For 20 years, Samantha Brown has traversed continents, experienced culture, and tasted adventure applying her…
A journey to the top of Rio de Janeiro is on most travelers’ bucket lists.
Partially because of the view down, featuring a sprawling city with its Sugarloaf Mountain and Atlantic Ocean backdrop. But then there’s also the view up Christ the Redeemer. This iconic statue was built in 1931. At 125 ft tall, it towers high above the city, designed specifically to embrace the people of Rio. It’s truly a sight to behold.
That said, it’s also a hugely popular tourist destination. I hate big crowds as much as the next person, but trust me, this one is worth the chaos. Here are three things you can do to make your visit more enjoyable.
1. Take the Train.
From booking a private tour to hiking, there are a few different ways to get to Christ the Redeemer. My favorite? the COG train. This scenic 20-minute ride takes you right through the Tijuca Forest, considered the largest urban forest in the world. The locals told me to be sure to sit on the right side of the train, which I did… only to realize that the seats are facing backward! Oops! Learn from my mistake. The train to Christ the Redeemer departs from Corcovado Station every half hour between 8 am and 8 pm.
2. Say Yes to the Steps.
Once you get to the top, you can either wait in a long line for an elevator to the statue or tackle the stairs. If you’re able-bodied, I say start climbing. It’s less crowded and great exercise. Trust me, after a few days of seeing Brazilians in their tiny swimsuits, you’ll suddenly find yourself very inspired to exercise.
3. Be prepared for the fog.
Of course, there are always challenges with any tourist attraction. And here, it’s all about the fog. As your time is probably limited in Rio, you might want to venture to the top anyway, but be prepared for limited views. Oftentimes, the sun does burn off the clouds, but not always. Locals will tell you that a little rain shouldn’t keep you from going to the top. Another great tip is to skip weather apps on your (or online) and simply look at Corcovado Mountain from the city. Make a game-time call on whether or not the cloud cover is thick at the top to view the statue.
Have you visited Rio? Share your travel tips in the comments!