When it comes to ‘view points’ Rio is packed with spectacular options to choose from like Christo, Sugar Loaf, and Dois Irmãos but there is one you don’t hear about as often that truly is the best view of Rio de Janeiro and that is Vista Chinesa or Chinese View which is located in the district of Alto da Boa Vista tucked into the Tijuca Forest. History behind it: The name ‘Chinese View’ comes from the 100 Chinese farmers who came from the Portuguese colony of Macau, imported in 1812 by the Count of Linhares, at the behest of John VI, in order to test the responsiveness of the Brazilian soil for the cultivation of tea. The actual pavilion was built in 1903 in honor of the Chinese who came to Rio to cultivate tea.Things to keep in mind before you go: Since you are going for the view I suggest to go there in the morning; you’ll have the mist stretching out over the distant mountains – as well as the South Zone of Rio laid out below you with Christ standing tall above it all. If there are cloudy skies, don’t go as the view will be completely obstructed hint- if you can’t see the Christo statue from sea level, postpone the trip. Given the altitude it’s often a bit cooler, so bring a light jacket or a sweater. Also, don’t go alone… there are no regular police patrolling the area and there have been some robberies in the past so it’s recommended you go with a friend or in a group.
For the adventurous types try biking up from Jardim Botanica. I consider myself to be someone who is in pretty good shape and I found the bike up to be one of the most challenging things I have ever done as it is a very steep and windy road. I’ve heard it gets easier the more times you do it so if biking is your thing then stick with it. If you don’t have the time or aren’t in the mood for a 7.5km bike, it takes about 20 mins by car to get there. If you are into hiking, check back as I will be writing about the trails in the Tijuca Forest!