Guide to the Christ the Redeemer

As one of the most iconic images of Brazil, the Christ the Redeemer is on almost everyone’s bucket-list when they come to visit Rio de Janeiro. The statue is an imposing monumental in its own right, yet the real joy of going there lies in the panoramic views overlooking the city and its extraordinary coastline. To get the most out of your trip to Christ the Redeemer, here is a complete guide to visiting this must-see landmark.

*UPDATE: (11th July, 2017) Since publishing, we decided to update our hike section. In the last 2 weeks, 58 hikers have been robbed on the forest-trail up Corcovado that begins at Parque Lage and leads up to the Christ. As a result, the path has been closed to the public and for now is no longer accessible. We recommend you take the bus or van up to the top for now and we will keep you posted when this situation changes.

There are three ways to get up to the Christ the Redeemer statue – by van, by train, or hike your way up.

Guide to the Christ the Redeemer
Guide to the Christ the Redeemer
Guide to the Christ the Redeemer
  • Going by train

The train (or bondinho as it’s known in Portuguese) slowly ambles up Corcovado mountain through the Atlantic forest, allowing visitors to experience the largest urban rainforest in the world at a close proximity. The rustic style of the train accompanied by the occasional live samba adds to the charming scene.

To take the train, go to the Trem do Corcovado station at the base of the Corcovado peak. To get there, you can either take a taxi or the metrô to Largo do Machado then the Integration Bus (Ônibus de integração) in the direction of Cosme Velho. Jump off in front of the São Judas Tadeu church and the Trem do Corcovado station is right there. The train leaves every 20 or 30 minutes and you don’t need to schedule a set time to go. The ride up takes about 20 minutes. The train leaves the train station between 8:20 am and 5 pm every day and the last ride back down is between 6:30 pm and 7 pm.

You can buy tickets at the train station but queues can get big. For those that hate queues, it’s best to buy in advance at one of the Riotur kiosks which are in Copacabana on Avenida Atlantica in front of Rua Hilario de Gouveia or in the city center on Rua da Candelaria, 6, (open 8 am until 7 pm) or online at the official site.

Prices

The prices include the train up, back down and the entrance to the Christ.

For adults (including students) – R$61 at low season. R$74 at high season (high season includes weekends and holidays all year round).

Children between 5 and 11 – R$48 (low and high season)

Seniors more than 60 years – R$24 (low and high season)

Children under 4 – free

 

  • Going by van

The official van leaves from three points in the city which makes getting around that little bit easier.

The points are at Praca do Lido in Copacabana, next to the metro at Lago do Machado and at Città America in Barra da Tijuca. You can buy the tickets at the bus points (which includes the way there, the way back and the entrance for the Christ) but it’s worth buying online – the queues in Copacabana and Largo do Machado have been known to be up to an hour and a half during high season!

Picking up the van in:

Copacabana

The vans leave from Praça do Lido at posto 2 (Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana between Rua Ronald de Carvalho and Rua Belfort Roxo). They leave every 15 minutes and the non-stop route takes about 45 minutes to arrive with usual traffic.

Price:
Adults (even students) – R$70 in high season (holidays, carnival, weekends), R$57 in low season
Children 5 to 11 – R$44 in both high and low season
Seniors over 60 – R$37
Children under 5 – free

The van does pick ups in Copacabana every day between 8 am and 5 pm. The final trip back down Corcovado is between 6 pm and 6:30 pm

Largo do Machado

The vans leave from Praça do Largo do Machado in front of the church and happen every 15 minutes. It will take about 30 minutes in all to get from there to the entrance to the Christ.

Price:
Adults (even students) – R$70 in high season (holidays, carnival, weekends), R$57 in low season
Children 5 to 11 – R$44 in both high and low season
Seniors over 60 – R$37
Children under 5 – free

The van does pick ups at Lago do Machado every day between 8 am and 5 pm. The final trip back down Corcovado is between 6 pm and 6:30 pm

Barra da Tijuca

The van leaves from Shopping Città America on Avenida das Americas, 700 and takes place every 30 minutes. It takes about 50 minutes to get from the shopping mall to the top of the Corcovado.

Price:
Adults – R$102 in high season and R$89 in low season
Children between 5 and 11 – R$76 in both high and low seasons
Seniors over 60 – R$69
Children under 5 – free

The van does pick ups between 8 am and 4:30 pm every day and the last van to go back down Corcovado leaves between 6 pm and 6:30 pm.

You can take a taxi or non-official van (the non-official van costs about R$30 and leaves from Cosme Velho) to the Visitor Center then take an official van the rest of the way (they’re the only ones that are allowed to do that last stretch up to the Christ). I would strongly recommend avoiding the hassle of driving your own car there – there is no parking and it’s so much easier to make the most of the other transport options available.

To take the van from the Visitors Center, the prices are as follows:

Adults – R$40 in high season, R$27 in low season.
Children between 5 and 11 – R$14 all year round
Seniors over 60 – R$7
Children under 5 – free.

The van leaves from the Visitor Center every day between 8 am and 6 pm with the final van leaving the top of Corcovado between 6 pm and 6:30 pm

 

  • Going by hiking

I’m saving the best for last as the hike up Corcovado to the Christ is definitely a personal favorite! I love being surrounded by the Atlantic forest and the cute little monkeys, plus it’s immensely rewarding tackling the trail that starts at the beautiful Parque Lage (tip: stop by there for a pre-hike breakfast) and goes all the way up to the Christ. Take plenty of water as the whole trip up and back down takes at least two hours.

There are some tour companies that offer a guided tour up Corcovado and charge a small fortune. This trail is FREE, easy to do and can definitely be done independently. However, there have been news of muggings on the hike going up with groups of robbers taking mobile phones and other items. Whilst it is more likely nothing will happen, these unfortunate incidents do and can occur, so it is best to never do the hike alone and leave all belongings of value at home. In the worst case scenario and you do get approached by criminals, hand over any belongings calmly and always cooperate. It’s a good idea to always have a bit of cash on you so if you do get robbed, you have something to hand over, saving you from the need to explain that you don’t have anything on you which can be misinterpreted by robbers due to language barriers. This information is not to scare you! It is simply informative of all possibilities – remember, knowledge is power.

If you do the hike, you can buy your ticket for the Christ there (expect queues in the high season!) or on the official site. BE AWARE: if you buy the ticket at the entrance to the Christ, make sure you take enough cash as you can ONLY pay in cash there, they don’t accept cards. Prices are:

Adults – R$24 in the high season and R$12 in the low season. Seniors over 60 and children under 11 are free.

 

As this place is all about the views, visibility is key so try going either before 8:30 am or after 3:30 pm when there is fewer crowds, less heat, and better visibility and less haze.

The busiest times of the year is around Christmas, New Year, Carnival, holidays and weekends.

So, that’s it! The complete guide to visiting the Christ the Redeemer. If there is anything I’ve missed or you would like to know about, just take a moment to comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Also, if you have been already, please share your stories and pictures! I love a good travel story and would love to hear yours.

Image credits: Fernando Maia and Alexandre Macieira  from Riotur / Visit.Rio 

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Guide to the Christ the Redeemer

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