1. Rio de Janeiro: Botanical Garden Guided Tour & Parque Lage
After pickup head straight to the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro, the oldest such garden in Brazil. The gardens were founded in 1808, around the same time that the Portuguese Royal Family arrived in Brazil. Dom João VI, then a prince, wanted to see if Caribbean spices would adapt to Rio’s climate. Start with a visit to the Environment Museum before walking around the grounds and admiring the native vegetation. Enjoy the beauty of Frei Leandro Lake and victoria amazonica, a species of flowering plant and the largest of the Nymphaeaceae family of water lilies from the Amazon Rainforest. Admire the orchids and the bromeliads collections. Learn about 19th-century Brazilian history from your guide as you stroll amongst the buildings in the garden. Marvel at the beauty of Musas Fountain and explore Pedro Cachimbo rose garden. Take photos between palm trees and make a stop at the Japanese Garden, created in 1935 from the donation of 65 species of typical Japanese plants. As a bonus, enjoy complimentary access also to the Parque Lage. Explore the English-style gardens, forested trails, artificial caves, and the stunning mansion at the center of this beautiful park.