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Pedra do Telegrafo is a great spot to get creative with your shots.

Pedra do Telegrafo: The Most Epic Hike in Rio de Janeiro

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Pedra do Telegrafo is an epic viewpoint of the city of Rio de Janeiro, in which there is a sharp rock jutting out over the bright blue waters of the gorgeous Brazilian coast line. The hike became famous from its "Instagram worthy" photo opportunities, making it look like an extremely dangerous cliff that people hang from.

With epic views, and a fun way to play with your photography, this was one of our favorite spots to visit in Rio de Janerio! Here's all you need to know when visiting this awesome place.

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Where is Pedra do Telegrafo?

Pedra do Telegrafo is located 30 miles outside of the center of Rio de Janeiro in the neighborhood of "Barra de Guaratiba". It takes a little over an hour to reach there if you are coming from the city center.

where is pedra do telegrafo

Pedra do Telegrafo is located an hour outside the center of Rio de Janeiro.

How to Get to Pedra Do Telegrafo

Pedra do Telegrafo can only be reached by car, so really the only way to reach this iconic point is to uber or get a taxi there, or to rent a car. Being that it is an hour away from the city, it would be far more expensive to get an Uber or taxi, so we highly recommend renting a car and going on your own.

Here is a site we use to book our car rentals:

If you don't feel comfortable driving, you can always book a tour, but of course that will be a little more expensive. The good thing is that the tours leave around 5, so they will make sure to get you there early.

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The Route to Pedra do Telegrafo

Getting here is quite easy. Just plug in "Pedra do Telegrafo" into your GPS and it will bring you close to where the starting point is. You will start to see signs for parking, and the earlier you go, the easier it will be to find a spot to park. All of the parking will be on a windy hill, so be careful when getting a spot!

If you go early enough you can park for free, but later in the day people will ask for money for parking spots that they create and hold off to make money. It is also pretty typical to find random people who will offer to "watch your car" for money.

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We try to avoid these people, but sometimes it is better to agree in order to make sure that they don't do anything to harm your car instead.

road to Pedra do Telegrafo

The road to Pedra Do Telegrafo is smooth and scenic.

The Hike to Pedra Do Telegrafo

Once you park, just follow the hill up until you find the sign with the official start to the trail. It is a very simple and straight forward route, and does not take too long. Going up took us about 45 minutes, and coming back down only 25 (although on the way back we were going rather quickly).

Pedra do Telegrafo hike
sloth at Pedra do Telegrafo
Pedra do Telegrafo hike

There are also some great views on the way up to Pedra Do Telegrafo.

Keep an eye out, because you may pass sloths on the way!

When to Go to Pedra Do Telegrafo

The weather in Rio is pretty nice all year round. It is better to go on a clear day, to get a better view of the coast, and all of the beauty of the viewpoint! Now the most important thing- the time of day to go. it is very important that you go here early. When we say early, we mean sunrise early. 

Pedra do Telegrafo

The best time to go to Pedra Do Telegrafo is during sunrise.

Why So Early?

There are a few reasons for this, but the main reason is due to the crowds. Not only does it get extremely hot during the middle of the day, and you will have a lot of people around, but there is actually a line that forms in order to take a picture in the epic photo location!

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Now when we say line, we're not talking a few minutes, we are talking potentially hours! We had friends that attempted to go midday, and they ended up leaving because they had waited 3 hours and still couldn't get a picture. Now we know that you can appreciate the view and hike regardless, but let's be honest, the picture is worth it.

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We left around 5:30, parked around 6:30, and got to the top around 7:30. When we arrived there were just a few people, and we all gave each other our turns to take pictures. It can be tricky and take a lot of attempts, so that's another reason it's good to get there without the crowds waiting on you. Once 8:00 hit, the place starting getting more and more people.

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

Pedra do Telegrafo Pin
Pedra do Telegrafo Pin
Pedra do Telegrafo Pin

Taking the Perfect Photo

Rio has so many amazing hikes and viewpoints! But what sets this hike apart from the rest is the amazing photo opportunities for that "Instagram-worthy" shot. Below you can see what the actual cliff looks like, and why those great shots are possible. 

Pedra do Telegrafo cliff

It is easy to take a fun picture here, as the cliff it is not actually dangerous.

Here are some great ways to get that perfect Instagram-worthy shot!
  • Bring a wide lens- This will really create an effect of a larger cliff, and be easier to eliminate the ground. A GoPro or Insta360 are also great cameras to use here!
  • Shoot low- In order to get rid of the ground in your shot, the person photographing will need to get down really low, for that perfectly dangerous looking image.
  • Bring a tripod- We brought a foldable tripod, and thank god, because that was the only way that we could get the shots we really wanted. Especially when you have a vision in your mind, only you can really bring that image to life, unless you have a professional around
  • Take a video- It is actually a lot harder than it looks to hold yourself up. So for those of you that aren't quite as strong, taking a video can help you capture the moment, and then you can take a screen shot after.
  • Or take a burst shot- If your device doesn't have high quality video, taking a burst shot is a great way to take many shots at once, and then you can delete the ones you don't want later.
  • Try a few different poses- Think of a few poses you'd like to do beforehand, that way you are prepared, and also have more options for them to turn out how you'd like them.
  • Have fun! The best way to get a good shot is to actually enjoy the moment, so enjoy that view and have a great time.
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The Alternative to Going Early

If you really can't make it there early, and are willing to wait around to take photos, you will have limited time, but also the opportunity to pay a few dollars to a professional photographer that goes each day and takes photos all day here.

This is good also for those who aren't great with a camera, to make sure they get a good shot.

Pedra do Telegrafo

Pedra do Telegrafo is a great spot to get creative with your shots.

Another option if you don't want to go is to go with a group on a tour! Here are a few to choose from:

Things to Know/ Tips for Visiting Pedra Do Telegrafo

  • It can get very hot, so dress lightly!
  • The path is easy, but can get muddy, so make sure you bring comfortable shoes.
  • The sun is strong so bring some sunscreen!
  • Stay hydrated and bring plenty of water (we use a vacuum-sealed water bottle by Cafago as it holds the temperature).
  • There are people selling snacks and drinks near the entrance, but nothing inside, so it may be nice to bring food if you are going early (which you should!)
  • Get there early to avoid the crowds!
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Packing List for Pedra do Telegrafo

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We hope that this has helped you with any questions you may have had about visiting this awesome viewpoint. Pedra do Telegrafo is definitely worth checking out, so make sure you add it to your itinerary when visiting Rio de Janeiro!

Want to see more fun things to do in Rio de Janeiro? Give a read to our full Rio de Janeiro travel guide. Traveling around South America? Check out some other great South America Guides that we've written.

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