Tijuca National Park

Located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Tijuca National Park (in Portuguese: Parque Nacional da Tijuca) is a Brazilian urban protected area that is a must-visit when traveling to the city. It offers an unforgettable experience and a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Rio de Janeiro, with various trails filled with vegetation and wildlife. The park boasts stunning views.

Tijuca National Park Information

Tijuca National Park

Geographical Location

Nestled amidst the bustling city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tijuca National Park is located at coordinates 22°57′47″S latitude and 43°14′41″W longitude. This beautiful park is nestled in the heart of the city, providing a natural oasis amid the urban hustle and bustle, where visitors can enjoy outdoor adventures, breathtaking views, and a rich diversity of flora and fauna.

Brief History of the Park

Established on July 6, 1961, Tijuca National Park covers an area of 3,953 hectares, including the Tijuca Forest. Its presence is vital for the city of Rio de Janeiro, as it plays a fundamental role in preventing hillside erosion, floods, and landslides, as well as helping reduce air pollution. It plays a crucial role in maintaining water sources that supply the city, contributing to the quality of life for its residents and the preservation of the natural landscape that attracts tourists.
The value of preserving this park is closely linked to the well-being, health, and prosperity of Rio de Janeiro, making it one of its most cherished treasures. In recognition of its ecological importance, in 2012, UNESCO declared it a Biosphere Reserve. Thanks to the preservation of this natural space, the city’s reconstruction is promoted, and tourism is encouraged, offering visitors a unique experience full of outdoor adventures and a rich variety of flora and fauna.

The management of Tijuca Park is carried out by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation.

Park Sectors

It is the second smallest national park in Brazil, yet it holds immeasurable value for the country due to its central location in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Its extension is fragmented because it blends and crosses urban areas. Physically, it is divided into three distinct sectors:

  1. Sector A: This sector encompasses the Tijuca Forest, a lush area of tropical vegetation.
  2. Sector B: In this part of the park, you’ll find the Carioca Mountain, the famous Corcovado Peak, and the area known as Vista Chinesa, which offers breathtaking panoramic views.
  3. Sector C: Here, you’ll find places like Pedra Bonita, Agulhinha da Gávea, and Pedra da Gávea, which are popular destinations for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Biodiversity in the Tijuca Forest: Rio de Janeiro’s Lungs

Agouti in Tijuca National Park


Within this park, various types of flora thrive. In total, there are 1,619 plant species, with 433 of them considered endangered, including species like angico (Anadenanthera colubrina), quaresmeira (Tibouchina granulosa), embaúba (Cecropia glaziovii), paineira (Ceiba speciosa), ipê-amarelo (Handroanthus chrysotrichus), jequitibá (Cariniana legalis), cedro (Cedrela odorata), copaíba (Copaifera langsdorffii), pau-ferro (Libidibia ferrea), brejaúva (Astrocaryum aculeatissimum), juçara (Euterpe edulis), sonhos d’ouro (Psychotria nuda), orchid (Brasilaelia crispa), bromeliad (Aechmea fasciata), and begonia (Begonia tomentosa).
These diverse plant species are a testament to the richness and fragility of the park’s ecosystem and underscore the importance of its conservation to preserve this valuable biodiversity right in Rio de Janeiro.


It is home to both native species specific to the region and some introduced species by humans. Among the most well-known animals in the park are three carnivores: the Savannah Fox, the Common Coatimundi, and the Squacco Raccoon. However, the diversity doesn’t stop at these three, as there are other species inhabiting the protected area.
Parrots and biodiversity in Tijuca National Park, Brazil
Among the mammals, you can find the common marmoset, a small primate endemic to the region, and the collared anteater. Birds like the Brown-throated Parakeet can also be spotted, making birdwatching a fascinating activity in the park. Additionally, there is a wealth of snakes, spiders, and insects contributing to the richness of the park’s biodiversity.

It’s important to note that reforestation efforts with non-native species have been undertaken in the past to improve vegetation cover, but current conservation efforts primarily focus on protecting and maintaining native flora and fauna, respecting the ecological balance of the ecosystem. Visitors can enjoy the wonderful experience of exploring this unique habitat and observing the wildlife that inhabits it, always with a commitment to preserving and respecting nature.

Recommended Activities

Hiking and Trekking

Explore nearly 200 kilometers of trails in Tijuca National Park, suitable for various difficulty levels. Even seniors and those with reduced mobility can enjoy the Dom Pedro Augusto trail, which provides facilities for the visually impaired and wheelchair users. More adventurous visitors can venture onto long-distance, high-difficulty trails such as the Circuito dos Picos and Pedra da Gávea.

Pico da Tijuca Summit Trail

An exciting trail that takes you to the summit of Pico da Tijuca, the highest mountain in Tijuca National Park. Enjoy lush vegetation and panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro. It’s recommended to wear appropriate footwear, bring water, and hike early in the morning to avoid the heat.
Primates in Brazil's Atlantic Forest on Tijuca Mountain

Parque Lage Hiking Trail

Parque Lage offers various hiking routes that allow you to explore its natural beauty. You can walk through lush gardens, pass by lakes and waterfalls, while surrounded by diverse flora and fauna. Additionally, the park features trails leading to viewpoints where you can enjoy panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro and its surroundings. It’s an ideal experience for nature and adventure enthusiasts.

Cachoeira das Almas (Cascada de las Almas) Trail

The Cachoeira das Almas trail will take you to the Cascada de las Almas. During the hike, you’ll immerse yourself in the lush rainforest as you follow a stream. You’ll reach the waterfall, where you can cool off and enjoy the serenity of this natural spot. The hike is an enriching experience that allows you to connect with nature and delight in the sound and sight of the waterfall in the midst of the carioca jungle. Remember to wear suitable hiking shoes and enjoy the wonderful natural beauty offered by this trail.


Enjoy various suitable asphalt trails for running and walking in Tijuca National Park. The Paineiras recreational area, closed to cars on weekends, and the internal trails of the Forest Sector are notable options.


Experience the thrill of cycling on all the roads within Tijuca National Park, especially at Vista Chinesa, which has shared road signage for added safety. Additionally, you’ll find totems with maps and location information, including altitude.

Rock Climbing

For climbing enthusiasts, the park offers over 300 climbing routes on its mountains. Beginners can practice at Campo Escola das Paineiras or Campo Escola 2000, near the Paulo e Virgínia cave in the Forest Sector. More experienced climbers can enjoy trails on Pedra da Gávea, Pico da Tijuca, and even a big wall on Corcovado.

Swimming in Waterfalls

Embrace the Carioca tradition of bathing in the park’s waterfalls after a day at the beach. Some of the most famous waterfalls include Horto (Primatas, Quebra, Chuveiro, among others), Cachoeira das Almas, and the Paineiras showers.


Enjoy stunning park views with minimal effort. Numerous viewpoints along the roads and trails offer panoramas of the park and the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. The most famous of them all is the Corcovado viewpoint. For those with a bit more energy, Mirante da Cascatinha in the Forest Sector provides a beautiful view of the Conde Hills, Andaraí Maior, and Tijuca, all with the convenience of the recently installed wooden platform.

Hang Gliding

Experience the thrill of hang gliding at the famous and bustling Pedra Bonita ramp, one of the most renowned spots in the world for this activity.

Tourist Attractions in the Park

Attractions in Tijuca National Park: recommended visits

Christ the Redeemer and Corcovado

Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer are two of the most iconic landmarks of Tijuca National Park and Rio de Janeiro as a whole. At the summit of Corcovado, you’ll find the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, which offers stunning panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.

Historical Valley Circuit

The Historical Valley Circuit is a route that allows visitors to explore the rich history of the park. Along the way, you can discover ancient buildings, historic trails, and remnants from the colonial era, providing a fascinating experience for history and culture enthusiasts.

Peaks Circuit

This circuit is perfect for hiking and nature lovers. It covers various peaks in the park, allowing hikers to enjoy spectacular panoramic views and a close connection with nature.

Paineiras Trail

The Paineiras Trail is a scenic route that cuts through lush forest and leads to the summit of Corcovado. It’s a popular option for visitors who want to reach Christ the Redeemer on foot, enjoying the natural surroundings as they ascend.

Mirante Dona Marta

Mirante Dona Marta offers one of the most impressive views of the city of Rio de Janeiro. From here, visitors can enjoy a 360-degree panorama that includes Guanabara Bay, Sugarloaf Mountain, and other iconic landmarks.

Vista Chinesa

Vista Chinesa is another panoramic viewpoint that provides a spectacular view of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a perfect spot to appreciate the park’s natural beauty and the city from a privileged perspective.

Emperor’s Table (Mesa do Imperador)

Emperor’s Table is a popular picnic area in the park, where visitors can enjoy a moment of rest and relaxation surrounded by nature and beautiful landscapes.


The park features several waterfalls, offering the opportunity to cool off and enjoy a tranquil and serene environment. It’s an ideal place to connect with nature and relax.

Fairy Lake (Lago de Hadas)

Fairy Lake is a charming small lake nestled in the middle of the forest, surrounded by lush vegetation. It’s a magical place for a stroll and to enjoy the peace and beauty of the surroundings.

Excelsior Viewpoint

The Excelsior Viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the bay of Rio de Janeiro. It’s an ideal place for taking photographs and appreciating the park’s natural beauty.


The park houses several natural caves, adding a touch of mystery and adventure to the exploration experience. These caves can be discovered along some hiking routes.

Soledad Dam

The Soledad Dam is a picturesque spot where visitors can enjoy the view of the reservoir and the surrounding nature. It’s a relaxing site for spending time outdoors.

Pico de Loro

Pico de Loro is another prominent peak in the park, offering hikers an exciting ascent and a panoramic view as a reward.

Pico Tijuca

Pico Tijuca is the highest peak in the park, and reaching its summit is an exciting challenge for hiking enthusiasts. From the top, you can enjoy an unparalleled panoramic view.

Pedra da Gávea

Pedra da Gávea is an imposing rock formation renowned in the park. It’s a popular challenge for climbers and offers amazing views from its summit.

Beautiful Rock (Hermosa Piedra)

The "Beautiful Rock" is a generic name referring to different rock formations and scenic viewpoints found throughout the park. Each one offers a unique and beautiful perspective of the natural surroundings.

Practical Visitor Information

Best Time to Visit

You can visit year-round. However, it’s important to consider some season-specific considerations.

Tijuca Forest Sector

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm (and until 6 pm in the summer). Accredited visitors have access from 7 am.

Serra da Carioca Sector

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm (and until 6 pm in the summer). At Corcovado, the visiting hours are from 8 am to 7 pm (and until 8 pm in the summer). Parque Lage has hours from 8 am to 6 pm (and until 7 pm in the summer), or until 10 pm with management authorization.

Pedra Bonita / Pedra da Gávea Sector

Open daily from 8 am to 5 pm (and until 6 pm in the summer). The visiting hours for Pedra Bonita are from 8 am to 5 pm (and until 6 pm in the summer), and for Pedra da Gávea from 8 am to 5 pm (and until 6 pm in the summer).

How to Get to Tijuca

To reach Tijuca National Park, there are different routes and means of transportation available:

Access to the Tijuca Forest Sector

It is located at Praça Afonso Vizeu, Alto da Boa Vista. You can reach it by going up Estrada do Alto from Barra da Tijuca (Av. Edson Passos) or from Tijuca (Estrada das Furnas). Bus lines 301, 333, 308, 309, and 345 will take you to the park entrance. Cachoeira das Almas, a place with free bathing facilities, is about 3 kilometers from the entrance.

Access to the Serra da Carioca Sector

You can access it from the neighborhoods of Cosme Velho (R. Almirante Alexandrino) or Alto da Boa Vista (R. Amado Nervo), both towards Paineiras and Corcovado. Bus lines 583, 584, 569, and 570 will take you to Cosme Velho, where you should take a private vehicle, van, or taxi to Paineiras. You can also go up Rua Pacheco Leão towards Vista Chinesa and Mesa do Imperador by car, taxi, or bicycle. If you prefer to walk, you can take bus line 409 and get off at the final stop in Horto, then follow the road to enter Tijuca National Park.

Access to the Pedra Bonita / Pedra da Gávea Sector

You can reach it from Barra da Tijuca (Estrada Sorimã) or São Conrado (Estrada das Canoas). It is mainly recommended for hang gliding and mountaineering activities. To reach the beginning of the Pedra da Gávea Trail, which is approximately 1 kilometer from the main road, you will need private transportation. However, you can also take bus 448 in São Conrado (Maracaí), which goes up Estrada das Canoas and continues to Alto da Boa Vista, passing through Estrada da Pedra Bonita. This access leads to Caminho da Pedra Bonita, which leads to the attractions of Pedra Bonita and Pico da Agulhinha.

Pretos Forros/Covanca Sector

At the moment, this area does not have visitor facilities and is not available for visitation due to its recovery status.

Entrance Fees

For those traveling by car or on foot: Children up to 12 years old are exempt from payment when accompanied by an adult, tourist guides with an updated EMBRATUR card, and Brazilian or foreign visitors with permanent residence in Brazil and aged 60 or older. The entrance to the monument is at Paineiras, where there is parking for cars and motorcycles. From there, vans transport visitors the rest of the way to the Christ the Redeemer statue.
For those taking the train from Cosme Velho: Children under 6 years old and Brazilians aged 60 or older do not pay. You can purchase tickets at the RioTur kiosk (Rua da Candelária, 9 – Centro) or on the website www.tremdocorcovado.rio.

For those taking a van: Tickets can be purchased at the Local Ticket Office, at Copacabana’s Praça do Lido, at the kiosk in Largo do Machado, or on the website www.paineirascorcovado.com.br.

Important Note: Walking to Christ the Redeemer is not recommended for safety reasons, as there are no sidewalks that allow visitors to safely ascend. It is preferable to use the mentioned transportation options to reach the monument safely and comfortably.

Safety and Environmental Respect Regulations

Bathing in rivers is allowed in most of the park, except in the Floresta da Tijuca sector, where it is only allowed at Cachoeira das Almas and Represa dos Ciganos. Soaps, oils, or other personal hygiene products are not allowed in these areas.

  • Carrying weapons, hunting materials, fishing equipment, or any harmful activity to wildlife and flora is prohibited unless for scientific research or UC (Conservation Unit) management purposes.
  • Collective sound devices are not allowed inside the park, except within buildings.
  • Lighting fires and candles is prohibited to preserve the ecosystem and prevent fires.
  • The entry or presence of domestic or exotic animals in the park area is not allowed, except for guide dogs for the blind as required by applicable law.
  • Camping or overnight stays in the park are not allowed to protect the environment and visitor safety.
  • The maximum speed for motor vehicles within the park is 30 km per hour to ensure visitor and wildlife safety.
  • The use of bicycles is not allowed on the trails of PARNA Tijuca to protect the flora and fauna of the area.