Parque da Cidade


in Gávea, Jardim Botânico & Lagoa

On the outer reaches of Gávea, this lush park of native Mata Atlântica rainforest and replanted secondary forest provides a refreshing escape from the heavy traffic on nearby Rua Marques de São Vicente. Local residents come to jog here, to go for long walks with their dogs and to let their kids run about at the large playground.

A hiking trail connects the park with Solar da Imperatriz, an 18th-century colonial building that is today part of a school for horticultural studies, near Jardim Botânico; it's best to go with a local who knows the way, as the path isn't well marked, and the danger of assault is an unlikely but serious consideration. The trail starts near the small waterfall. The park also has a small chapel, and a 19th-century colonial mansion and museum that remain closed for renovations.