Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro
Parque Nacional de Tijuca is the largest area of urban rainforest in the world, and is testament to the huge success of a reforestation scheme from the Brazilian government. When the Portuguese arrived, the area which is now the city of Rio was covered by dense green tropical forest. As the city grew the trees were felled and the timber used in construction or for charcoal. However, the mountains running southwest from the Corcovado are still covered with exuberant forest, the periphery of the Parque Nacional da Tijuca which covers an area of approximately 120 square kilometres, and is maintained by Brazil's State Institute of Forestry (IBDF). In the seventeenth century the forests of Tijuca were cut down for their valuable hardwood and the trees replaced by sugar cane and, later, coffee plantations and small-scale agriculture. By 1870 over 100,000 trees had been planted and the forest was reborn. Most of the seeds and cuttings that were planted were native to the region, and today the park serves as a remarkable example of the potential for the regeneration of the Atlantic forest
The Tijuca is all thats left of the Atlantic rain forest that used to surround Rio De Janeiro. It is near the city (15 mins drive) and is roughly about 120 sq km. This tropical jungle has beautiful trees from all over the world, creeks and waterfalls, mountainous terrain and high peaks. There are hiking trails and opportunities to glide of the edge and over the city. Families can have picnics in the park while taking in the countless birds, iguanas and monkeys. The Tijuca Rain Forest is a beautiful place to spend a relaxing day.
An easy to do hike is the one to the Cachoeira das Almas (waterfall of the souls).
It begins close to the park authorities' headquarter and passes through beautiful "jungle" pathes alongside a little stream until one finally reaches the waterfall. You can take a refreshing shower there. Really a very romantic place for lovers.
Begin the adventurous sport enthusiast that I am; While in Rio (vacation September 2007), I experienced hang gliding and it was most memorable adventure. I was given precise instructions prior to taking off, and the rest was in the instructor (Marcos Sampayo)'s hands. It was a great flight.
this is definitely worth it....i mean, when else are you going to be in brazil let alone in rio? so, the cab ride is about $30 from copa (USD). . . one way. you can take a bus but good luck with that. once you get to the forest, you can hike and hike to your heart's content. from the hills, you can see the canopy of the forest, with white trees that dot the canyon of green. it's lush, it smells fresh and your body will thank you for taking in the sweet air of brazil's contribution to the planet.
oh, there is also a restaurant near the entrance....i would sit outside by the waterfall.
The Floresta da Tijuca is an amazing example of an urban forest. There are existing different possiblities to discover this forest and see intersting flowers and animals! I can highly recommend to visit this natural sight of Rio de Janeiro!
The Tijuca National Forest is all what is left of the original rain forest that once surrounded Rio de Janeiro. The park is only open during the day time and it is quiet heavily policed. Various trails invite hikers and the serious hikers can climb up to the Pico da Tijuca which is 1012 meters high. For me it is simply astonishing to find this oasis right in the middle of Rio de Janeiro - since within minutes one is back in the bustling parts of town.
Home to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife, found only in the Atlantic Rainforest, the Tijuca Forest is the world's largest urban forest, covering some 3,200 hectares.
It's situated just a short drive from the financial center downtown, the North Zone and Rio's smart beach districts, its attractions include the Cascatinha Waterfallll, the Mayrink Chapel, the Excelsior Lookout Point and the Paul and Virginia Grotto.
This forest is a privileged place where nature and culture harmonize and complement each other.
This was a great trip to go on. The history in the forest and the whole adventure is worth it. Make sure you get a TOUR GUIDE. Otherwise it is not as good on a self guided trip. The waterfall were nice, the views were exquisite and it was a great place to visit.
To escape the noise and busyness of Rio I recommend coming here. Surrounding Corcovado is the dense, tropical Tijuca Forest which is 120 sq km of jungle right on Rio's doorstep. Once part of a Brazilian nobleman's estate, it's studded with exotic trees and thick jungle vines and is ideal to take a strol around. The forest has several waterfalls, of which the 35m high Cascatinha de Taunay is the most spectacular, and trails that can take you up to several peaks the highest of which is Pico da Tijuca at 1012m.
Near the Cascatinha de Taunay waterfall, which isn't far from the entrance, there's a car park where you can take jeaps up to the top. Me, I chose to take a walk which became a 6-7km hike (the road is quite twisty as you make your way up). It was nice to take in the peace and quiet and the trees and vegetation. There are a few small lakes, a visitors centre and a couple of restaurants on the way (one of which I stopped at, had a burger and chips and a chat with a family from my home country). All-in-all a pleasant afternoons walk if a little tuff going.
The Tijuca Forest is part of the Tijuca National park, and the hill of dona Marta is part of the park, and also one of the best stop for viewing the city of Rio.
Ghaith, my good friend from Jordan went there and it seems that he really had a very nice time there!;)
July 14th, 2005
Good to see my friends happy to see new things, and being able to understand that water is always present in life here in Rio. the Tijuca Forest is a enormous area of greenery and fresh air!;)
January 8th, 2005
This is a very large preserve with lush jungle and varied animal life, including monkeys. It is accessible only by car - it is very large and contains very steep hills. You may book a tour for about $45 per person, or rent a car and cruise yourself.
This is the biggest urban forest in the world with many tracks and trails to follow. There are numerous high points to walk to with great views of the city. Not to worry. The walks aren't that long.
You could also do a jeep tour. Go to: http://www.jeeptour.com.br/roteiros8.htm Be prepared, the site is in Portuguese.
The Tijuca Forest is the only rainforest located within a city. It is fantastic, with waterfalls, coffee plants, banana plants, wildlife, etc. One of the neatest plants in the forest is a tree whose leaves turn grey after it reaches 60 years of age!!! The group I was touring with hired a guide who drove us through the Tijuca Forest in a jeep.
The picture is of a plant whose leaves grow directly below each other. They have holes to let the sunlight through.