Tijuca Park : the heart of Rio

It offers endless paths where visitors can explore rivers, waterfalls, museums, different foods, and many more

Leer en Español: Tijuca: el corazón ambiental de Río de Janeiro

At the heart of Rio de Janeiro is a rainforest that few people know about.  Parque Nacional da Tijuca is in the northern part of the city. It is an amazing and safe place where people can learn to appreciate the beauty of their environment, like seeing its famous "Trilhas", or trails, filled with trees where animals of all colors and shapes can be spotted. It is a great place to get away from the buzzing cities since there are no street vendors, no loud music, and a safe environment to truly relax.

Tijuca's National park has a lot of history. Its forests are the result of the first major reforestation project in the world, which began in 1861. After the almost total destruction of the forest for coal production and coffee plantation, the water sources that supply the city began to dry up. It was then when the expropriating of coffee farms began and the planting of more than 100,000 trees took place.

Back in 1961, it was named National Park; it would be named “Rio de Janeiro National Park” six years later thanks to a federal decree that also widened its borders incorporating places like Parque Lage, Serra dos Pretos linings, Corcovado, and small Gávea.

The Tijuca National Park is divided into 2 important sectors, the "Floresta sector" of Tijuca and the "Sector Serra da Carioca". There are 17 circuits or experiences that run through different points of the forest. The Latin American Post is going to walk you through a few:

--In the mountain of Corcovado, a mountain of stone with 704 meters of altitude, is the monument to Christ the Redeemer. It can be climbed by a series of authorized and protected trails that lead right to the entrance of the monument, famous for being the world representative of the city and of Brazil.

-The trail begins at the door of the "Praça Afonso Aveiro" giving you the possibility to explore the peaks of various “Morros”.

-The feet of Christ the Redeemer, you can find the "Estrada das Paineiras". Along the way, visitors can find some sources of natural mineral water, as well as various observatories with exceptional views of the southern part of Rio de Janeiro.

-The viewpoint "Dona Marta" is located in the "Estrada das Paineiras", at 364 meters of altitude. Due to its privileged geographical position, it offers visitors a detailed view of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

-Mirador "Vista Chinesa";it was built between 1902 and 1906 in homage to the Chinese who brought the tea cultivation to Brazil in the beginning of the nineteenth century.  

-Waterfall that is 30 meters high, the "Cascatinha Taunay" is considered one of the places that best portrays the Tijuca's forest; this cascade received its name in honor of the French painter Nicolas Antoine Taunay.

There is a lot of beauty along the paths and trails, which offers an understanding of the conservation and preservation of the living ecosystems of the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro.

 

Latin American Post | Aldo Mauricio Leal

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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