Savor the peace and calm in Ria Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is just the right place for you to do so. The lake is a calming mixture of park, recreation area and picturesque scenes. This is where the locals go to escape the hustle and bustle of life in the city. It is surrounded by what is considered the 'affluent South Side' of the city, such as Ipanema, Jardim Botanico, Copacabana, Leblon and Gavea. The lake is 7.5 kilometers in circumference and is surrounded by the mountains of Tijuca NP. The magnificent Cristo Redentor statue atop Corcovado Mountain can be seen from here. The lake provides you with access to the Reboucas Tunnel, which goes all the way to the northern zone of the city. Mind you, the view going from the tunnel and out into the lake is simple unforgettable. Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas is the lagoon that limits great part of the city's south zone (Zona Sul): Ipanema, Leblon, Jardim Botanico, Gavea and Corte do Cantagalo (way to Copacabana). It provides access to Tunel Reboucas, the tunnel that leads to the city's north zone (Zona Norte). The view of Lagoa after crossing the tunnel to Zona Sul is one of the most impressing and unforgettable sights you'll get from Rio. When in Rio de Janeiro, you just should stop by and go for a drive around the Lake. You can spend an idyllic afternoon just lazing about and relaxing. If you are on the more active side, you can also participate in some roller-skating, volleyball, basketball, tennis, roller-skating, horseback riding, jogging (it has a 4.6 mile running track), bicycling, soccer and some water sports. Whew! Yes, you have a cornucopia of activities you can choose from. Lagoa Rodrigo is also home to some of Brazil's country clubs, botanical gardens, gyms, nightclubs and a good set of restaurants. It is, in fact, the biggest outdoor gastronomic center in Latin America. Come nighttime, the scene becomes livelier as there are bars that serve up live jazz music. There is an unmistakably romantic air as the city lights are reflected in the calm waters of the lake. At Christmas time, the lake turns even more magical as it features a giant Christmas Tree set in a platform that is set floating around the lake. The lake is now boasts of a diverse collection of wildlife – fish, birds and other swamp wildlife live in profusion in the area. Jardim Botanico boasts of more than 8,000 species of flora from Brazil and other parts of the world. When in Lagoa, be sure to drop by Parque da Cacacumba (which has an open-air sculpture garden), Parque Dos Patins (which is the largest park in the area and has a playground and roller skating rink), Parque Das Taboas (which also has a skate bowl) and Parque Do Cantagalo (which features baseball, tennis, basketball, soccer and volleyball courts). Private clubs around the lake include Monte Libano, Caicaras, Piraque, Militar, Aabb, the Jockey Club, Paissandu and Hipica. This is also where you can find the headquarters of Flamengo, Rio's most popular soccer team.
Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas