Curitiba’s oldest park, Passeio Publico opened in 1886 with an abundance of natural forest space and many species of small and native vegetation. For a period during the 19th century, it served as Curitiba’s Botanical Gardens, and visitors may still find various species of trees and shrubbery as they stroll the winding trails. The location is considered an ecological sanctuary today, housing a lake with islands, a cave, a suspension bridge and a floating stage. On Saturdays, visitors can also wander an outdoor local organic market or paddle the lake. Bicycles are also available for rent to ride within the park limits.
The city’s zoo is also located here with a fair number of animals, from spiders, reptiles and exotic fish to native birds and small mammals, including the largest group of muriquis (woolly spider monkeys) under captivity today.
Set between Rua Carlos Cavalcanti, Avenida Joao Gualberto and Presidente Faria, Passeio Publico is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The zoo is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Paddle boat rentals cost R$10 per hour and bicycle rentals cost R$2 per hour.