When hundreds of travelers voice the importance of eco-tourism and new ways of preserving the nature, Rio de Janeiro boasts with the largest urban forest in the world. It is the outcome of human work and care, because all the trees and bushes were planted by people.
The locals call the forest “the lungs of the city,” which is understandable, as the forest occupies 7% of Rio’s territory. Moreover, it is not only located in the center of Rio de Janeiro, it also controls a variety of flora and fauna.
Some spots open a fantastic panorama to the city and let you have a peaceful minute to catch your breath. There are real waterfalls, life-challenging trails, and other features of a natural rainforest. The vegetation is extremely dense, so comfortable shoes are a must. If you are traveling on two wheels, you can enter the forest with your bicycle with a condition to stay away from riding in steep areas.
Better than a Zoo
Zoos are gradually becoming boring, because there is no adrenaline or intrigue. You know for sure that the bears will be in their cage, the lions are definitely not out into the wild, and monkeys won’t be able to revenge no matter how much you tease them. A real forest tour is a different sensation. You enter the world of animals and plants, not the opposite. The game rules shift, and a monkey can land on your head if it wants to. Caged animals look very dull compared to a free one staring at you from the tree. The experience is fun, but not scary. The animals are used to visitors, so monkeys will most probably choose not to pull your hair from your head.
Mornings are the best for visits to Tikuca Forest. Dress lightly, wear a sunblock, and invest in a bottle of water. It is advisable you don’t get rid of any smelly food products, otherwise monkeys might think that your hair needs to be pulled after all. Don’t take this as a rule, if you’re a good animal communicator and are not afraid of monkey slaps, feel free to interact with them as much as you’d like.
There is another advantage of Tikuca rainforest over a regular zoo. The rainforest incorporates a tour through botanical garden as well. You’ll have a chance to learn about the importance of rainforests and other ecosystems that exist on the shores of the Atlantic.
You can visit it either on your own or on a tour. The latter takes approximately 4 hours, maybe more, if there are any special interests for the group. The tour is organized on a comfortable jeep, with a few spots, where you will need to walk.
Generally speaking, the rainforest tour is a healthy and fun way to spend a day in Rio de Janeiro. It’s also an exclamation mark for other governments, who can follow the example of Brazil and save an entire ecosystem from deforestation. Everyone deserves a beacon of fresh air, even if they live in an urban city.