Ola! My name is Lia and welcome to my guide on Tres Picos State Park. I’m from the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. I lived in the interior of Sao Paulo for a long time but it wasn’t until I moved to Rio de Janeiro that I discovered my passion for hiking. Today, I can’t see my life without these adventures. What I love most about Rio is that it has everything: beaches, mountains, waterfalls and rivers. It’s a playground for nature-lovers!
Why Tres Picos State Park is Such a Paradise
One amazing place close to Rio that every adventurer should know about is Tres Picos State Park. In addition to being the largest park managed by the state and a mountaineering destination, it’s incredibly beautiful. The park has several attractions such as hiking trails, climbing spots, majestic waterfalls, bird watching – and within the limits of the park there is a high level of biodiversity, crystalline springs and pure air – so it’s a paradise.
I don’t visit Tres Picos State Park as much as I would like, but it’s a place I adore and one which I wish I could frequent more often. My favorite part of the park, outside of the Dois Bicos Trail, is the region known as the Vale dos Deuses, which has a history that reflects the essence of the area. Here is a clip from Google that summarizes the mystery of the Vale dos Deuses:
“In the past, where mythological Gods reigned supreme over the universe, a competition was held to see who could create the most spectacular and monstrous mountain. In a valley, where a river with the most crystal-clear waters flowed, a great battle was fought where each God tried to overcome his opponent by forming mountains that could disconcert human eyes. This place was given the name Vale dos Deuses or “Valley of the Gods”.
Best Places to Explore in Tres Picos State Park
1. Vale dos Deuses & Vale dos Frades
The area comprising the Vale dos Deuses and the Vale dos Frades is one of the most breathtaking crossings in the state of Rio de Janeiro. It connects the upper part of Tres Picos State Park (Friburgo) to Teresopolis. Walking through here provides epic views of the mountains and Atlantic Forest.
2. Pico Menor & Medio
This climb offers a jaw-dropping view of Tres Picos State Park for those who want a challenge. The trail is hard and starts at Pico Menor, crossing to Pico Medio. From the top you can admire the mountains of the park and you will be on top of two mountains that give the park its name.
3. Dois Bicos
There are two elevated rock formations next to each other at Dois Bicos. It’s possible to reach Bico Maior by taking a quiet trail, while Bico Menor is the perfect choice for climbers. Standing on top of the two rock formations gives you sweeping views over the park’s mountain range and countryside.
4. Pico da Caledonia
Despite the 2,219 meters of altitude, this is a trail with a low level of difficulty as you can reach the top via a stairway and trail. It’s considered one of the largest mountains in Serra do Mar. Visitors are afforded panoramic views of the region – with its mountains, valleys and seascapes in the distance.
5. Cachoeira dos Frades
The waterfall called Cachoeira dos Frades in Tres Picos State Park has easy access, a miniature beach and a grassy area for those who want to lie in the sun. There are also some shallow natural pools for people who prefer to bathe in the water and other deeper areas for all the swimmers out there.
Tips for Visiting Tres Picos State Park
I recommend staying in the region of Tres Picos State Park, as Rio is a bit far away and you can make the most of your adventure by being closer. The park has inns, chalets and mountain refuges that rent out their spaces for accommodation. Another option is rustic camping in the Vale dos Deuses.
The best time of year to visit Tres Picos State Park is between May and September, the dry season, because the region is surrounded by rocky mountains that become slippery in the rain. It’s also important to check the forecast before you go – in order to avoid any inconveniences with storms.
Research the trails before you go as well. If they have climbing routes, it’s crucial to have experience in climbing techniques or hire an experienced guide. Most of the trails don’t have public transport to get to the trailheads, so organizing all of the logistics in advance is a must. Finally, just enjoy the natural beauty of Tres Picos State Park. It will take your breath away!