Brazil, Destinations, Travel log

Hike to Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer statue

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

Cheaper and more interesting than the tram or bus.

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) 🙂

View over Rio de Janeiro with Ipanema beach in the back. This is what awaits you on the top of Corcovado after the hike.
View over Rio de Janeiro with Ipanema beach in the back. This is what awaits you on the top of Corcovado after the hike.

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.

  • 07/07/2017 – Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Increased Crime on Corcovado Mountain Hiking Trails
  • 07/14/2017 – A Polish hiker was stabbed en-route to Corcovado. 58 people have been robbed along the trail in just 10 days (July 2017). More than 150 people have been robbed in the year of 2017.
  • 07/17/2017 – Five men aged between 18 and 28 have been arrested and charged over the stabbing of the Polish tourist. [news.com.au]
  • 2018 – Police has taken steps to make the trail safer and as a result we were able to hike the Corcovado trail in September.
  • 09/24/2018 – We hiked the trail with no safety issue and everyone was more than welcoming with us.
  • 01/07/2019 – The trail is not safe anymore! Dozens of tourists robbed on trail to Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue at the beginning of 2019, even if the new President promised tighter security.
    • Police said Friday (n.a first week of January 2019) that at least three assailants carrying knives and a gun set up the ambush on the trail, which cuts through a dense forest that borders a slum on the outskirts of the city and has been the site of numerous muggings.” [read more]

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

Tip #1If the bus is not an option for you to arrive to Parque Lage, try taking a Uber. We have safely used Uber all over Brazil and never had any issues. It is affordable and the service is great.

Tip #2Install Maps.Me on your smartphone in order to have the hiking trails at hand since it works perfectly offline. We used this app in South America, Europe and South-East Asia. [maps.me]

Tip #3Start hiking as early as possible in the morning. The hike is done through the Atlantic forest and it can become quite hot and humid. Don’t forget to bring some water with you 😉

Tip #4Be sure to not climb too late, as the park rangers will not allow you to go up. Since the hike takes at lest 1.5 hours they might deny you entrance in the evening.

Tip #5 – Don’t forget to bring cash for the entrance. Make sure to take cash to the entrance of Christ the Redeemer as they don’t accept cards.

Tip #6 – Wear hiking shoes, not flip-flops. At the end of the day it is still a hike, so wear the appropriate footwear.

Hiking is too extreme? Take the bus or tram

If the hike doesn't sound like something you would do, then the bus or tram are safe options.

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

Our recommended option, besides the hike...

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;

tram do corcovado
Perine posing with the Tram of Corcovado (PS: the train just passed)

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)

The hike up

Below you can find our experience in hiking to Christ the Redeemer, with imagery. Enjoy!

Parque Lage

The trail

Top of Corcovado

And the reward of the hike: the statue of Christ the Redeemer and beautiful view of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Frequently asked questions

The hike to Christ the Redeemer.

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.

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5 thoughts on “Hike to Christ the Redeemer

  1. Oliver Sparango says:

    Hi my friends! Thanks a lot for the tips regarding the hike. I managed to do the hike in October 2018 and I did not encounter any safety issues. I speak Portuguese so I asked the park assistants about the dangers and they said that for now it is ok to hike up. There were many people on the trail: locals and foreigners. Thanks!

    1. Perine says:

      Great that you enjoyed the hike and thanks for the update! We hope it will stay safe!

  2. Donna Mat. says:

    The statue of Christ the Redeemer is really is a must-see in Rio! After reading multiple posts, in the end I decided to take the bus up though, which was straightforward and easy. It was super busy though but still worth it! 🙂 Cheers for the detailed information.

  3. Thomas says:

    We hiked the statue at the end of 2018 with no issues at all. I am happy we had our hiking shoes and not only the flip-flops. It was fun and we recommend it.

    Cheers,
    Tom and Anna

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