Tijuca Forest Tour: The Tijuca National Park is one of the most enchanting places in Rio de Janeiro: green lung of the city, rich in nature and history. Often travelers and tourists arrive in Rio and are caught by surprise: a huge forest in the middle of the city! In this article, I will tell you all about my tour to the Tijuca National Park, a tailor-made experience I offer with comfort and safety.
Tijuca Forest Tour: Most of the tourists come to Rio de Janeiro in search of beaches, Carnival, samba, nightlife and are caught by surprise when they see this evergreen chain of mountains. In fact, the Tijuca Forest Tour, also known as Atlantic Forest, is one of the largest urban green areas in the world, which covers 7% of the city!
Rio de Janeiro has countless green areas, many squares, parks and gardens, some of them huge environmental protection regions. From the geographical point of view, the Tijuca Massif Mountains divides the city in three main areas: Central Zone, North Zone and South Zone. The Corcovado Mountain is, of course, the most well-known of the mountains since is where the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer is placed. This is why Tijuca National Park is considered the most visited park in Brazil, receiving thousands of tourists every year.
The Tijuca National Park is located in the Alto da Boa Vista neighborhood and one can reach the Park by bus, bike, or even on foot! However, I will take you there with all safety, comfort and agility in my private car! We will take the road to the Vista Chinesa (Chinese View) and will make some strategic stops for wonderful pictures!
From Vista Chinesa you will be able to have a wonderful panoramic view from Rio that includes: Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Guanabara Bay, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Ipanema and Leblon Beaches, Morro Dois Irmãos (Two Brother’s Mountain) and Favela da Rocinha, the largest South American Slum.
Once we get to the Tijuca National Park, the first stop is at the Cascatinha Taunay (Taunay Waterfall), the highest waterfall in the city, with its 115 feet. The tour goes on and we will be able to explore belvederes, lakes, historical sites, walk in trails and nice green paths, as well as have a picnic in the forest.
Along the years, I learned the importance of the Forest in the daily life of the city and how it can often be impacted by the action of time and man.
I like to talk about the characteristics of the Atlantic Forest and environmental issues during my tours, making the trip, besides pleasant, interesting and educational.
There are, inside the Park, special places with historical sites where I usually stop in order to talk about the Brazilian history, its culture, geography, fauna and flora. The trails within the woods are very inviting. There are trails for all ages and different levels of fitness. If we go during the summertime, or during very hot weather, it is possible to bath under the waterfalls!
I especially love to take visitors to the Museu do Açude (Açude Museum), a pearl hidden in the Tijuca Forest. There we can explore the house and cultural legacy left by the entrepreneur and owner of the place: Castro Maya. He played an important role in the history of the Park, since he was in 1943 the first Manager of the National Park. In the 1990s, after his death, the Museum directors have redefined the purpose of the place and decided to transform his House in a Museum for Contemporary Art Exhibitions. It is a very nice experience to walk through big works of Art that are hidden in the middle of the gardens. With no doubts, one of the highlights of the Tour!
Tijuca Forest Tour: Last, but not least, there is another special place to explore: the Parque Lage: a beautiful Villa in the center of a huge green area near the Lagoon. The Roman-inspired Villa belonged to the Portuguese industrialist Henrique Lage, married to Italian lyric singer Gabriella Besanzoni. By the time she lived, she was considered to be the best contralto in the world! Today there is a School of Visual Arts, a Café, a venue for exhibitions and a garden with many attractions. Here kids and adults have fun walking along nice paths with small bridges, palm trees, cave-shaped aquarium, caves, tower, lakes, trails, gazebo and even a real Indian house!
Dear readers, these are just a few places we can explore together in this wonderful city. There are many others! When coming to Rio, be sure to contact me to schedule a tour.
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See you soon!
Arrivederci! A presto!