Parks and green areas of Rio de Janeiro
Few cities as large and populated can boast as many green areas as Rio de Janeiro. But it is not just a city with many parks or gardens, but rather a city built in the middle of a huge rainforest.
The largest urban jungle in the world
Of course, things have changed and today the aspect of Rio de Janeiro is not what the Portuguese and French found when they arrived in Guanabara Bay during the 16th century.
Many of its hills (morros), lakes and original swamps have disappeared to make way for modern buildings and inhabited areas, however the nature in the city remains lush and surprising.
Large green areas of Rio de Janeiro that were once devastated, have been repopulated with native flora such as the Tijuca National Park, known simply as the Floresta da Tijuca, which has become the largest urban jungle in the world.
Almost virgin nature and bucolic landscapes
In Rio de Janeiro it is easy to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and enter large spaces where nature reigns, gigantic trees and animals grow freely as monkeys or coatis walk quietly.
Places that once were a refuge for kings and bourgeois, with enchanted gardens designed in the European Romantic style, such as Quinta da Boa Vista or the beautiful Lage Park, are bucolic landscapes that are now open for everyone’s enjoyment.
Protected areas for species conservation
The extensive green areas of Rio de Janeiro, are not only designed for the rest and pleasure of the population but especially for the preservation of native flora and fauna and for the education of its visitors.
These protected areas constitute an open-air school where to learn more about the Atlantic Forest and its forms of life and, to observe wild animals like the jacaré or the capybara freely.
Two perfect places for this are the Chico Mendes park or the Bosque da Barra, where you can combine family activities and a pleasant outdoor meal with nature observation.
Other parks such as Parque da Catacumba or Dois Irmaos Park, offer the possibility of practicing sports such as trekking and climbing, or simple ascents through well-defined paths that are rewarded with wonderful views of Rio de Janeiro and its beautiful mirror of water, the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon.
Although the form of Rio de Janeiro has been changing over the centuries, some of these modifications have gained large green spaces for the city such as Parque do Flamengo, designed within the project that gained ground to the sea (aterro) to improve the vehicular traffic.
Of course, one of the unmissable green areas of Rio de Janeiro is the Botanical Garden, a natural jewel with more than two centuries old, which houses more than 9000 species of plants.
In summary, there are many green areas in Rio de Janeiro to choose from, huge areas to go for a walk, ride a bike, practice adventure sports, breathe fresh air and, above all, become aware of the importance of nature conservation and its wonders.
Most important green areas
The Tijuca National Park, more commonly known as Floresta da Tijuca, an amazing space that allows you to go from the rush and congestion of a large metropolis to the peace and tranquility of the rainforest. Read more »
Located in the neighborhood of the same name, the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro is an authentic natural jewel that in its 137 hectares houses more than 9,000 species of plants, several historical buildings and the Environment Museum. Read more »
Surrounded by beautiful mountains and the most elegant neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon is a spectacular saltwater mirror connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the Jardim de Alha canal. Read more »
With a fantastic location on the banks of Guanabara Bay, Parque do Flamengo, also known as Aterro do Flamengo, provides the city with one of the widest places for rest and outdoor sports. Read more »
The Quinta da Boa Vista, in the São Cristóvão neighborhood, is an extensive urban park that houses the National Museum and the Zoological Garden of Rio de Janeiro, occupying what were once the gardens and the Imperial Palace of São Cristóvão . Read more »
As part of the Tijuca National Park, Lage Park is a beautiful European-style park nestled at the foot of the Corcovado. The beautiful gardens around a «Roman Palace» have their origin in a story of love and art. Read more »
Dois Irmãos Park has four viewpoints from which you get fantastic views of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, the Botanical Garden, the Cristo del Corcovado and the beaches of Leblón and Ipanema. Read more »
Other green areas of Rio
Located on the east side of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Parque da Catacumba, whose name appears to have come from an old Indian cemetery, is an ecological reserve carpeted by dense vegetation typical of the Atlantic forest. Read more »
Inspired by the Passeio Publico de Lisboa and the Gardens of the Royal Palace of Queluz, the Passeio Publico de Rio de Janeiro was created at the end of the 18th century and was not only the first public park in the city, but the first in all of Brazil. Read more »
The lands where the Parque da Cidade is were owned since 1809 by the Marques de São Vicente, who transformed them into an immense coffee farm and built his residence on the highest part of the land.
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The Bosque da Barra has an area of 50 hectares and its main purpose is to preserve the natural areas known as restinga, that is, areas of sandy land near the sea with herbaceous and shrubby vegetation.
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A walk inside the Marapendi Park allows visitors to contemplate a wide variety of species of flora and fauna typical of this peculiar ecosystem. Among the most prominent plants can be seen centuries-old jacaranda trees.
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Opened in 1989 with the purpose of preserving the Lagoinha das Tachas and its natural environment rich in species of flora and fauna, some endangered, the Chico Mendes Park is an ecological reserve of utmost importance.
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Prainha Park is one of the most beautiful in Rio since when being away from the city its natural enclave is practically virgin. The vegetation of the park is typical of the Atlantic Forest combined with forests of sand and marshes.
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The Municipal Natural Park of Grumari is considered as a Priority Area for the Conservation of the Biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest. Within the park are included, in addition to the green areas, the beach of Grumari.
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Located in the town of Guaratiba, 60 kilometers west of the city of Rio de Janeiro, the Burle Marx Site was owned by the famous Brazilian architect, landscape artist and plastic artist Roberto Burle Marx from 1949, until his death in 1994.
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