Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and an unmissable stop on your trip to Rio de Janeiro. On this basis, here is a complete guide to visiting Christ the Redeemer in Rio.
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Welcome to One of the New Seven Wonders of the World
Finished in 1931, Christ the Redeemer is a 38m (125 ft) high art-deco Jesus statue in Rio de Janeiro.
The statue stands on Mount Corcovado, one of the many hills that characterize the urban landscape of Rio de Janeiro.
The idea for the statue emerged in the late 1800s, but Brazil’s religious neutrality prevented any such monument.
The second proposal came in the 1920s, and donations from Brazilian Catholics financed the statue. The designs came from Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and artist Carlos Oswald. Using these plans, French artist Paul Landowski created the final monument.
The statue opened in 1931 – and has since been one of Rio’s primary landmarks.
Christ the Redeemer has undergone several renovations in the last few decades – and became part of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
Visiting Christ the Redeemer: the Basics
The statue sits on top of Corcovado Mountain at an altitude of 700m (2296 ft) above sea level. It’s part of the Tijuca National Park and offers stunning views over Guanabara Bay and the rest of the city.
Visiting Christ the Redeemer is relatively straightforward, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Let’s start with getting there.
How to get to Christ the Redeemer
There are three ways to visit Cristo Redentor: by train, by van, or on foot.
Taking the Train to Christ the Redeemer
The Corcovado Train (Trem do Corcovado) leaves from Corcovado Station every 30 minutes between 8 am and 7 pm.
You can take an Uber/taxi to Corcovado Station – or get there on public transport.
The station is located in the Cosmo Velho area, a bit out of the way. To get there by public transport, you can either take a metro to Largo do Machado station and then walk (2.5km) or a direct bus.
Lines 580 (from Largo do Machado), 570 (from Leblon), 583 (from Ipanema), or 584 (from Copacabana) take you there.
Taking a Van to Christ the Redeemer
Vans leave every 30 minutes from Largo do Machado and Praca do Lido in Copacabana. It’s a bit more affordable to take the vans, but they often fill up.
As such, it’s best to book in advance online without getting ripped off.
Hiking to Christ the Redeemer
There is an option to hike to Cristo Redentor as well. The ascent takes around 3 hours and is nothing for the fainthearted, especially in summer. It starts at Parque Lage and costs R$ 21 in the low season and R$ 31 in the high season.
The Best Time to Visit Christ the Redeemer
Rio is one of the most visited cities in the Americas and is always full of tourists.
Worse still, Christ the Redeemer is the most famous location in the city. You get the point. The place is crowded.
There are, however, a few short moments when you won’t feel like you’re in a box of sardines.
First, don’t visit during weekends. Secondly, try to avoid Carnival, Christmas, and the days around New Year’s Eve. And finally, come either at 8 am when they open or at sunset when they close.
It’s virtually impossible to visit Cristo Redentor without crowds. Nevertheless, these tips will help you avoid the most jam-packed periods.
It’s also essential to visit on a sunny day. If the cloud cover is strong, you won’t see anything, and even the statue will be barely visible.
Christ the Redeemer Ticket Prices
The ticket prices change depending on your mode of transport and the season you visit.
For the train, 2022 Christ the Redeemer ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult – Low Season: R$ 83,50;
- Adult – High Season: R$ 105,50;
- Child (5-11 years): R$ 60,00;
- Elderly (over 60 years old living in Brazil): R$ 30,00;
- Promotional ticket: R$ 65,50.
The high season is during the school holidays, Carnival, Christmas, and Easter, as well as some other dates. Find the full calendar here.
The vans charge between 20% and 30% less, depending on the season.
Finally, the hike costs R$ 21 in the low season and R$ 31 in the high season.
Visiting Christ the Redeemer: My Story
I took an Uber to Corcovado station at 7.30 am on a Wednesday. It was Carnival, so quite a few people were waiting already.
Nevertheless, the station wasn’t overly crowded, and the train departed punctually at 8 am.
After reaching the top, I marveled at the statue for a few minutes. The monument is awe-inspiring, even though you don’t have time to fully appreciate it due to the crowds.
As such, the best thing about visiting Christ the Redeemer are the views. You can see many different areas of Rio de Janeiro – as well as Sugarloaf Mountain and the Maracana Stadium.
All in all, Cristo Redentor is undoubtedly worth it, be it just for the views.
I don’t believe it can compete with other wonders on the 2007 List like Petra, Chichen Itza, or the Great Wall. It’s nonetheless an amazing place to visit – and a must on your Rio itinerary.