Inside one of the best neighbourhoods in Río, you will find this park with species from all over the word
If you want to escape the roads, this is where you should head
Jardim Botânico is one of the neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Río de Janeiro, and takes its name from this large green area within its perimeters. There is a higher standard of living here due to the abundance of single family homes, and it is not unusual to bump into a TV star on its streets. Amongst its main attractions is the Santos Dumont Square, bustling with people at weekends, and, of course the famous Botanic Gardens (www.jbrj.gov.br). Its origin dates back to the arrival of the Portuguese Monarchy in the city in 1808. It was at this time that King João VI ordered the construction of a large garden of Asian plant species, on top of an area that, at one time, had been a sugar plantation. Years later in 1824, the area was remodelled by Pedro I, who transformed it into what is now the Botanic Gardens, filling it with plants from almost every corner of the globe, and opening it to the public. Some of its most prominent features are the fountain on the central path, the beautiful orchids, lily ponds and, above all, Imperial Palms Avenue. These spectacular trees, today a symbol of Brazil, made the long trek from Mauritius in the 19th century.