Following pickup at your Rio hotel, travel southeast of the city to the Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden), located at the base of Corcovado Mountain.
When you arrive, follow your guide into this 346-acre (140-hectare) park, originally founded in 1808 by Portuguese King John VI. Walk down the Avenue of Royal Palms, lined with 134 massive palm trees that were planted at the garden's founding. With more than 6,000 different species of plants from around the world, including 900 varieties of palm trees, the garden was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1992 and operates as a research institute for botanical studies.
View Lago Frei Leandro pond, full of the largest water lilies in the world, native to the Amazon. Keep an eye out for marmosets and toucans hanging out in the garden's trees as you explore the old gunpowder factory and a variety of fountains and sculptures. Enter a greenhouse containing more than 500 types of orchids, a world-famous collection.
After your 90-minute guided tour, spend some free time wandering at your leisure. Check out the onsite Museu do Meio Ambiente, the botany library or the gift shop.
At the conclusion of your 3.5 hours at the Jardim Botânico, return to your Rio hotel for drop-off.