While the official name of Flamengo Park is Parque Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes, Rio residents know it only as Aterro—a name that translates as “landfill.” Lest you think this beautiful park is built on a festering trash heap, the name is derived from land that was used to fill a portion of the bay. Today, that fill is home to the largest park in Rio de Janeiro, encompassing nearly 300 acres of outdoor urban green space. This is where Rio comes to play as well as work up a sweat. Morning joggers and walkers line the park’s promenade at sunrise, and the action continues throughout the day with soccer, basketball, tennis, and volleyball on the park’s modern facilities. This is also home to the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art, as well as a sculpture that honors the soldiers who died in WWII. Visit on a weekend and you might find marathoners finishing a race at the park, or cyclists preparing for a long ride through the city’s Zona Sul. Whenever you visit, Flamengo Park is a unifying space for Rio residents and visitors, where the simplicity of a picnic or jog in the park is a pleasure that all can enjoy.
Flamengo Park is set in the Flamengo District about ten minutes south of downtown. The park is accessible by taxi and metro and best avoided at night. While a white sand beach runs the length of the park, swimming is generally discouraged in Flamengo due to high levels of pollution.