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.