Top Ten Brazil Classic Adventures

Hike the Royal Road
By Shawn Blore

It's one of the last stands of Atlantic rainforest—a nature reserve boasting jaguars, wolves, and stunning coastal views. And this 25-mile trek through the Parque Nacional Serra dos Orgaos, which usually takes three days to complete, is also a way to take in the royal cities of Petropolis and Teresopolis (which once served the Emperor Pedro and Empress Teresa as summer capitals).

Starting from the park headquarters just outside of Teresopolis, the trail winds through the Mata Atlbntica, giving you a glimpse of what the hills and the coast looked like before the axe-wielding Portuguese arrived. As the trail rises, the forest gradually makes way for alpine meadows, which continue until you reach the Pedra do Sino (7,419 feet). From its peak, you can see all the way to the coast and Rio de Janeiro. The trail then continues along the ridgeline, past sheer dropoffs, to a high point at the Pedra do Agu (7,331 feet) before winding back down into Petropolis.

Best Hotels in Petropolis


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