountain. Along the trail you will find scenic overlooks, interpretive wayside exhibits, and native flora and fauna of the nearly extinct Mata Atlântica (Atlantic Forest) ecosystem. And as you reach the end of the trail, prepare to be awed by breathtaking views of Rio de Janeiro.
We will depart Sugarloaf Mountain at 11:30am for Tijuca National Park (about a one-hour drive), where we will have lunch at approximately 12:30pm. After lunch at 1:30pm we will visit the Paineiras Visitor Center and Christ the Redeemer, symbol of the Cidade Maravilhosa (Wonderful City), and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro. The Christ, as the monument is commonly named, is the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world, built by the engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and inaugurated in 1931. From the top of Corcovado Mountain, the monument welcomes visitors with open arms and gazes placidly at breathtaking views of the city and Guanabara Bay. Access to the monument starts at Paineiras, a visitor center where you will find interpretive exhibits and a souvenir shop. You will learn more about Tijuca National Park, where the monument is located, and other Brazilian national parks. When visiting the monument, you’ll understand why it was selected as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the Swiss institution New 7 Wonders Foundation.
We depart Tijuca National Park to return to SESC and the Novotel at approximately 4:30pm (about a one-hour drive).
Notes for Participants
Costs: $65 USD
Guests: $65 USD
Minimum Number of Participants: 15
Maximum Number of Participants: 21
7:30am sharp: Departure Novotel Parque Olimpico
5:30pm: Estimated return to Novotel Parque Olimpico
Meals Included: Lunch
Accessibility: Involves trails with uneven paths.