Jardim Botânico#2 in Best Things To Do in Rio de Janeiro
Spread out across more than 340 acres, this botanical paradise awes its visitors with more than 6,000 indigenous and exotic species of flora. This serene garden hosts everything from orchids to jasmine-mango heliconias.
The gardens were originally created in 1808 by Regent Prince D. João to acclimatize spices from other regions, and since its debut to the public in 1822, the verdant sanctuary has become a haven for locals and tourists; Albert Einstein even dropped in. The national park is also known as a premier botany and ecology research center.
Travelers relish the garden's tranquility and highly recommend the guided or self-driven thematic tours through sections of the park. The park also includes a playground, souvenir shop and the La Bicyclette restaurant.
Located just north of Ipanema, the park has no public parking, but is easily accessed from the multiple bus lines that stop at 1009, Jardim Botânico Street. It is also accessible by subway, stopping at the Botafogo station and taking one of the integration buses to the park entrance at 101, Pacheco Leão Street. Adult admission costs approximately $9 reais (free for children younger than age 7). The garden is open Monday from noon to 5 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The garden is open Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. For more information, check out the Jardim Botânico website (written in Portuguese).
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#1 Christ the Redeemer
This iconic landmark is a must-see attraction in Rio. Recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this statue of Jesus Christ stands with arms outstretched to the city from above Corcovado Mountain's staggering 2,330-foot elevation.
Started in 1922 and completed in 1931, the monument — made of concrete and covered in soapstone mosaic tiles — stands 125 feet tall as a religious and cultural symbol of the Brazilian people's warm and welcoming culture. The monument rests atop Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca National Park and is the most famous attraction in Rio de Janeiro, visited by nearly 2 million people each year. Recent travelers recommend visiting on a day with clear skies since the vantage point is the best in the city.
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