Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Copacabana has a hidden gem. You just need to go through the military base in Leme to find it.

Forte Duque de Caixas overlooks the world-famous beach, and the trek up to the fort is well worth the price of admission. While the price to enter the military facility usually is R$4 for adults — approximately $1.30 U.S. — I arrived at 10 a.m., and the security officer said the tour was free that day. I went Tuesday, June 23.

A windy cobblestone path leads hikers through green vegetation, where numerous animals and birds can be seen and admired, including many Marmoset (Sagui) monkeys, one of the smallest monkey species in the world.

Here is a closer look at my visit to Forte Duque de Caixas:

Have you visited Forte Duque de Caixas? What was your experience like? Share your thoughts below.