Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redentor) along with SugarLoaf (Pão de Açúcar) is one of two sights that every visitor to Rio de Janeiro should see. This huge statue stands in Tijuca National Park on the 2300 foot summit of Corcovado Mountain, which in Portuguese means "hunchback", named in the 18th century for its odd humped shape.
Christ the Redeemer Statue was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Brazilian Independence in 1922. It was completed in 1931, and at 125 feet, became the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world! It's made of soapstone and concrete and weighs over 700 tons.
The summit is reached by a cog train that leaves every 30 minutes from the station on Rua Cosme Velho. The train to Corcovado had the distinction in 1901 of being the first electric train built in Brazil. Don't worry, it has since been replaced and modernized! The 20 minute train ride provides a nice ride through the tropical forest along a steep and winding set of tracks.
As of July 2013, Tickets can no longer be purchased at the visitors center. Visiting this modern world wonder has become so popular, the lines and wait times have become quite long. Tickets must now be purchased on line to reach Cristo by the Tram. Visit the official Trem do Corcovado website to purchase tickets. You will be assigned a date and time for the ride up the mountain and must arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of departure or you will lose your spot!
The alternative is to travel to the Largo do Machado square in Flamengo and buy a ticket to reach the Christ Redeemer summit by passenger van instead of the tram. The cost is about R $27 and the van will take you most of the way up the mountain. You then purchase an entrance ticket for R $18 and take a second van to reach the summit. The advantage of taking a van is that you don't have to arrive at a particular time or purchase tickets on-line.
Visitors who come by car or taxi can also drive most of the way up to the to the summit, and then catch the official van for R $18 the rest of the way up. Private tour companies will often have tourists ride the train up and then ride back down in the tour van.
When you reach the summit of Corcovado Mountain, there are a series of 220 steps to climb to reach the base of Christ the Redeemer Statue. However, recently an elevator and escalator system has been installed to make it possible for anyone to visit. In 2006, a small chapel was built in the base of the statue, now weddings and baptisms are held here.
The views of Rio de Janeiro and beyond are just spectacular. When one looks up at the magnificent Christ from the platform and then out to the beauty of the surrounding mountains, bay, and ocean, it's easy to understand why Christ the Redeemer was recently named one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World".
You can easily get to Christ the Redeemer and Corcovado by taxi, tour van, or city bus from Ipanema and Copacabana. The trip from Ipanema by taxi is 15 minutes or so and is about US $10. Taxis wait on the street near the tram station to take tourists back to their hotels.
In Ipanema it's easy to catch the #570 Bus (Cosme Velho), anywhere along Rua Prudente de Moraes. The 20 minute ride runs through Leblon, Jardims, and then through the mountain tunnel to Cosme Velho. On the return trip to Ipanema, take the #569 bus for the fastest ride. Or, return on the # 583 bus which which passes by the Jardim Botanico (Botanical Gardens) and returns to Ipanema along Rua Visconde de Piraja. The #583 continues to Copacabana Beach as well.
Insider's Tip - If you are going by taxi, the driver will offer to drive you to the summit, wait while you visit, and then make the return trip to your hotel. A flat rate can be negotiated. This is a good option if you have limited time for sightseeing. Otherwise, just pay the metered fare to the train station, buy your tickets, and take the train ride up and back. Then catch a new taxi at the station to go back to your hotel, apartment, or hostel. See our full day tour suggestions for this day trip.
Cristo Redentor and Pão de Açúcar (SugarLoaf) are often toured in the same day. Get there early on a clear day, as the weather up there can cloud up quickly in the afternoon, and then visit SugarLoaf in the afternoon.
Several million Reais were spent to restore the statue in the Spring of 2010. To replace damaged tiles, white Soapstone was taken from the quarry that provided the original stone for building the statue in 1922.
Watch this aerial video tour of Christ Redeemer and surrounding Rio de Janeiro.
Panoramic Tour of Christ Redeemer Statue
Hover over the left or right side of the image to start the tour. To zoom in and out, just rotate mouse wheel or use up/down arrows on your keyboard. To see the views from the north, south, and west sides of Christ the Redeemer Statue, click on the arrows which appear on the image.