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Parks in Rio de Janeiro City

Rio de Janeiro City is not only associated with the beaches and sea, but also with the green parks, mountains and green landscapes. In the parks or Rio you can see beatiful gardens, enjoy picnic areas, bicycle tracks and find trails, leisure equipment and sports activities. It is a must for all the ones who love nature, ecology and outdoor recreational activities. See also about the biggest green area of the city, The Tijuca Forest National Park.

Outdoor recreational activities amongst the green is also a tourist attraction

Beautiful garden with a vewn to the ocean at Dois Irmaos Crag ParkThe natural municipal parks of Rio, major options of air leisure, offer trails, green and leisure equipment. Some have areas for the practice of recreational activities and sports.

Locals, visitors, travellers and tourists who are in Rio, can also enjoy picnic areas, barbecue grills, bicycle tracks, toilets, car parking, ecological and cultural centers for talks and workshops.

National parks and reforestation programs promoted by City Hall are responsible for the preservation of species such as "preguiça-de-coleira" (species of sloth) and "gato-maracujá" (species of wild cat) in the Pedra Branca Massif; of the "araponga" (bellbird) in the Gericinó Massif; and of the tucano-de-bico-preto (black-bílled-toucan), "jacupemba" (ground bird) and "tiriba" (species of parrot) in the Tijuca Massif where the "sapinho laranja" (toad) and "morcego orelhudo" (bat) cari be found as well.

Prainha Park

Parque da Prainha (Prainha Park), situated between Recreio dos Bandeirantes and Área de Proteçãoo Ambiental do Grumari (Grumari Environmental Protection Area), has the green turtle as its symbol.

After enjoying Prainha beach, a favorite of surfers, visitors can follow one of the trails to Morro dos Caetés (Mount Caetés) from where they have a superb view of the Recreio, Grumari, Barra da Tijuca coastline.

The park's ecosystem is of sandbank, rocky cliff, marshland and Atlantic forest. Rare specimens of flora are sometimes found.

Municipal Ecological Park of Marapendi

Parque Municipal Ecológico do Marapendi (Marapendi Ecological Municipal Park) is situated in Baixada de Jacarepaguá, Recreio dos Bandeirantes. One of its main objectives is to divulge information on the sandbank and mangrove fauna and flora, therefore it has classrooms, a center of multimedia information and libraries among other facilities.

Barra Bosque Park

Bosque da Barra (Barra Woods), name by which Parque Arruda Câmara is generally known, is situated at Km 6 of Avenida das Américas, Barra da Tijuca. It is very popular with cyclists, walkers and joggers. It has a lake, trails and playgrounds and it houses several projects related to environmental conservation of the ecosystem of sandbank and marshland.

Chico Mendes Ecological Municipal Park

Parque Ecológico Municipal Chico Mendes (Chico Mendes Ecological Municipal Park), at Km 17.5 of Avenida das Américas (Avenue of the Américas), was named after one of the greatest Brazilian environmentalists. Visitors can see animais such as tortoises and yellow-throat-alligators, and explore trails with a guide.

Medanha Park

Parque Natural Municipal da Serra do Mendanha (Serra do Mendanha Natural Municipal Park), in the west sector, offers a considerable green area with ecological trails, rivers and waterfalls.

The park is situated between the districts of Bangu and Campo Grande in the Mendanha and Quitungo Ranges, one of the last remaining large areas of Atlantic Forest in the city.

Burle Marx Gardens

Sítio Burle Marx (Burle Marx Ranch). One of the top landscapers and artists of our time. Burle Marx left a priceless legacy. His ranch, Sítio Burle Marx, on Estrada da Barra de Guaratiba (Barra de Guaratiba Road), which receives many visitors, has over 3,500 species of plants, besides a fabulous art collection, a library with 2,500 books and several cultural activities.

Dois Irmãos Cliff Park

Parque Municipal Penhasco Dois Irmãos (Crag Dois Irmãos Municipal Park), in alto Leblon, is situated on the slopes of Morro Dois Irmãos, being reached by rua Aperana (Aperana street).

From the highest part of the cliff the Cagarras Archipelago is visible as well as the city's coastline, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon) and all the neighborhoods around it plus São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca. Severa! belvederes can be reached on foot or by bicycle on the 800 meters trail.

City Park

On Estrada de Santa Marinha (Santa Marinha Road) in Gávea, Parque da Cidade (City Park) offers leisure areas, trails and lakes, besides the Museu Histórico da Cidade (City Historical Museum) with a collection of paintings, 1,600 photographs by Augusto Malta and maquettes that illustrate the city's development. Established on various levels, the park is an important conservation unit where can be found samples of native flora and fauna especially of mammals represented by tamarins, monkeys, sloths, squirrels, armadillos and skunks or opossums. There is also a great diversity of birds attracted by the fruit trees such as toucans, "coleirinhos", "saíras-de-sete-cores", parrots, humming-birds and woodpeckers. The Atalntic Forest is also the habit of the butterfly Paradis Tros.

Catacumba Park

Parque da Catacumba (Catacumba Park) is situated on the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas (Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon) neighborhood and is the most important park of open-air sculptures in the city. The sculptures are works by artists renowned internationaily. The location is superb, on the slopes of Morro da Catacumba, across from Park Tom Jobim, facing the view of the Lagoon and from where Mount Dois Irmãos and Pedra da Gávea can be seen.

Even if you do not care for modern sculptures, be sure that Catacumba Park is worth a vist. With all due respect to the modern art, the green, the beautiful paths paved with old stones, a small bridge and the gardens is far more attractative and interesting than the few sculptures spread through the park.

Lage Park

Parque Lage (Lage Park) is one of the oldest ecological sites in Rio. Last reserve of the original Tijuca Forest, it came under the guardof the State in 1957. When building his mansion in 1920, the wealthy entrepreneuer Henrique Lage employed the English landscaper John Tyndale to redesign the green areas with lakes, grottos and specimens of the Atlantic Forest.

Chacrinha Park

Parque da Chacrinha (Chacrinha Park) occupies one of the few areas of forest in the Copacabana neighborhood, and is the only one open to the public for recreation and leisure.

Situated on the south edge of Morro São João (Mount São João), it stretches along Ladeira do Leme, from Praça Cardeal Arcoverde (Cardeal Arcoverde Square) to the old portal of the fortress Reduto do Leme which used to control the access to Copacabana and Botafogo. Visitors to the park are mainly local residents and students of local schools who use the area for recreation, games and exercise.

Some remains of the old fortress built in colonial times, such as ruins of the platform used to support artiliery pieces and of a shelter for soldiers, can still be seen.

Parque do Flamengo

Flamengo Park (also known as Aterro do Flamengo which means Flamengo embankment), or Parque Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes (Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes Park), occupies an area of 1 million and 200 thousand square meters on the margins of Guanabara Bay. It is the result of an embankment built with earth from the levelling of mount Santo António in the 50s of the 20th century. Lota Macedo Soares, a member of Rio's elite, idealized the park and brought together a group of outstanding friends such as the landscaper Roberto Burle Marx, the botanist Luiz Egydio de Mello Filho and the architects Affonso Eduardo Reidy, Sérgio Bernardes and Jorge Moreira.

The park has a huge grassy area or lawn and approximately 170 thousand trees of 350 different species. It houses the Museu de Arte Moderna also knwon as MAM (Museum of Modern Art) and Marina da Gloria (Gloria Marina). Aterro do Flamengo or Flamengo Park stretches from Aeroporto Santos Dumont (Santos Dumont Airport) to Botafogo, with contains 3 museums, monuments, restaurants, playgrounds, courts and fields for various sports. Besides the Museum of Modern Art, there are in the area The Carmen Miranda Museum and a small museum about II World War, at the II World War Monument.

Passeio Público Park | Old Promenade in City Centre

Passeio Público (Public Promenade) and Campo de Santana (Santana Square) functions as a kind of oasis in the town center. Passeio Público is one of the loveliest and most representative public gardens in the city and country. In 1783 Mestre Valentim designed it, and the frenchman landscaper August Glaziou remodeled it in 1860 and it was reclaimed by City Hall in 2006.

Campo de Satana (also knwon as Praça da República) has been the setting for major historical events such as the Proclamation of the Republic by Marechal Deodoro da Fonseca. Today visitors can admire the centenarian trees, beautiful alleys, small lakes and bridges and frenchman Auguste Glaziou's landscape conservation project.

Quinta da Boa Vista Gardens

Quinta da Boa Vista Gardens, (Boa Vista Gardens and Rural Estate of The Portugal King and latter of the Brazil Royal Family) is the park best known and most visited by Rio residents. Its natural attraction is the historical garden with its grotto and waterfall, bridges and centenarian trees. The Jardim Zoológico (Zoological Garden of Rio de Janeiro), situated on the grounds of Quinta da Boa Vista, was inaugurated in 1945 and is currently managed by The City Hall´s Fundação RioZoo (RioZoo Foudation). Also on the grounds is the Museu Nacional (National Museum of National History), housed in the former Imperial Palace of São Cristóvão, a building that was once one of the residences of the royal family during the Monarchy and Constitutional Monarchy.

Darke de Matos Park

Parque Darke de Matos (Darke de Matos Park) is situated in Morro da Cruz (Da Cruz Mount), on Paquete Island in Guranabara Bay. It presents vestiges of local history dating back to the eighteenth century. These vestiges include tunnels opened by Jesuits in search of white clay and can be visited today. It is believed that tourist activities on the island started in the begining of the nineteenth century with King D. João VI´s visits. The king eventually established there a summer residence, known as D. João Vl's mansion, which is under the guard and protection of the Union since 1938 and nowadays houses Paquetá's Biblioteca Popular (Public Library), a museum and an art workshop.

References:

  • Riotur brochures | City of Rio de Janeiro Tourism Authority
  • Many books about the history and iconography of Rio de Janeiro City