Rio's Stunning Botanical Garden

After our not-so-perfect morning at the Cristo Redentor, M and I needed our spirits lifted a little bit. Where to go on a foggy, cloudy day in Rio de Janeiro, the city of sand, surf, and views? The Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botanico) seemed like the perfect place – and they were!

To get here, we took the “express bus” from the Botafogo subway station. It’s called the “special bus that stops very few stops”. We were pretty much stopped the entire time, though, because of the ridiculous traffic that Rio should be known for.

Eventually, though, we got to the “Jardim Botanico” stop, and the bus driver motioned for us to get off. Whenever we travel, we use Google Maps and follow the GPS to see where we are on the map. It’s really handy, and all you have to do is download the map beforehand so you can access it offline. Google Maps said we were there, so we thanked the driver and hopped off the bus. 

The walk from the bus stop to the garden took a little longer than expected, but that's only because we I gapped on the first entrance. So, we had to walk a little farther to the main one. The entrance fee was only 9R (around $4), and once you enter, you can attempt to stroll around the entire park, which is 137 hectares (1.4 square kilometers). We didn't see every nook and cranny, but we did do 20,000 steps that day which I can only assume is attributed to our walk in the park. 

One of my favourite areas was the orchid gazebo. It’s even featured prominently in this Kygo music video, all of which is filmed in Rio and really puts this gorgeous city on display. Despite it being winter, there were quite a few flowers inside, and interesting Brazilian varieties of flowers I've never seen before.

Another famous part (also in the video!) is a walkway of palm trees, planted back in 1808 when the garden first opened. They’re so tall that my camera couldn’t fukky capture them. Tall trees are a big thing in this park – even the bamboo shoots had grown to a massive size!

During our afternoon in the park, we barely encountered other people. Maybe it was because of the weather (or because it’s winter and not much was blooming) but the Botanical Garden was blissfully quiet and calm.

Even if it's raining, the Jardim Botanico is a great place to spend a few hours relaxing from the hustle and bustle of the city. I was really impressed with the size of the garden, and all of the gorgeous flora and fauna. It's also perfectly romantic, and the perfect place to walk off all those Caipirinha's