Level of Experience
Number of people
2-4, 5-6, 7-8
Type of ride
In 1832 the Atlantic Rainforest overwhelmed Charles Darwin with its spectacular beauty and biological diversity. On this trail you ride through these exuberant forests of ancient trees and see a little of what enchanted the young Darwin all those years ago.
Rio de Janeiro state has some of the best preserved sections of the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil – thanks, in part, to the inaccessibility of some of the mountainous areas. Birdwatchers will delight at the enormous variety of birds but the Atlantic Rainforest is also rich in reptiles, amphibians and butterflies. The vegetation is lush, thick and spectacular to behold – many trees are dripping with epiphytes and there is a hugely varied display of orchids and bromeliads.
During the week you ride on narrow tracks through the rainforest, over pastures, crossing rivers and following winding mountain trails. The dramatic mountains of this area can be seen all the way from the city of Rio de Janeiro, but you will feel a million miles away.
You ride on pure Peruvian Paso horses which are gaited and offer an additional gait which is similar to a running walk – this paso llano can be as fast as trotting but much more comfortable!
Regarding Transfer on 1st day, there are 2 options: clients arrive earlier and spent one day/night in Rio de Janeiro (good option to do a short visit to the city and also to rest before the ride (jet leg), or if they arrive in the morning and want to go direct, they will be transfered from the airport on arrival (most flights arrive early morning).
• Tips are commonly paid in Brazil. Tipping is not essential, but if you are happy with the service you have been given, then it will be gratefully received.
• If you wish to tip, then we recommend a tip of c. US$10 per guest per night. (can be paid in local currency).
• Open May – July and September – October
• Set departures & private groups
• 6 nights / 5 days riding
• 6 – 8 hours riding per day
• Weight limit: 90kg
• Usual maximum: 8
• Nearest airport: Rio de Janeiro
Type of ride
Location & Weather
Ride starts in Cachoeiras de Macacu Area (1 ½ hour from city of Rio de Janeiro) and ends on the beach of Buzios.
The average temperature in the mountain rainforest ranges from 70 to 85°F (21 to 30°C) when the rides sea level temperatures can be from 3 to 5 degrees C or more.
Meet Your Guide
Born in Switzerland, Monika had a training as a tour guide in 2006.
From 2005 to 2007 she had riding lessons – Kolbenhof in Zürich and
work with horses in a private farm.
2017 till now horseback guide in Rio de Janeiro
• speaks – English – German – Portuguese
Beach Ride, Forest Ride
Morning transfer from Rio de Janeiro to the farm in Cachoeiras de Macacu. Reception and coffee – Start the ride to Jequitibá Reserve exploring trails that pass through forest, mountains, with unforgettable landscapes. Arriving at the Reserve, a tour to its beautiful waterfalls. Dinner and the first night in the Refuge (built with mud and wood /pau a pique) with option to stay in a comfortable tent in the Mountain Viewpoint (spectacular view) next to the Refuge.
Breakfast and departure to Fazenda Pirineus in Silva Jardim. One of the most beautiful days of the ride, through trails inside a primary forest with millenary trees. Crossing the main mountain range that separates the mountainous region from the coast. The trails go up a thousand meters of altitude following the thick forest until arriving at the Farm Pyrenees, where the horses will stay that night. Riders can take a waterfall bath near the Fazenda main house before continuing on the support car to the Pousada Tapinuã (20 minutes) where will overnight on this second day.
After breakfast we return by car to Fazenda Pirineus where our horses will be waiting to start the ride towards the hinterland of Bananeiras. The paths follow dirt roads with a stop at the Vitoria Farm for a river bath and swimming with the horses, followed by a snack. Then the ride continues cutting farms and climbing another 500 meters high mountain range with beautiful landscapes. Arrival at Pousada Tapinuã for late lunch. The resto of the day free to relax in the natural pool, sauna and tasting of homemade cachaça produced on site (product not included).
Breakfast 8 am and departure at 9:30 am in the direction of Aldeia Velha. The ride pass through a dirt road and mountain ranges through two picturesque villages: Bananeiras, which belongs to the municipality of Silva Jardim and Aldeia Velha, part of Casimiro de Abreu, our destination on the fourth day. Aldeia Velha is a picturesque village, relatively hidden and still little known even by cariocas. It is part of the São João / Mico Leão Dourado Environmental protection area. Dinner is a delicious pizza. Overnight in the farm hotel Acacias, with horses grazing in front of the rooms.
After an early breakfast, departure to Barra de São João. The mountains are behind and the paths are flat revealing wide and beautiful rural landscapes, crossing streams, pastures and fields, cutting farms with herds of cattle and buffalo. Stop for lunch at the Fazenda in Casimiro de Abreu. In the afternoon, the ride skirts an old volcano (São João hill) arriving in time for a relaxing sauna or massage (not included) at Fazenda São João Pousada.
Breakfast at 8am and departure at 9am with the support car passing by the old village of Barra de São João where you still find the true path of Charles Darwin. We pass through the alleys and colonial houses of São João until reaching the beach. The first sight of the sea at the end of a street of this historical village is very beautiful. After half an hour the car arrives on the beaches of Pero in Cabo Frio, where our horses will be ready. We follow on horseback to visit one of the most beautiful beaches in Rio de Janeiro, the beach of Conchas. We continue towards Búzios passing by dunes and a beautiful beach where we make a stop for sea bathing with the horses. We continue along trails until we reach the beach of Caravelas in Búzios where we stop for lunch at the edge of the beach and make a toast to the arrival in Búzios. After lunch, we continue along a dirt road cutting the Pau Brasil reserve until arrive at our final destination, Fazendinha Pousada Búzios.
At night after dinner, we will go out to visit Buzio’s famous stone street and Brigitte Bardot waterfront.
After breakfast, transfer back to Rio de Janeiro.
Write your day description
Your first night is in the refuge, where there are two rooms with bunk beds, a toilet and shower. You have the option to camp at the viewpoint if you prefer.
Subsequent nights are in farm guesthouses in comfortable en-suite rooms.
Brazilian food is a colourful mix of Portuguese, African and native foods. There are always plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables on offer, plus lots of stunning fish and meats.
Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice.
The trek was amazing and scenery beautiful. A real adventure! At stages the ride was very difficult and days quite long. Next time I would go fitter.