Sítio Burle Marx

Gardens in Barra da Tijuca & West of Rio

This 35-hectare estate was once the home of Brazil's most famous landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx. The estate's lush vegetation includes thousands of plant species, some of which are rare varieties from different corners of the globe. A 17th-century Benedictine chapel also lies on the estate, along with Burle Marx's original farmhouse and studio, where you can see displays of paintings, furniture and sculptures by the talented designer. Tours are by appointment only.

On the downside, it's a very long drive to get out here (either take a costly taxi or go by private vehicle, making sure you have a good map or GPS). Also, you're not allowed to wander on your own and there's no food at the museum.