One of the most iconic status in the world, the statue of Christo Rendentor, or Christ the Redeemer, sits on top of 710-metre/ 2330-feet granite peak of Corcovado mountain, in the center of Rio de Janeiro.
Every day over 3,000-4,000 visitors make their way up to the Corcovado mountain peak to enjoy the panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro that lies beneath it. The beautiful Christ the Redeemer statue that oversees the city is facing the Sugar Loaf mountain.
From the top, you can experience the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage Site called “Rio de Janeiro: Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea.” This entire landscape – known as the Carioca Landscape – is comprising the Tijuca National Park’s mountains, down to the sea: the Botanical Gardens, Corcovado Mountain, the hills around Guanabara Bay, including the Copacabana Bay.
Hiking your way up to Christ the Redeemer
Hiking up to Christ the Redeemer is definitely the cheapest and most enjoyable way to reach the top of Corcovado Mountain. The hike up Corcovado is an excellent alternative to taking the tram or a bus to the top of the mountain where you can visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
For the price of R$4 ($1 USD in 2018), you can take one of the multitude of busses in the city that will bring you to Parque Lage stop [see map]. The park entry is free and is located in the Jardim Botânico neighborhood at the foot of the Corcovado. You can also reach Parque Lage by foot from anywhere in the city, since it is located in a safe neighborhood.
Once inside the Parque Lage, head towards the mountain, going to the upper right end of the park. Anyway, all the trails lead, in a way or another, to the trailhead of Corcovado mountaintop and Christ the Redeemer. Here, you will be welcomed by a local ranger that will register your name, date and time of your ascent. He will also hand you a map and give you a lot of information (usually in Portuguese) 🙂
The hike up to Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer is free of cost, but the entrance to the statue of Christ the Redeemer is not free. The entrance to Christ the Redeemer statue is R$13 (~$3.5 USD) off-season or R$26 (~$7 USD) during the high-season, per person. The hike up the mountain is on a well worn trail, very well marked and one cannot get lost. Parts of the trail are steep, so I would recommend closed shoes rather than flip-flops.
Hiking on a sunny day takes around one hour and a half for a person with decent physical condition. It is steep, but also hot and humid on most days, so try to get there as early as possible in order to avoid the heat and the crowds on top of the mountain.
Safety during the hike
On the safety side, we took the trail at the end of September 2018 and we have hiked perfectly safe. We managed to hike the trail upwards and downwards, and both times we did not encounter any issue.
The hike is not crowded, but you do meet people from time to time. On our way down we met Brazilian tourists as well as international tourists. Along the trail you might also find employees of the park that fix or enlarge the pathway.
Hike or not? This is totally up to you, but our recommendation is that if you hike Corcovado make sure to not bring all your valuables, but only the necessary items. The positive part is that in 2018 the local police in Rio de Janeiro has taken steps to reduce the criminality, especially against tourists. Aside from the hike, we safely walked through favelas’, which means that the pacification in Rio de Janeiro has positive results.
Tips for hiking to Corcovado Mountain
Hiking is too extreme? Take the bus or tram
If the hiking is not an option for you, then the Mini-Bus or Tram options would be the only ways to get to the top of the mountain to see the statue of Christ the Redeemer. We would personally recommend you to take the tram since it is more fun than the mini-bus, but we will leave the choice up to you.
Tram do Corcovado
Getting to the tram station: by subway to station Largo do Machado; by bus using Troncal 8 or Circular 1; by Uber/Taxi to Rua Cosme Velho, 513;
How much does the train cost: R$75,00 (high season) and R$62,00 (low season), two-ways, and it can be bough online [https://ticket.corcovado.com.br/];
Tram running hours: From 8AM to 9PM;
Mini-bus/Van to Corcovado
Where is the mini-bus departure point: Largo do Machado (subway station), Lido Square (in Copacabana) and Barra da Tijuca (Citta America Shopping Center);
How much does the mini-bus cost: from Largo do Machado or Lido Square R$52,00 (low season) or R$64,00 (high season), while from Barra da Tijuca R$92,00 (low season) or R$104,00 (high season). You can buy the tickets at the Visitor Information Points.
Mini-bus running hours: 8h – 16h (weekdays) and 8h – 17h (weekends)
Frequently asked questions
How much does it cost to hike to Christ the Redeemer statue?
Answer: The hike up to Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer is free of cost, but the entrance to the statue of Christ the Redeemer costs R$13 (~$3.5 USD) off-season or R$26 (~$7 USD) during the high-season, per person.
Tip: Bring cash with you since cards are not accepted on top.
How long does the hike take to the top of Corcovado?
Answer: The hike to the top of Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer takes on average ~1.5h of walking. Prepare for a hot and humid hike.
Is it safe to hike to Christ the Redeemer?
Answer: There is no real answer to this question. There are incidents recorded in 2018, but numbers are going down. We hiked in September 2018 and had no safety issue whatsoever.
The trail is well indicated and you do not risk to get lost.
Update 2019: According to the media, the trail is not safe to hike anymore. Please see news item from The Washington Post here: “Dozens of tourists in Brazil robbed on trail to Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue“.
Can I hike up and take the Tram do Corcovado down?
Answer: Yes, as long as you buy the ticket in advance to avoid any unwanted surprises.