OverviewMorro do Couto, with 2680m of height is one of the highest mountains in Brazil. Situated on the west border of Itatiaia National Park, Morro do Couto detains beautiful overviews of another great mountains of Serra da Mantiqueira, giving the real size of the place. Couto has huge walls, chimneys, steep trails, and overthere, a meteorological antenna. From many places of INP and the little tows that surrounding the mountains, as possible to see the largeness of this mountain. From the National Park side, Couto isn’t so big, bacause there are some great mountains, but from the road to rise Serra da Mantiqueira, Couto is great and have a frightness wall without any register of climbing. There are some routes at National Park side, easy to hard routes. Couto is the second highest mountain in Rio de Janeiro state, just losing to Agulhas Negras, with 2789m. The main summit looks like a pyramid, and some people said that overthere, is a mystic place, serving for UFO’s landing.
Getting ThereItatiaia National Park is in the middle of the two most important cities of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. From Rio, are 250 km of distance and you'll take car (best choice is 4X4) or regular buses to Itatiaia, Cruzeiro, São Lourenço, Itamonte or Caxambu( all cities around the Park ) and drive to the Garganta do Registro( the upper point on the road) ant turns (at Garganta) to Agulhas Negras( more 17 km ). If you'll go there by bus, you'll start to walk at Garganta (4-5 hours walking to the entrance of INP)
Take the Express BR-116 to South (Via Dutra Highway). This is the way to São Paulo. When crosses Resende town, drive more 35 km and turns to another road called “Estâncias Hidrominerais” (BR-354) at Engenheiro Passos, district of Resende. BR-354 rises Serra da Mantiqueira and connects Minas Gerais state backcountry with Paraíba do Sul Valley, in Rio de Janeiro. At the top of the road, 26 km after Engenheiro Passos, turn to right and drive more 15 km to Pousada Alsene, the only legal camping.
To get the trail to climb Morro do Couto, take the same way to Agulhas Negras. After the entrance of INP, search the road at the right side, after the military cabin, is the trail to Couto then. As possible to drive to the trailhead more 1 km, but the road is very steep, but in good conditions. Arriving the parking car ( only for 2-3 cars ), take the only trail to Couto direction. 2 km of walk up, passing beside of great walls, precipices and chimneys to reach the top. The trail isn’t arduous, turning the hike pleasure. The top is big, windy and do not go to the borders, could be dangerous.
MSN Mappoint – Morro do Couto.
Red TapeItatiaia National Parkis an oldest Park in Brazil and have rules that climbers must know. To visit, you'll have to back at 17:00 pm , don't use inflamable liquids and the camp inside the Park is forbidden. There are a lot of parking cars at all trailheads. As possible to find water fountains and little rivers near Morro do Couto. The last water point is in the entrance of National Park
Taxes do get into Itatiaia National Park:
US$ 2 per day
Timetable to visit:
08:00h to 17:00h
There are an obligation to have a guide for each group. This is a requirement of INP. All that want to climb Morro do Couto, will have to use an armlet to identification on the trails.
When To ClimbItatiaia plateau at winter, is the best season to climb and walk. The temperatures are bland at day and very cold at night. At summer, the weather turns rainy ever at afternoon and extremely hot, and at night, freshness. There are register of snowfall in July, 2000 ( the most recent register ). At Summer-Autumn season is very hot at day and rains almost every day.
CampingOnly one place to camp there. Pousada Alsene ( is a little hotel , with hot shower , bathrooms , campsite and restaurant ) is a good place to stay. The camping inside the National Park can't be able, because the new rules of National Park is forbidden.
Pousada Alsene – 2400mts.
Tents : U$S 6 per day, with hot shower;
Rooms : U$S 25 – 50 per day, with comfort.
Pousada Alsene tel: 55 32-9981-1217
Mountain ConditionsBrazilian weather site
Weather Resende ( Paraíba do Sul Valley )
Weather Itamonte ( Mountains of Mantiqueira )
Morro do Couto Climbing Routes.Alfa-Centaurus - IIIsup
Andorinhas, Paredão das - ??
Armênia Antiga Ponte Pequena - VIsup
Aula Experimental - IVsup
Demônios da Garôa - VIIa
Domingo no Jaraguá - Vsup
Frango com Catupiry - VI
Gaviões da Fiel - IVsup
Heloisa, Paredão - A1
Lambuja, Paredão - 2º IIsup
CreditsThanks to Hugo Pereira to contribute with shots on this page.
Thanks a lot Hugo!