Enjoy the natural world at Parque Nacional da Tijuca (©Dabidy/iStock/Thinkstock)
This is one of the world’s largest areas of urban rainforest—an oasis for Rio locals plus for some 200 species of birds, small mammals, primates and endangered Atlantic coast rainforest plants. After infamous deforestation, most of what is seen today is natural regrowth and planned reforestation after centuries of deforestation. The first Europeans to arrive in the area cut down trees for use in construction. In 1861, in one of the world’s first conservation projects, the imperial government decided that Tijuca should become a rainforest preserve. Open daily 8am-5pm; 8am-6pm in summer. Entry prices vary.