Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos
Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos

Serra dos Órgãos National Park: Explore its Exuberant Nature

Welcome to Serra dos Órgãos National Park (PNSO), a place of incomparable beauty and rich natural history. Located in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro, this national park is a true national treasure, full of incredible trails, waterfalls, mountains and breathtaking views. In this article, we’ll explore everything this incredible destination has to offer and why you should include it on your list of places to visit.

History of Serra dos Órgãos National Park

Cachoeira Véu da Noiva
Véu da Noiva Waterfall. Photo: Disclosure.

The Serra dos Órgãos National Park was created in 1939, being one of the first national parks in Brazil. The objective was to preserve the natural beauty of Serra do Mar in the Mountain Region of Rio de Janeiro, as well as to promote environmental education. The park covers an area of ​​more than 20,000 hectares, including mountains, valleys and lush forests, which are distributed between the municipalities of Teresópolis, Petrópolis, Magé and Guapimirim.

During the 1940s and 1950s, the park became a popular destination for Brazilian and foreign climbers, who were attracted by the challenging mountains and spectacular scenery. Today, the park is a popular destination for hikers, extreme sports enthusiasts, as well as those seeking a peaceful escape from the city.

Things to Do in Serra dos Órgãos National Park

Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos.
God’s finger. Photo: Bruno Nepomuceno

There are many things to see and do in Serra dos Órgãos National Park. Entrance to the three venues (Teresópolis, Petrópolis and Guapimirim) is free, but the daily capacity must be respected. Crowd control is on a first-come, first-served basis and the gates are closed when maximum capacity is reached. Some of the most popular attractions include

  • Trails: The park has more than 200 kilometers of trails, which vary in difficulty levels. The Pedra do Sino Trail is the most famous and challenging, with a panoramic view from the top of the mountain.
  • Waterfalls: There are several waterfalls spread across the park, some of them accessible via trails and others only through rappelling or climbing. The Véu da Noiva Waterfall is one of the most impressive, with 30 meters of free fall.
  • Climbing: The park is a popular destination for climbers, with many challenging mountains and beautiful scenery. Dedo de Deus is one of the most famous mountains, 1,692 meters high and offering panoramic views of the region.
  • Fauna and Flora: The park is home to rich biodiversity, including many species endemic to the Atlantic Forest. There are many opportunities for birdwatching, as well as seeing animals such as sloths, monkeys, coatis and anteaters.

Trails in the Serra dos Órgãos National Park

Trilha suspensa.
The 9 meter high Suspended Trail in Teresópolis. Photo: Disclosure.

Serra dos Órgãos National Park offers a wide variety of trails, with different levels of difficulty. The trails are well signposted and have adequate infrastructure for visitors, such as bathrooms, drinking water points and rest areas. It is important to remember that, to go on the trails, you must register in advance at the park entrance and follow the instructions of local guides.

Among the most famous trails in the park, the Dedo de Deus Trail stands out, which takes visitors to one of the region’s main postcards, Pedra do Sino, which offers an incredible panoramic view, as it is the highest point. Serra dos Órgãos, with more than 2,200 meters of altitude, and the Suspension Trail, which provides a unique experience of walking over suspended bridges and wooden platforms.

Another very famous trail is the Petrópolis-Teresópolis Crossing, around 30 km long, which takes around three days to cover and is considered one of the most beautiful in Brazil.

Radical sports

In addition to the trails, Serra dos Órgãos National Park is also a great place to practice adventure sports, such as rappelling, climbing and hang gliding. There are specialized companies in the region that offer guide services and equipment, ensuring safety and fun for visitors.

How to get to Serra dos Órgãos National Park

Headquarters Guapimirim and Teresópolis

Getting to the Serra dos Órgãos National Park headquarters in Guapimirim and Teresópolis is easy. Just head towards Rio de Janeiro and take BR-116 towards Rio-Teresópolis. On the way up the mountain, there is the entrance to the Guapimirim headquarters. At the end of the mountain, right after the Teresópolis entrance portal, is the entrance to the main headquarters. The two entrances are well signposted, making the trip hassle-free.

Petrópolis Headquarters

To get to the entrance to the Petrópolis Headquarters in the Serra dos Órgãos National Park, you need to take the BR-040, which connects Rio de Janeiro to Juiz de Fora, and from the center of Petrópolis, take the Estrada União-Indústria, which runs alongside the Quitandinha River. Then, you need to take the Corrêas District access and follow the signs for Bairro Bonfim. Access is via a dirt road with poor stretches of asphalt and cobblestone, but the beauty of the region makes the trip rewarding. Located in the highest area of ​​the neighborhood, the park entrance is the final construction in the region.

Public transportation

For those who want to get to know Petrópolis from Rio de Janeiro by bus, the ÚNICA-FÁCIL bus offers this route with an average duration of 1 hour and 10 minutes and a ticket price of around R$34.45. Departure takes place at Rodoviária Novo Rio, located in the central region of Rio de Janeiro, and disembarkation takes place at Petrópolis bus station.

Viação Teresópolis offers a bus trip from Rodoviária Novo Rio to Teresópolis, for R$41.69. The journey takes around 2 hours.

Where to stay

Abrigo 4 em Teresópolis. Foto: Divulgação.
Shelter 4 in Teresópolis. Photo: Disclosure.

For those who prefer to camp, Sede Teresópolis offers a comfortable camping area with capacity for 20 tents. An overnight stay in the camping area costs R$6.00.

Sede Guapimirim also has two camping areas, Jacu and Araçari. The Jacu area has capacity for eight tents and offers sanitary facilities and electricity. The Araçari area, close to the entrance, has capacity for up to 40 tents and offers toilets, showers, tables, dishwashers and electricity.

For those who prefer a more structured shelter, Shelter 4 is a great option. Located at the top of Pedra do Sino, around 2,200m above sea level. Reservations are made by telephone (21) 2642-8365 or by email: parnaso@icmbio.gov.br.

Conclusion

The Serra dos Órgãos National Park is an unmissable destination for those looking for contact with nature and adventure. With stunning landscapes, well-signposted trails and adequate infrastructure, the park offers a great ecotourism experience for visitors.

For more information about PNSO visit the website:

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