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Rio de Janeiro Parks & Wildlife

Rio de Janeiro has some great parks, with an array of exotic plants and wildlife definitely worth a visit.

Most will agree that experiencing the stunning natural beauty of Tijuca Forest National Park is like climbing the stairway to heaven. A human-made forest, it is home to some endangered species and presents fantastic, breathtaking views of waterfalls, Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue, beaches, Corcovado & Sugarloaf Mountains.

If you’re enthusiastic enough, book a hiking tour to the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain or Pedra Da Gavea granite mountain. Many of these tours also cover the charming 19th-century district of Santa Teresa.

Botanical Gardens
(Jardim Botanico)

The Botanical Gardens also known as Jardim Botanica is the place where man and nature reside in perfect harmony. A learning ground for children, adults can stroll around the gardens to view some amazing and rare species of plants from Brazil and other countries.

The garden showcases a fine collection of excruciatingly large Victorian water lilies and Japanese plants. Sitting on the edge of Tijuca Forest, Dom João VI designed the garden himself in 1808 to include plants of artistic, archaeological and historical importance.

Along with 8200 species of plants planted here, various wild animals, birds and other beings coexist extremely well. One can get the opportunity to get close to these animals and learn more about their daily life.

There is also a cafe within the precinct where one can admire the garden views, complemented by live music on the weekend. Visit the parks on the weekdays to avoid weekend crowds.

Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour

Tijuca Rain Forest Jeep Tour

Experience the world’s largest urban forest through an open-top Jeep ride. Followed by a relaxed hike, offering close-up views of wild animals and plants. It’s a family-friendly tour overflowing with photo opportunities!

Tijuca Rainforest Hiking Tour

Tijuca Rainforest Hiking Tour

After pickup from your Rio-area hotel by a minivan, head to the Tijuca Rainforest with an experienced tour guide to begin your hiking tour...

Before you start, your guide will give you a brief overview of hiking tips and safety and then lead you to a beautiful waterfall that stands near the entrance of the park.

Morro do Leme

Morro do Leme

Located along the Atlantic coast, Morro do Leme is an environmentally protected area that secures the Copacabana beach up at the Leme neighbourhood.

It contains over 10 hectares of rainforest filled with exotic species of birds and animals. Book a tour in advance.

Tijuca Forest
(Tijuca National Park)

Covering some 32 km², Parque Nacional da Tijuca is the world’s largest urban forest in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Tijuca National Park is home to hundreds of Amazonian species of plant and animal life.

This forest is one of its kinds because it has been replanted by a man in the early 1900s after years of deforestation for coffee plantations. Covering a space of around 3,200 hectares, Major Gomes Archer, took the initiative to reforest the area with seedlings native to the Atlantic ecosystem.

The wildlife park population includes many insects, ocelots, birds, howler monkeys and other endangered species known only to the Amazon basin. The park’s summit, where the symbolic Christ the Redeemer statue is situated, offers fantastic views over the city and ocean. To attract tourists, over time, restaurants were opened, and public baths came up.

Every year millions of tourists visit this fantastic forest to discover its wildlife. Although many visit the park by car, hiking tours for the more adventurous type are arranged by several local travel agents.

Parque Lage

Parque Lage

This mystical park is at the base of the Corcovado mountain. This land was previously owned by the entrepreneur Enrique Lage but now has been refurbished into Escola de Artes Visuais, i.e. School of Visual Arts and a public park. A park is a serene place, and the meals are delicious at the cafe. Visitors can enjoy picnics in its English-style gardens and little ponds. You can also spot occasional wildlife visitors such as toucans and monkeys as the hike to the Corcovado mountain commences from here.

Itatiaia National Park

Itatiaia National Park

The Itatiaia National Park is the oldest and also the very first national parks of Brazil. It is situated at the borders of the Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais states and is the part of the Mantiqueira mountain range. The major attraction of this national park is its 350 varied species of birds along with hiking and rock climbing. The park is separated into two sections-high and low. Through the large section, you can access the Pico das Agulhas Negras mountain. The lower part is closer to the city of Itatiaia.

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