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.

Currently Closed

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

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

Phone: (21) 3223-5076

Official Website: Forte Duque de Caxias

Map of nearby accommodations:


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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Rated 4.8 out of 5Duke of Caxias Fort Star Rating

5 Star Rating Amazing view and it is also an Army museum

Chrys Alves - 2 months ago

5 Star Rating The good point of copacabana beach view. The entrance fee only R$4. It open Tuesday to Sunday. You must go down before 16:30 because here close early than other due to it locate in military area.

TonmaiKSR - 5 months ago

5 Star Rating It truly worth a visit. It requires an small and easy hike to get there! It has a fabulous view. It is from colonial times, built to defend the bay! I love there. It is a nice touristic spot!

Pedro Parga - 9 months ago

5 Star Rating Great little hike just off of Leme beach. Only a few reals to get in. It is unfortunate that the site closes early, since sunsets would certainly be glorious. Hawaiians are perhaps not the best footwear for the inclined cobblestone paths, but it doesn’t seem to bother most visitors. There is a small gallery about the history of the place. You will probably have the chance to observe some local wildlife.

Simon D - 1 year ago

5 Star Rating Safest hike I've done so far in Rio! Since you must check in at the military gate it is very secure. This would also be a great short hike for anyone who doesn't have a lot of hiking experience or children. You will find little monkeys along the way and a spectacular view with crashing ocean sounds at the top!

Gayatri Sanku - 1 year ago


This short video shows the entrance, trail and spectacular views from Forte Duque de Caxias

Photo Gallery

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