Macaé has a big rural area that allows a physical sustainable growth in a planned manner. The city has Atlantic Forest and important water resources, many protected by law. The urban area represents only 10% of the total municipality area. The city is awarded with Embratur’s (Brazilian Tourism Institute) Selo de Ouro do Turismo (Tourism Gold Seal).
Sana District, surrounded by Atlantic Forest and filled with waterfalls, was declared environmental protection area. The goal is to promote sustainable growth, preserving natural resources, and, therefore, developing a better tourism.
Macaé River is the city’s main water resource. It is responsible for supplying the city and thermal plants. Macaé has maintained a though environmental policy, creating new conservation units and investing in sanitation.
Atalaia Municipal Park
Atalaia Municipal Park is located in two districts: Cachoeiros de Macaé and Córrego do Ouro, 27 kilometers from downtown Macaé. The Park covers 235 hectares – 75% of dense forest – and it is one of the few Atlantic Forest reserves still intact in the state of Rio de Janeiro. It is located in the area of old Atalaia Farm, and used as the city’s first water resource.
Forest remnants as Jequitibá, Vinhático, Fig Tree, Braunstone, Pau-d'alho are some of the flora species found in the site. Atalaia’s fauna is also rich and diverse. Some species are: wild dogs, ferrets, otters, howler monkeys, parrots, armadillos, skunks.
Atalaia is also a good place for adventurers who love hiking. There are trails that can challenge professionals and amateurs. The groups are led by the park teams, formed by guides, Environmental Guard agents and biologists.
Atalaia Municipal Park has a good physical infrastructure – with an administrative center, a restaurant and a community center – built with compensatory fund for the construction of Mário Lago Thermal Plant, in 1995.
From : Tuesday to Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Telephone for group scheduling: (22) 2762-4802 (must be scheduled a week in advance).
Restinga de Jurubatiba National Park
Jurubatiba National Park is the only conservation area dedicated to restinga vegetation. It is one of the largest environmental treasures of the country. Established by Federal Decree, in April 24, 1998, Jurubatiba is a Federal Conservation Unit focused on conserving natural heritage for scientific, educational, landscaping and recreational purposes. The Park is located not only in Macaé, but also in the cities of Carapebus and Quissamã.
There are 44 kilometers of beaches and 18 coastal lagoons in the Park. The place is a shelter for many fauna and flora restinga species at risk of extinction. New species were also found. In fact, Jurubatiba is one of the Conservation Units with higher number of scientific researches in progress.
Jurubatiba also keeps the well preserved part of Campos-Macaé Channel, which took almost 30 years to be built by slave labor, with length of 104 km.
The place is one of three Brazilian national parks where is possible to watch the coexistence of environment conservation and sustainable development of a fishermen population that has been fishing in the area even before the opening of the park. It was granted authorization to fish in Carapebus lagoon – one of the most abundant in fish in the region – to 25 fishermen families.
Visitation and information
The park is open to visit the whole year, but the best period for visitation is summer. Tours are allowed from Thursday to Sunday and holidays. In case of solicitation for tours on non-visiting days the decision will be taken by the head of the Park.
Visitation time: from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Headquarters: Rodovia Amaral Peixoto, km 182, nº 5000, Barreto, Macaé/RJ.
Visitors’ Center: João Francisco Beach, Quissamã/RJ.
Telephones: Macaé (22) 2765-6024 / Quissamã (22) 2492-2252 / 2253.
União Biological Reserve
The land where União Biological Reserve is located belonged to Mr. Joaquim Luiz Pereira de Souza, father of Washington Luis, born in Macaé, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil from 1926 to 1930.
With a total area of 2,922.92 hectares, in the cities of Macaé, Rio das Ostras and Casimiro de Abreu, União Biological Reserve was established by Federal Decree in April 22, 1998. Its goal is to grant protection and recovery of the Atlantic Forest remnants and also to protect one of the largest population of golden lion tamarin in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
The Reserve also grants protection to other animals at risk of extinction such as chauá parrot, gavião-pomba, preguiça de coleira, sabiá-pimenta, gato-maracajá, onça-parda, inhambu anhangá, araçari do bico branco, pixoxó, cigarrinha, camabada de chaves, porco do mato and tiriba-grande.
Visitation and information
Visitation in Biological Reserves is only allowed for educational purposes (Law nº 9.985/00 - SNUC).
In União Biological Reserve, tour visits take place in Trilha Interpretativa do Pilão, a moderate difficult trail with Atlantic Forest theme – its biodiversity and the environmental services done for the forest.
The tours are guided and made in groups. There is a minimum of 10 people and a maximum of 20 for guided tours.
Visits must be scheduled by telephone: (22) 2777-1115/1113 or e-mail: email@example.com
Address: Rodovia Br 101, Km 185, Rocha Leão, Rio das Ostras/RJ.
Telephones: (22) 2777-1113 / 2777-1115 / 9833-4500 / VOIP (61) 3103-9910.