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Jardim Zoológico is located in the neighborhood of São Cristóvão. Inaugurated in 1945 and recently renovated to give the animals a better living space, there is a wide variety of rare and endangered Brazilian species including nocturnal ones. There is also a large walk-through aviary that is sure to thrill grown-ups and children alike. To make things even better for the kids, there is a shop selling stuffed animals from the various regions in Brazil.
Parque Lage is a beautiful public park in Jardim Botânico. Nestled at the foothills of the Corcovado mountain, this natural oasis is somewhat secluded and off most tourist maps. It is home to the former abode of industrialist Enrique Lage, from whom the park gets its name. Take the hiking trail and explore its subtropical plantations and mysterious spots, and make your way to the top of the peak. An oasis of greenery and tranquility amid the urban bustle, this sprawling park is a must visit to experience a breather.
Jardim Botânico or the Botanical garden makes for a fun and educational day trip with your kids. Spread across an area of 140.83 hectares (348 acres) and housing nearly 6000 species of plants and shrubs, it is a must visit attraction, while in Rio de Janeiro. You can also avail services of tourist guides who will take you through the garden and give an in-depth explanation on variety of trees and plant specimens.
The best place to visit to get an idea of what Rio once looked like, with miles of tropical rain-forests, walking trails, stunning views of the city, waterfalls, creeks and greenery. At this huge urban reserve, it only takes about 20 minutes to immerse yourself in nature. Serious hikers can climb to the summit of Pico da Tijuca, while others can simply enjoy the waterfall, Cascatinha Taunay, at the Alto da Boa Vista.