You haven’t been to Rio de Janeiro until you’ve paid a visit to the Christ the Redeemer Statue atop Corcovado Mountain. One of the new 7 Wonders of the World, the iconic statue is a breathtaking sight.
Christ the Redeemer City Tour
On a sunny afternoon in Rio, I was picked up for the Christ the Redeemer City Tour. The tour departed in an air-conditioned bus and picked up the rest of the passengers quickly in Copacabana and Ipanema.
We had a wonderful tour guide who immediately started giving us information about Rio de Janeiro and the statue, in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The bus took a scenic route along the beachfront and past the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, before heading to the Cosme Velho Train Station.
After a brief queue, we boarded the cog train and started the 20-minute train ride through the Tijuca Forest, ascending Corcovado Mountain. The train ride is relaxing and scenic, taking you through the lush forest, with great vistas through the trees of the city.
Once at the top, we were given an hour to wander around. To get to the very top, there is a lift, escalator and stairs. Reaching the upper viewing platform, the sight of the giant statue towering above you is breathtaking. Considering how small it seems from the rest of Rio, it is absolutely mammoth when standing at its feet.
The viewing platform extends out in front of the statue, allowing you to get a proper picture, as well as to enjoy incredible views over Guanabara Bay, Sugarloaf Mountain, the city centre and the Zona Sul. It does require some patience, given that it’s nearly always crowded at the top, and many people are competing with selfie sticks or lying on the ground to get the perfect picture of themselves with the statue. But since we were given enough time to spend at the top, we could take our time, waiting for the crowd to ebb a bit.
There’s not a great deal much else at the top of mountain. On the levels below the statue, there is a café, some concession stands and a few souvenir shops. After admiring the view, getting in my photos of the Christ and enjoying a much needed refreshment, it was back to the queue for the train to journey back down the mountain, and to be dropped back at the hotel.
Dos and Don’ts When Visiting Corcovado
- Do keep in mind that you are reliant on the weather for good views. Check the weather forecast before booking in order to get a sunny day. There’s no point going up if the statue is covered in clouds.
- Do be prepared for crowds at the top and some jostling to get a good picture.
- Do be aware that there are other ways to see Christ the Redeemer Statue on your own. However, pre-booking your tickets, particularly from the Cosme Velho train is important, or you need to be prepared for long queues.
- Don’t forget sunblock and a bottle of water!
By Nicole Eberhard