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Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden: a real wonder

The Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden is one of the attractions of the city that you should not miss. A magical place that may have little to do with what you imagine of this destination in Brazil. We tell you everything you need to know about it, from its history to what it houses, which is not little. Will you join us on this tour?

History of the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

Imperial Palms Gallery- Vinicius Pinheiro

To know the origin of the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden we must go back to the year 1808. It is the moment in which the Portuguese royal family goes into exile in Brazil, accompanied by their entire court. And it is also the date on which this city attains the status of seat of the Empire.

The prince-regent, João VI, then created the Jardim de Aclimação, which would be called that same year Real Horto. Its purpose was to acclimatize the species brought from the East Indies, such as nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper.

With the proclamation of the Independence of Brazil, the place was opened to the public in 1822, taking forms of botanical garden. The then director of it, Friar Leandro do Sacramento, was known for his studies of the Brazilian flora.

Its current name was not acquired until 1890, with the arrival of the Republic. More recently, In 1991, the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Characteristics of the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden

Orchid Garden – Breno Ottoni Fragiorge / Flickr.com

The Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden is an authentic natural jewel. It covers an area of ​​137 hectares and houses more than 9000 species of plants, many of which came from the Mauritius Islands and the Guianas. It also has several historic buildings and the Environment Museum.

Among the collections, the Bromeliary stands out., with more than 10,000 specimens of bromeliads. It is also worth noting the Orchid Garden, with some 3,000 specimens of 600 different species of this beautiful flower.

But the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden has many other interesting collections, such as that of Medicinal plants; the cactus one, one of the largest in the entire country; or the carnivorous plant greenhouse.

Other places of interest

lake park

In addition to the collections, mention must be made of the gallery of imperial palm trees as the main entrance. A curiosity: the first palm tree was planted by Prince João and it could be admired until 1972, when lightning struck it and knocked it down.

Enchanting corners are the Japanese garden, the section of the Amazon, where water lilacs float; or the Sensory Garden, designed for those who have some visual limitation.

Regarding the buildings, we should talk about the old façade of the Academy of Fine Arts, which was operational until 1908. You should also see Casa dos Pilões, one of the dependencies of the Royal Gunpowder Factory and an example of colonial architecture; or the Solar da Imperatriz, a beautiful mansion from the 18th century.

To know all this you can do a trip in jeep, which also runs through the interior of the Floresta da Tijuca. Can you think of a better way to enjoy nature while learning about the native flora?

Opening hours and price of the Botanical Garden

Japanese Garden – Rodrigo Soldon / Flickr.com

The Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro It is accessible from Tuesday to Sunday from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon. The only days of the year that you cannot visit are January 1 and December 25.

Regarding the price, admission costs 15 Brazilian reais. Meanwhile, those under seven years of age, those over sixty years of age, residents in Brazil or in countries that are part of Mercosur (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) can access completely free of charge.

Location and how to get there

I know located at Rua Jardim Botânico. To get there, you can use metro line 1 to the Botafogo station, where you have to transfer to the Botafogo/Gávea bus. Another option is to take bus 584, which goes from Copacabana to Ipanema, and get off at the Rua Jardim Botânico station.

After visiting it, It can be used to get to know other nearby charms, such as the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. It occupies most of the region and in its surroundings are the Parque das Taboas, the Parque da Catacumbas and the Parque dos Patins.

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