Forte Duque de Caxias - Hike and Lookout

Forte Duque de Caxias commonly known as Fort do Leme offers outstanding views in every direction

View of Sugar Loaf Mountain from Forte Duque de Caxias
View of Sugar Loaf Mountain from Forte Duque de Caxias cc licensed photo by Rodrigo Soldon

Forte Duque de Caxias can be found in Leme at the eastern end of Copacabana Beach. The trail up to the fort is not a difficult climb and the view from the top is well worth the effort. Going up to Forte Duque de Caxias is one of the cheapest tourist attractions around which makes it an ideal destination for those working on a tight budget.

The fort is located at the top of the Morro do Leme hill. The trail starts at the bottom of Morro de Leme inside a military area, this makes it a very safe place to take a walk or run. The 800 metre hike to the top and to Forte Duque de Caxias should take twenty minutes if you are fit and in shape. The trail is a well-kept cobblestone path which makes it easier for those less used to hiking to get to the breathtaking view with Sugarloaf Mountain seemingly close enough to almost touch. Along the way you will be able to see fifteen Stations of the Cross which have been placed along the pathway to commemorate the path Jesus Walked to Calvary.

Forte Duque de Caxias was originally built in 1779 as Fort of the Guard. It was part of the defence strategy of the original city of Rio as a watch outpost. It features a magnificent stone gate which still exists today. The fort was only equipped with arms in 1823 and saw action in July 1922, when two cannon shots broke through and destroyed part of the dining halls, and in 1924, when it was involved in a shootout with the rebellious Battleship São Paulo.

Forte Duque de Caxias was given its name in August 1935 by President Getulio Vargas and was deactivated in 1965. The Personnel Studies Center of the Brazilian Army now uses the fort as a teaching establishment most specifically in the area of human behaviour.

When you are asking directions, make sure to be specific as there is Forte de Copacabana at the other end of Copacabana Beach and locals may easily misunderstand and send you in the wrong direction. Also be sure to take plenty of water as it can get very hot in Rio and dehydration is a real danger. Forte Duque de Caxias is one of the more safe tourist attractions thanks to its being situated within a military base, you should still keep an eye on your things though.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes; There is a very nominal fee to access the trail and fort. Well worth it.

Forte Duque de Caxias Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Thursday: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Address: Praça Alm. Júlio de Noronha, s/n - Leme, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22010-020, Brazil

Official Website: Forte Duque de Caxias

Forte Duque de Caxias Reviews

Rated 4.8 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating Gorgeous view, with several monkeys on the way to the top and on the top. You'll have a beautiful view of Copacabana and the hike is not demanding at all, it took me less than 30 minutes.
Jure Figar - 3 months ago

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5 Star Rating A beautiful place where you can meet Mico primates that are curious and friendly. They’re the size of a small cat and they jump between branches. We were lucky enough to get approached by a mother with a two kids. The fort offers a great view of Copacabana and the nearby favela. The entrance is free and they are bathrooms at the fort. We didnt need to wait to enter.
Chris Lombardo - 3 months ago

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5 Star Rating Gorgeous hike up a brick road to a former fort that protected Rio de Janeiro. Interesting to read the history and awesome for a tourist like me to see wild monkeys playing in the trees.
Gregory Lee - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating A really nice 30 minutes hiking experience . We saw a lot of monkey on the way to the top . You can see some really nice views of Copacabana.
Alisa Margilaj - 3 months ago

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5 Star Rating Free entrance fee! This place is fair and treats all equally! Great views of the beach and nearby surroundings! There are clean washrooms and lots of benches! There is a hill to walk up (Unlike the other fortress at the other end of copacabana) but it is easy to medium difficulty. The other one is 6 reals to enter and there is no hill. This trail contains around 15 Jesús and religious stones. See my other reviews.
Antoine Assaad - a year ago

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Metro Line Nearest Station Walking Time
Line 1 - OrangeCardeal Arcoverde24 Minutes

How to get to Forte Duque de Caxias by Metro

From Cardeal Arcoverde Station: Exit and follow the plaza towards the point, cross the road, go left and then immediately right on Rua Rodolfo Dantas and follow it to the Avenue Atlantica by the beach. Walk left (east) all the way to the eastern end of the beach and look for the entrance through the military post located to your left from the beach.

If you wish to avoid the 1.5 kilometer walk along the beach you can pay a bus fare and take any of bus #190, 472 or 523 to Leme at the end of the beach.

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