Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens

Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens is one of the best gardens of its kind in the entire world. It's certainly one of the top Rio de Janeiro attractions, as is evidenced by the fact that its main avenue of soaring palm trees graces the cover of many tourism brochures. Founded in 1808 by Emperor Dom Joao VI, the Jardim Botanico, as it is known in Portuguese, covers no less than 348 acres and is one of Rio's main green spaces. Inviting paths and trails entice visitors to stop by for a relaxing stroll, and if you have the time, checking out the greenhouses is also recommended. One of the greenhouses features fascinating Venus flytraps and other carnivore plants that are alone worth the visit.

No Rio de Janeiro vacation would arguably be complete without a visit to the Jardim Botanico. Upon entering the gardens, you'll notice the more than 100 palm trees that line the strip that is aptly known as the Avenue of Palms. There are 134 of these palms, to be exact, and the avenue that they line is some 800 yards long. Also found on the Avenue of Palms is a lovely fountain with a classical design. The palms and the fountain are just the start when it comes to everything that the Rio Botanical Gardens has to offer. There are more than 900 varieties of palm trees that are on display at the Jardim Botanico, and the bulk of them are more than 100 years old!

Approximately 6,000 tropical plant and tree species can be found at the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens, and they include Pau Brasil trees. These trees from the Atlantic rainforest inspired the country of Brazil's name. As for some of the plant species that you can expect to see, they include a variety of threatened species, such as pau mulato and acara amarelo. Greenhouses here contain a variety of exotic plants, including carnivorous plants. The orchid greenhouse is also of considerable interest, which has a lot to do with the fact that it features more than 700 different orchid species. It's not hard to understand why the Rio Botanical Gardens are so popular. Add in the fact that this attraction lies at the base of Corcovado Mountain, and it only gets better.

There are far too many plant and tree species at the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Gardens to name each individually. Helping visitors make sense of it all are labels that list their common names. There isn't a lot in the way of explanations, but you can try to book a guided tour if you want to get more insight. The tours are offered in Portuguese, Spanish, and English according to availability, and they don't cost extra. Whether you choose to enjoy a guided or unguided tour, you might be surprised to find out that much more than plants and trees inhabit the Jardim Botanico. The place is also home to more than 100 bird species, and both Tufted-eared Marmosets and howler monkeys are known to frequent it.

The Rio Botanical Gardens are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and repeat visits might just be in order thanks to the dazzling layout and the fact that the admission fees are more than reasonable. You can find the gardens in the Zona Sul, or the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro. The address is Rua do Jardim Botanico 920 and 1008. It's worth noting that not too far away are the Leblon Beach and Ipanema should you be looking to make a day out of it on your visit to the south side. Of course, heading to the top of Corcovado Mountain is recommended as well when in the area.

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