The botanical garden known as Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro is located on the south of the city in the Jardim Botanico district. It is situated at the bottom of Corcovado mountain, where Christ the Redeemer towers overhead. The botanical garden of Rio de Janeiro has a huge diversity of Brazilian and foreign plants. And visiting Jardim Botanico must be on everyone’s bucket list.
Jardim Botanico was founded in 1808 by Portuguese King John VI. The garden was created for acclimatization of plants from India such as: nutmeg, cinnamon and different types of pepper. The garden has the biggest library in Brazil specializing in botany.
The botanical garden contains a large variety of greenhouses on its territory and the best of them all is the Orchid greenhouse. It has over 2500 species of orchids. All the orchids are amazingly beautiful, there are so many different colours, shapes, smells, and sizes. Cody and I spent over an hour going from one to another and admiring these stunning plants.
Another part of the garden that you should not miss is the Avenue of Imperial Palm Trees. These palm trees were planted over 200 years ago, during the Portuguese colonial times. Jardim Botanico has over 900 species of palm tree. It is a fantastic palm tree alley that is a truly great for strolling and a fantastic spot for pictures.
Just walk along the avenue of Imperial palm trees and you will reach an old and beautiful fountain with the statues of Greek muses. There are benches nearby so you can take a few minutes rest and head to the artificial lake Frei Leandro. The lake is a home to stunning water lilies. Here you can have a proper rest and enjoy watching birds by the lake.
You also can find a medicine section in the botanical garden. There you will see some plants that everyone of us knows, like garlic or tomato and some exotic plants, that I for example never have seen. This section will be particularly interesting for those who want to learn where in medicine certain plants are used.
Although Jardim Botanico is a botanical garden by name, there are lots of animals and birds that are coming mostly from the next door Tijuca National park. You can easily spot a Toucan or two flying by the palm trees. The garden has become a home to lots of birds and some animals like monkeys, sloths, raccoons and opossums. Some of them you can see just at night but monkeys are rarely hiding from people.
At the entrance pay attention to a small lake full of turtles. All of them once were rescued by the garden and brought here. On sunny days you will see them taking a sunbath.
The easiest way to get to Jardim Botanico is by Uber. It will cost you around R$17 (≈ $3,8) if you depart from Copacabana and the ride will take just 10 minutes.
I wouldn’t recommend this way, but if you like the adventure, walking and not being scared of getting robbed then it is for you. The walking takes an hour and 15 minutes from Copacabana.
You can take a bus to Jardim Botanico which is the second most convenient way. Get on the #584 bus at Rua Do Quartel, Copacabana and exit at Rua Jardim Botanico. The ride will take around 40 minutes and the walk from the bus stop to the entrance takes 5 minutes.
I don’t recommend taking the subway to Jardim Botanico, since there are no close station and you will have to walk, take a taxi or a bus anyway. But if you set your mind on the subway then take a subway to Antero de Quentral. From there a hundred meters away take a bus #109 for 8 stops to Rua Jardim Botanico proximo ao 920 – 954 and walk for 5 minutes to the entrance.
Another way: take a subway to Botafogo subway station. From there take a metrobus to Jardim Botanico (4 stops) and walk for 10 minutes to the main entrance.
Hours: Monday: 12PM to 5PM; Tuesday – Sunday: 8 AM to 5PM.
Price: Adults R$15 (≈ $3,35) (Cash only!) Students and elders R$7,5 (≈ $1,68) ; Children under 5-years free of charge.
Time: you need around 3 – 4 hours.