If you trust tourist guides, the Botanical Garden would rank in the second half of top ten places to visit in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Definitely worth a visit, but not commonly associated with the usual stereotypical things to do in Rio. But looked at from a different perspective, the Garden is perhaps among the best romantic places to go for a stroll with your significant other. An oasis of calm in the midst of a bustling, never-ending-party-time Rio. It is cozy, shadowy, intimate and never crowded. In short: a great place for kissing, schmoozing, proposing, looking deeply into each other's eyes, sweet talking - that kind of stuff1.
The Researchers of this Entry have spared no expense and thoroughly surveyed the area for interesting locations. This list or guide is not exhaustive. There are obviously many more places in the Garden left to be explored by other Researchers.
The park is located at latitude -22,9673717 (S) and longitude -43,2250381 (W). The perhaps more useful street address is: Rua Jardim Botânico, 1008 in Rio de Janeiro. For the vast majority of taxi drivers in this city it is a no-brainer to get there if you just ask for 'Jardim Botanico' (pronounced: jar-DEEM but-AH-nicko). It is located north of Ipanema, still in the southern district (Zona Sul) which could be seen as the most touristic part of the city2. If you are standing underneath the Christ Redeemer's right armpit, look downward and you will see the Botanical Garden.
The Botanical Garden3 was created in 1808 as a part of a Botanical Research Institute (which is, at the time of writing (2015), still operational) and it is open to the public seven days a week from 8am to 5pm except on Mondays when it is open from noon to 5pm. Admission fees are inexpensive (comparable to the price of a cappuccino). Their website is mainly in Portuguese, but information in English can easily be found elsewhere.
Great Places for a Kissing Session
Walking around the Gardens, just wandering about, without an actual place in mind, can already be quite charming. The paths of the park are perfect for strolling, holding hands and whispering sweet words to each other. They are also great for stealing an unexpected surprise kiss, while the other is distracted trying to listen to the sounds of the place - birds and insects - or enjoying the plants and the overall quiet tranquility.
Some places are, however, definitely worth a more thorough visit. They exude pure romance and one will inevitably breathe it in and feel it as thick as the hot humid air.
Comoro Frei Leandro. This is a slightly elevated landmark in the park, with a construction on top called 'Casa dos Cedros'. It was built by Frei Leandro, director of the Garden between 1824 and 1829, using land that was taken over for the making of the Frei Leandro Lake (where the Vitoria Regia water lilies are). What makes this place perfect for kissing is the fantastic view of the lake and the parkland, while still being quite reserved and cozy. It is not to say that in an elevated place you are not totally exposed, but the vegetation around makes you actually think that you are being discreet. The Researchers thought they were and didn't find themselves in social media afterwards, so it is probably quite safe for intense kissing.
Lago Frei Leandro or Lago dias Vitorias Regias. The lake is one of the best known places in the Garden. It is so beautiful with the famous Vitoria Regia water lilies that you feel you are inside Monet's mind. The pond and its surroundings could not be more romantic, with the delicate scent of flowers, the serenity of water and the distant sound of birds. The Researchers could not help dedicating quite some time to contemplating beauty in this place and seeing it in each other's eyes, as they would quickly and madly fall into another romantic kiss.
The Fountain of Muses. The fountain is, perhaps, the main landmark in the Garden. It is located right in the central area of the park, by the end of the main avenue, the Avenue of the Royal Palms, another of the Garden's landmarks. This avenue is lined on each side with wonderful Royal Palm trees, most over 100 years old, some reaching over 125 feet in height. The fountain was made in England in the 19th Century and features the muses of poetry, music, science and art. Sitting on one of the benches around the fountain, contemplating the water and the Royal Palms behind, the Researchers started listening to tunes of light music from a distance. With hearts full of passion, that was a perfect place for another unforgettable kiss.
Caminho da Mata Atlantica. This is one of the places these Researchers enjoyed most. It is a path opened in a preserved fragment of the dense forestry typical of the south east region of Brazil called Mata Atlantica. It is approximately 600m long, begins in a waterfall and ends in a place named Aqueduto da Levada. Although worth trying, Researchers will have difficulty remembering the exact number of kisses exchanged on the pathway. By the time lovers get through, they will be so madly in love with each other that these Gardens will be turned into a mystical place.