Visiting Rio de Janeiro’s UNESCO Site: the Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea

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Last Updated on: 19th September 2021, 11:38 pm


I love the way that UNESCO names their sites. Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and Sea–the phrase might as well be the description of a movie with flying birds and lapping waves while the camera pans from the top of Corcovado down to the sea.

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The natural landscape in Rio is breathtaking, so much so in fact that I’d much rather show you pictures than try to describe it in words.


Everywhere you go in the city provides a fresh perspective on the curves and hills and sand. There’s Brazilian wildlife everywhere, so much so that you’ll spot a cheeky monkey almost everywhere you go!

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Copacabana Beach

From UNESCO’s description:

Cradled between these mountains and Guanabara Bay, the urban landscape of the city has been shaped by significant historical events, influenced by a diversity of cultures, is perceived to be of great beauty, and is celebrated in the arts, through painting and poetry in particular.

The property encompasses all the key natural, structural elements that have constrained and inspired the development of the city. These stretch from the highest points of the mountains of the Tijuca National Park with its restored Atlantic forest, down to the sea, and include the Botanical Gardens established in 1808, Corcovado mountain, with its statue of Christ, and the chain of dramatic steep green hills, Sugar Loaf, Pico, Leme and Glória, around Guanabara Bay, as well as the extensive designed landscapes on reclaimed land along Copacabana Bay which, together with Flamengo and other parks, have contributed to the outdoor living culture of the city.

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Map of Tijuca Forrest

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Visiting Rio de Janeiro's UNESCO Site: the Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea

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