Parque Natural Municipal de Marapendi

Rio de Janeiro

Near Barra da Tijuca's coastal strip, this155-hectare biological reserve has photogenic views over the Marapendi lagoon dotted with mangroves, towering jacarandas and other tropical tree species. There are lots of bird species (keep an eye out for rarities like the black-billed toucan), a few caiman and marmosets. There's also a small education center with info on the flora and fauna of the area.