This beautiful Lady is all about outdoors. With its hills, cascades, fauna and exuberant flora, Rio will always be a motherly paradise for hikers, climbers, cyclists, runners, surfers, paddlers and dancers alike. Rio is so magical that she even attracts the Penguins from the South.
But the greatest gift that our Lady can grant is the friendship of the locals "os Cariocas”. They are a jewel from heaven - Cariocas are wonderful, casual but yet sophisticated. In a sunny and happy day, Cariocas walk along the beach in all shapes and ages, alone or together. The elderly are not abandoned; the children are not without a loving hand.
But our Lady is so aware of the wonders of this world that she could not leave this land without a dark side for its own, so the contrasts can be appreciated, and the human-ness of the city can be felt. The dark side unfortunately enhances the beauty of this paradise and gives the Cariocas the human touch that fills the valley with violence, greed, poverty, abuse, fear and pain.
This place is real. But at the end of the day, the bright and dark side melts as Cariocas of all walks of life meet at their beloved Arpoador and together praise our Lady when she illuminates the city with the final colors of the day at sunset.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Botanical Gardens, Rio de Janeiro
During my week long trip to Rio de Janeiro I decided I needed a break from the beach. A friend from Sao Paulo recommended the Botanical Gardens so I gave it a shot. The gardens are quite elaborate and amazing. They were founded in 1808 by the King of Portugal and it is still known as one of the most diverse and largest tropical botanical gardens in the world. Some highlights include the Fountain of the Muses, the Amazonian Lily Pads and the Bromeliad House.
Rio de Janeiro’s parks embrace the city’s dizzying variety of plant and tree species as well as its beautiful landscapes. Here visitors can explore rain forest caves, see hundreds of varieties of orchids and Amazonian plants, and wander through gardens designed by a world-renowned landscape artist. One of the city’s most notable outdoor areas is Tijuca National Park, where you should keep an eye out for monkeys in the trees around you. At Jardim Botânico, travelers can stroll through famous rows of towering palm trees. Flamengo Park is the perfect place to watch football players score goals on fields framed by the sea. Pack a picnic lunch and explore!