Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ, an impressive 98 feet hight and more than 2, 326 feet above sea level, is one of Rio’s- and the world’s- greatest attractions. Sitting atop Rio’s Corcovado Mountain-lies the awesome statue-as a symbol of peace, he protects the Cariocas with his open arms. Voted one of the Seven Wonders of the world-gazing up at Cristo combined with breathtaking views over Guababara Bay offers one of the most thrilling and unforgettable experiences of a lifetime.
A little bit of History
Located in the Tijuca National Park overlooking the city of Rio-the statue is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, and was constructed between 1922 and 1931. The creation of this Seven Wonder perfectly embodies the multi-cultural influences inherent within the city. Although built by the Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, it was created by French sculptor Heitor da Silva Casta. Interestingly, the face of the stature was created by Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonaida.
Weekdays and high-seasons draw in large crowds, so try to go on a weekday if possible. Make sure the weather is good, being high above sea level in a rainforest, it is not uncommon to have zero visibility. Getting to this legendary figure can also be part of the adventure.
How to get to the top of Corcovado
Visitors can reach the statue in three different ways, by tram, by car, or by foot. Perhaps the most popular, accessible and exciting way to get there is the twenty-minute tram ride that winds through the Tijuca forest and up to the summit. Half way up, there will be men selling water bottles for hydration and it is not uncommon to spot Capuchi monkeys en-route.
Bus + Train: From Copacabana and Ipanema you can catch bus number 583 and from Largo do Mechado catch either the 422, 569 or 498 which all go to Cosme Velho from where the train departs. You can also buy the subway+bus integrated ticket that stops at the same stop. The train to the summit departs every 30 minutes between 8.30h-19.00h Monday to Sunday. Prices form the train (access to the statue) included is 51 R$ round trip Mon-Fi low season and 62 R$ high season plus all weekends and public holidays.
Taxi + Train: Same as above, only that you go by taxi to the train station at Cosme Velho. A lot faster if you live in Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon, but more expensive.
Hiking: For active adventurers, from the lake close to Parque Lage there is a trail going from the top of Corcovado which takes a few hours to climb to the summit. Hikers must be warned however, that there have been occurrences of mugging and other petty theft on the trails so it may be a good idea to leave most valuables at home. Since 2011, hikers now have to pay an entrance fee at the top.
Once arrived, visitors can stand in awe of the monumental man, which has kept an eye on the Cidade Marvilhosa for the last 80 years since the inauguration in 1931. Receiving over two million eager visitors each year, this is an unmissable experience of Rio.
Here are some more not to be missed Rio de Janeiro attractions