Oh, what a cute monkey. I thought the same when I saw them the first time. Also when I see this picture I remember how adorable they can be. But this crazy night, including my clash with the monkey in Mirante Dona Marta (Rio de Janeiro), changed everything!
Let’s start from the beginning
While I stayed in Brazil I googled some good photography spots (like the ones I found in Hamburg) from time to time. In the process, I explored the viewpoint Mirante Dona Marta, which in my opinion offered the best view over the city. I saw some pictures at night and was totally stunned. My decision was clear: I will go there when it’s dark. I also found out that it’s next to two favelas. Mh? Favelas and a “gringo” (the name Brazilians often use for Foreigners in Brazil) at night, doesn’t sound like a master plan. So I asked my friends who live in Rio de Janeiro. They told me the area is quite safe, but they wouldn’t go there at night to take pictures. Well, I’m kind of crazy when it comes to photography, but should I really just go there? Alone?
One hour and a crazy monkey later
I sat on an Uber ride directly to the viewpoint, at night. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all, but it suddenly changed when we were driving through parts of the favela. Finally, we arrived at the parking spot, it was dark, no lights and nobody else there. Like in a bad horror movie I took the wrong way and arrived at an airfield for helicopters. Because I didn’t know I started to take pictures there. Honestly, it was so dark I didn’t even see my own hands. Abruptly I stopped, I heard a noise in the bush next to me. I took my phone and used the flashlight to see what or who it was. It was the mysterious monkey. I was relieved, so I started to continue with my pictures. Normally the monkeys are quite shy and flee when you come them to close. But this monkey had no fear at all. He came closer, step by step. I started to get afraid, used my flashlight again and made stupid sounds to scare the monkey. That didn’t work either, so I decided to walk away. Good idea, right? But they monkey just followed me for about 100 meters. I made some noises again (hopefully there is no hidden camera, otherwise you will see me on youtube soon) but he just did not want to give up.
Should you visit Mirante Dona Marta?
But then I had the redemptive idea to solve my problem. I opened my bag and took out an apple. I threw the apple into the bush, which was some meters away. Finally, my enemy of the day disappeared. I mean, an apple is way more interesting than me though. Also, I realized that I was on the wrong side, so I discovered the real viewpoint. Seriously, this was the best city view I ever saw in my life yet. I took some pictures, enjoyed the fresh air, the great view and even talked with some locals, who told me that they go there once every month to see the sunset.
So would I recommend you to go to this viewpoint? Definitely! The view is much better than from the “Christ” for example because it is much closer to the city. For me, it was without a doubt my favorite viewpoint in whole Rio de Janeiro. With daylight it’s a well-known tourist point, so you should be fine. I also had no troubles at night, even local families were there. But you have to know for yourself if you want to take that risk and visit Mirante Dona Marta at night. However, I can definitely say that I’m really happy with the pictures I got there.