Ilha Grande is a gorgeous island in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of the best spots to take in the sunrise is from the top of Pico do Papagaio. Known in English as “Parrot Peak,” the summit sits at 982 meters (3,222 feet) providing an almost 360-degree view of the island. On a clear day, the sky is filled with unimaginable sunrise colours. In my mind, this is the best hike in Ilha Grande.
Hiking Pico do Papagaio
While we didn’t find it completely necessary to hire a guide, you can join a group for about R$150 or about $30 USD. This is a great option for those without headlamps, new to hiking, or just a bit timid to hike in an unfamiliar place with foreign animals and hazards.
In order to catch the sunrise, the guided hikes tend to begin around 2 AM. It’s definitely an early wake-up call, so be sure to get to bed early the night before. Once on the trailhead, the hike takes about 2-3 hours to reach the peak. If you’re in a group, it may take longer. Once you reach the top, you’ll sit upon a slanted rock slab with views of the water, the horizon, and the many shipping boats in the distance. Coming down is a lot quicker, but give yourself at least 1.5 hours to be safe.
The beginning of the hike is filled with some road walking, brief shortcuts through the forest, then a windy forest trail. After about 45 minutes, the trail widens up and becomes more clear. Take some time for yourself and turn the headlamps off to really enjoy the stars of the early morning sky. I must warn you, though, to keep an eye out for snakes. Yes, there are some poisonous snakes on the island so be sure to use caution!