Monday, September 5, 2011

Hiking in Floresta da Tijuca

You may be aware that the city of Rio has the largest green space park within its borders of any city in the world. Rio is a huge city – AND it has a HUGE park within its borders.

Some people shy away from the park because they think it is dangerous to walk through. But the park is an immense, inviting natural space that calls out to adventurers in the city and beyond.

There are more than 3,300 hectares (8,155 acres; 12.75 square miles) of forest with waterfalls, trails, animals, birds and insects.

As the story is told – back in the day the entire area was deforested and coffee was planted up and over the hills. Then after everyone saw the ecological havoc they had created, in 1857 approximately 100,000 seedlings were planted – over the next 13 years, to try and restore the forest. Slowly things came back to a “natural” state.
Then later, in 1874, for about another ten years, there was another planting campaign.

Now, Floresta da Tijuca acts as the lungs of Rio and attracts countless outdoor enthusiasts to see the waterfalls, the vistas and to simply smell the fresh air.

And that’s exactly what we did on Sunday. Luiz and I joined a guided group, lead by a fellow student of Luiz’s, to visit two waterfalls and climb to heights I thought not possible to get views and inspiration from the forest.
So beautiful.


Anonymous said...

Wow, I would love to hike through there. Great photos.

And look at you all thin and hot! You look great!

Danielle said...

Lookin' good! The park's not so bad, either. ;D

bee and jay said...

We're really hoping to get to the Forest when we get down there next year!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful place! Another to do, to add on my list of places to see in Rio.

Jim said...

The park has endless trails, and the air is so fresh!

Thanks for the kind words about my gradual shrinkage....

It was so nice to be hiking and not gasping!

The Reader said...

I had no idea that place! thanks for sharing.

Are the trails "guided tour only/recommended" or self-guided okay?

Jim said...

Reader - you can totally do this on your own. You can drive up to the visitor center (beyond the first incredible waterfall) and get a map. Park your car and embark.

Totally doable. And a wonderful day trip.

If you come to do it - ask againg...

Ray and Gil said...

This is beatiful Jim!
It is already on my to do list in Rio.
You look great by the way!
Thanks for sharing.


Gina said...

I did not know this huge gorgeous park was there! This is a big surprise for me and it has now put itself on top of my "TO DO" list of stuff to do when I go to Brazil. Thanks, Jim! Glad to see you doing well - you are going to look even hotter than ever! ;-)

Jennifer Souza said...

Thanks for the beautiful photos and history of deforestation/replanting.

Rachel said...

There's a little waterfall in the Floresta de Tijuca that has a good sized pool. In the summer it's the perfect place to take the kids in the morning!

Alex said...

Looks wonderful!

This should give people the idea to start reforesting the Mata Atlantica in places where its degraded, because looking at these pictures one would never guess that you were in a former coffee plantation!

Is'nt there another urban forest in Zona Oeste (pedra Branca?) that is even bigger than Tijuca? I can't remember.