RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Of the easily accessible hikes within the Rio metropolitan area, the Pedra do Elefante (aka Alto Mourão) is arguably the most beautiful, one of the least visited and also the safest.

It is easier to climb than Pedra da Gávea, and less busy than most of the mountains in the central region of the city, especially on weekdays.

The peak is 412 meters high and located in the Parque Estadual da Serra da Tiririca, the biological diversity of which was remarked upon by Charles Darwin when he visited the region during his famous voyage . . .

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