Bucolic neighbourhood has hidden treasures among its lush green

By Bruna Velon

A neighbourhood within a neighbourhood is perhaps the best description for Horto, which neighbours Jardim Botânico. Tranquility and fresh air greet whoever makes the trip up its gentle leafy hills, lined by charming houses and bungalows which give a provincial feel to the area. With all of these rare attributes, many artists, designers and brands have decided to set up here. There is greenery in abundance here for those that wish to appreciate nature from within a big city.

Take a dip in a waterfall

From the Estrada Dona Castorina, the access road to Vista Chinesa, by the Horto dam, it is about a 15 minute walk to the Box do Imperador Waterfall (otherwise known as Chuveiro), which is located on the Macacos River. Water falls uninterrupted for 20 metres and the cold cascade has created a pool of clean water, perfect for a refreshing dip. At the weekends it is best to go early because, as it is a waterfall with easy access, it tends to get very busy, especially in the summer.

  • Address : Rua Pacheco Leão, , Jardim Botânico


The roads through Tijuca Forest are some of the best spots in Brazil for a bike ride, but the hills are only for the most capable. Start on Rua Pacheco Leão, take a quick break in one of the waterfalls in the area (on the way up or back down) and continue until Vista Chinesa and Mesa do Imperador. For safety, always go with company and during the day. For those after professional equipment, head to outlets Intense Bike Shop or Renato Estrella. And if you want to combine the useful with the enjoyable, Bastarda is a “bike‐café” which sells clothes, cycling accessories as well making excellent special coffees and sandwiches.

  • Site: http://www.jbrj.gov.br
  • Address : Rua Jardim Botânico, 1.008, Jardim Botânico
  • Phone : +55 (21) 3874-1808 ou (21) 3874-1214
  • Schedule: Sun 08:00 às 17:00, Mon 12:00 às 17:00, Tue 08:00 às 17:00, Wed 08:00 às 17:00, Thu 08:00 às 17:00, Fri 08:00 às 17:00, Sat 08:00 às 17:00

A spot of shopping

Horto is a treasure chest of options for anyone that loves exclusive clothing brands. Multilabel outlet Dona Coisa s is one of the many gems, selling garments from over 60 Brazilian designers. CASA SOMA is space dedicated to fashion and design which promotes bazaars featuring invited guest brands, just keep an eye on their events page. Whoever appreciates design, should not miss the Gabinete Duilio Sartori, with décor items, feminine accessories and stationery located in a charming industrial‐looking  two‐story house.  Oba! Sells furniture and accessories for children’s bedrooms, but it is also a hit with adults. Famous designer Isabela Capeto has also set up shop in the area.

  • Address : Rua Lopes Quintas, , Jardim Botânico

Prosa na CozinhaLearn to cook

Cookery classes with talented chefs in a laid bacn environment. This is the idea of Prosa na Cozinha, started by cook Manoela Zappa, which is located in a charming space on Rua Lopes Quintas. Classes are always thematic and in groups. After learning the different techniques, methods of preparation, which wine goes with which dish, everyone, of course, tries each other’s meal. Cocktail lessons, bridal courses and classes for kids are also in planning, and during the week, at lunch time, there are the “aulas de express” (express classes). Always lasting one hour, they focus on lunch of executives that work in the area.

  • Site: http://www.prosanacozinha.com.br
  • Address : Rua Lopes Quintas , 147, Jardim Botânico
  • Phone : +55 (21) 3449-1002
  • Schedule: Mon 12:00 às 00:00, Tue 12:00 às 00:00, Wed 12:00 às 00:00, Thu 12:00 às 00:00, Fri 12:00 às 00:00

Visit galeries and studios

Horto does have a truly inspiring air about it. Good for creating as well as contemplating, qualities that have made the neighbourhood home for many studios and galleries. One of those is HAP, which is locaed in a charming mansion with diverse works of art by Brazilian artists. Traditionally, at the end of the week in August, the neighbourhoods studios open their doors for public visits during the Circuit das Artes do Jardim Botânico (The Jardim Botânico Arts Circuit), with activities in parallel as well as gastronomy.

  • Site: http://www.hapgaleria.com.br
  • Address : Rua Abreu Fialho, 11, Jardim Botânico
  • Phone : +55 (21) 3874-2796
  • Schedule: Mon 11:00 às 18:00, Tue 11:00 às 18:00, Wed 11:00 às 18:00, Thu 11:00 às 18:00, Fri 11:00 às 18:00