Sunday, November 4, 2012

Running in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Tijuca National Park

After yesterday's great urban 20-mile long run around the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, I was very much looking forward to finding my way to the jungle and tropical/rain forest of this National Park, right in the middle of this huge city.
From my hotel area at the junction of Ipanema and Copacabana, I ran back to the Lagoon which I circled on the west side this time. I actually missed the road you need to take, R. General Garzon. If you are visiting Rio and up for this run, you can find this short but large avenue in front of the Piraque island which hosts the Naval Club.
The avenue goes both sides of a canal getting the water of the tropical forest into the lagoon:
After R. General Garzon, you keep straight on R. Pacheco Leao, along the Botanic Garden (Jardim Botanico). If you see mountain bikers riding along this road, you are on the right way as the park is a favorite destination for cyclists!

Make sure to turn right at this sign:
And then get prepared for 3 miles of a good/steep uphill!
While I found several sites talking about trails in the Park (English, Portugese, Jungle Me guided tours) but couldn't spot them, I stayed on the road which, fortunately, had very few cars on, this Sunday morning.

After you enter the park (restrooms on the right),
you first pass a water fall
then reach the Vista Chinesa belvedere
from which you get an amazing view of the city (especially when it's not as cloudy as it was this weekend...), from Corcovado on the left:
to Barra de Tijuca on the right:
The road keeps going up for another kilometer or so, then goes down for 3 miles to the entrance at the other end of the Park.
A few more pictures in my Picasa album, including a few shots from my visit of the famous Sugar Loaf, unfortunately mostly in the cloud this Sunday...
One more reason I was happy to have woken up early and captured other views of the city from Tijuca, definitely a park to visit and run into if you happen to be in town!

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