We got into Rio around 8:30am. We dropped our bags off at the rental and then headed over to the zoo and Natural History Museum. We caught a cab on the street and it cost us R50 (rip off). Little did we know that the zoo was about a seven minute drive, probably about R15. The park and zoo are wonderful though. That was a really good choice.They are located in a huge park reminiscent of Central Park in NYC.
We walked over to the zoo first. It was a bit of a walk to get there, but pretty fun once we arrived. The zoo costs R10 to get in for each adult. The toddler was free. The zoo is larger than I expected but in bad repair. It only costs about $3 to get in though so … why not? Lol
All of the normal animals are in attendance, but there are a few surprises. There is a petting zoo with farm animals including a few llamas (hi, Peru!). There is also a small kid play area but it was closed when we visited.
We spent about an hour wandering the zoo and didn`t see all the animals. It was very humid when we visited (late November). We left and wandered through the park until we came to the museum.
The Natural History Museum blew me away! It was wifi and a series of podcasts that you can stream about exhibits in English and Portuguese. There are dinosaur bones and t-rex heads and babies. There are activities for kids to do throughout. The day we went, there was coloring in one hall and a lady with a huge bird in another hall. I was too scairdy cat to go to her though. Lol
There is a room all about the connection between Africa and Portugal as it pertains to the enslavement of Black people. There is a great huge basket? Made from material that shows black bodies being enslaved, two huge swords, a black body holding a basket full of heads. I`m not sure what it means, but I hope it means that enslaved people scrapped back (shout out t0 Zumbi of the quilombos!).
This museum has everything from dinosaur skeletons and mummified bodies to dolls representing the African diaspora and exhibits about the solar system. The museum used to be a palace and sits on a tract of land with a huge garden out front. I had a great time walking around and would go again.
After we finished in the park we crossed the street and took a bus back to Copacabana. Of course, we exited the bus and went the wrong way. We walked and walked until I stopped and asked some cops for directions. After a twenty minute conversation about where we wanted to go and how we could get there from where were, we took off walking again. Eventually, we made it back to the rental house.