Tijuca National Park#3 in Best Things To Do in Rio de Janeiro
Outdoorsy types love exploring this expansive green rainforest. Covering 8,300 acres, Tijuca National Park is the largest urban rainforest on the planet. The natural beauty of the park can't be understated: it features varied terrains, waterfalls, more than 1,600 plant species and more than 350 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles.
Three million visitors a year take advantage of the natural beauty Tijuca has to offer. The park is split into three sectors – Forest, the Carioca Range and Pedra Bonita, and Gávea – and offers an extensive array of activities. The forest sector houses multiple hiking trails and picnic areas, while Carioca Hill is best known as the home of the Christ the Redeemer statue on the 2,330-foot Corcovado summit. Pedra Bonita and Gávea is the place for adventure seekers with activities like hang gliding and rock climbing.
The park is open every day from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (6 p.m. during the summer season). Admission is free, although you will have to pay to visit Christ the Redeemer. Tram transportation is available from the Cosme Velho neighborhood. Van transportation to Corcovado is available from Copacabana and Largo do Machado. For more information, consult the Tijuca National Park 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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