Parque da Catacumba
Avenida Epitácio Pessoa, 3000, Lagoa
2521-5540 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
NileGuide Expert tip:
A small park, Parque da Catacumba won't take up more than a couple of hours of your time. Head here in the morning and take in the views before enjoying lunch at one of the many good bars and restaurants that surround the nearby Lagoa.
Part park, part open-air art gallery, Parque da Catacumba sits close to Lagoa - Rio's beautiful city lake - but remains largely undiscovered by tourists. On the site of a favela that was destroyed in 1970 as part of a reforestation plan, the park features tropical plants and nature walks alongside dramatic sculptures by local artists. A great place to escape the crowds, here you're more likely to come across Rio's animal residents than hordes of tourists. Look out for monkeys reclining on the park's benches and exotic birds overhead, and be sure to take the steep trail that leads past bamboo groves to a viewpoint with stunning vistas over the Lagao and out across to Ipanema. Entrance to the park is free, and there are clean public toilets as well as bicycle storage spaces.