Undoubtedly you can find idyllic beaches, scorching Sun and a lively party life in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil. But for those who are after a more tightened lace with nature, the Highway Brazil Tip is: ‘birding’ in the wonderful city. So how about enjoying a sunrise to the sound of nature with a little adventure? Birdwatching in Rio de Janeiro.
Amongst fancy apartment buildings, imposing favelas and that typical metropolis chaos, there are lots of places to birdwatch. To start off with just look at the sky. Visible even while you come in by plane to land, hovering high in Rios’ skyline are three of the world’s five frigate bird species that can also be seen around the Brazilian coast. And more than 600 of the 1904 birds species encounterd in Brazil can be spotted in Rio de Janeiro. In comparison Europe has approximately 700 species in all of its extended territory.
So HB listed some places which will delight you with natural beauty from the remaining Atlantic Rainforest.
01 – The ‘Botanical Gardens’ and the ‘Tijuca’ Forest
For those who don’t want to leave the big city, one good option is the Botanical Garden, an oasis in the concrete jungle. Created during the reign of Emperor Pedro II (Peter the II), who restored the Tijuca Forest in the XIX century, the site boarders the Tijuca National Park (the worlds largest urban forest). The bird list for the park is nearly 200 species and still growing.
Besides offering a sample of the Brazilian ornithological variety, the Tijuca Park has many recreational options such as trails, waterfalls and miradors. The highlight is the Chinese View, considered one of the best views of Rio de Janeiro. The site has a small temple in chinese style in honor of those who migrated in the mid 19th century to cultivate tea. From there you can see the Corcovado, Pão de Açucar, Guanabara Bay, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and the south side beaches.
Service: All week | 8am – 5pm. More information: +55 (21) 2492-2252| http://www.icmbio.gov.br/parnatijuca/guia-do-visitante.html
02 – Serra dos Órgãos National Park
With 462 birds species listed, this park is located a few hours from the capital, Amongst the towns of Teresopolis, Petropolis, Magé and Guapimirim – Famous for the bizarre shapes of its mountains, this region has the largest network of trails in Brazil. More than 130 kilometers of trails in all levels of difficulty: from suspended trails (accessible by wheelchair) to the heavy Crossing Petrópolis-Teresópolis. Its also regarded as one the best weather/climate in all of Brazil due tos its altitude and home tp some of the best crafted beers.
The highlight of the tour is the spectacular geological formations like the Finger of God, considered a starting point of climbing in the country, and the Devil’s Needle, chosen as one of the 15 best rock climbs in the world.
Service: All week | 08am – 05pm. Between 06am – 8am and 05pm – 10pm only with advance purchase of tickets. More information: +55 (21) 2152.1100 | http://www.icmbio.gov.br/parnaserradosorgaos/
03 – Itatiaia National Park
Just a three hour drive from the city of Rio, Itatiaia was the first national park created in all of Brazil, in 1937. Located in the Mountain range between the states of Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, the park has 357 birds species cataloged in an area 30,000 hectares large.
The park is divided into two parts. In the lower area with the waterfalls and the forest full of ‘Paineiras’, ‘Cedars’, ‘Jequitibás’, orchids and begonias. The walk amid the trails is light and, in half an hour, you can reach the waterfalls and miradors. On the plateau – the highest part bares rock formations like the ‘Agulhas Negras’ peak (Black needles) and harborss tree species like pine-Parana and maritime pine. All week. More information: (24) 3352-1292 | http://www.icmbio.gov.br/parnaitatiaia/guia-do-visitante.html
Curiositity: Recently, in the interior of Minas Gerais, an ornithologist took a shortcut to work and managed to record a rare species of bird that was not seen for 75 years. So, the odds are great!
Got interested? Monthly, the Bird Watching Club of the city holds meetings at the Botanical Garden (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org). There are several specialized tourism agencies that provide this kind of service. You can hear and see some os the most interesting species founded in Brazil at www.wikiaves.com.br.
Basic tips for birdwatching:
You only need watchful eyes and sharp ears
It is interesting to take a camera, but it is not essential
Repellent for mosquitoes is a good idea to walk the Brazilian nature