Christ the Redeemer is arguably one of the most iconic sights in Rio. On the peak of Corcovado mountain, the large statue has up to 4,000 visitors per day! While the tram is the easiest way to reach the top, we thought we’d kill three birds with one stone by hiking up – explore the forest, get a bit of a workout and save money.
Here’s our basic guide to hiking Christ the Redeemer, and what to expect from the experience.
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Getting to the Start of the Hike
First, it’s important to prepare properly for the hike. Make sure you know what to wear when hiking, as it could save you from having a very uncomfortable experience.
We got an Uber to Parque Largo, an incredibly beautiful public park at the base of Corcovado. The park itself teems with lush plant life, birds and monkeys, and is definitely worth a visit. After entering the park, we found our way to the start of the hike fairly easily by following the signs for Corcovado.
You will have to sign in at a guardhouse before starting the hike. The cost to enter the monument is only payable at the top, but a bold Portuguese sign at the guardhouse warns you that they ONLY TAKE CASH. This caused us to turn around and draw money. The price to enter is R$ 26 (USD $6,5) each.
As a side note, weekends and in-season tickets are double the price. So, if you find yourself in Rio during the week, you can save some money and the monument will most likely be less busy.
If the cog-wheel train, or perhaps a bigger day out in Rio, is your preference, here are some of our top choices for the experience.
The hike to the top of the monument should take about one and a half hours at a moderate pace. Although fairly easy at the beginning, it can get very steep at times. The entire route is about four kilometres and it is breathtakingly beautiful. We found the route in a local backpacking magazine.
Neither of us had ever been in an Amazonian jungle before so we were overwhelmed by the enchanting environment. The hike was made a lot easier due to regular breaks glancing up through the dark green trees and peeking at the view through the vegetation.
They say to avoid the heat of the day, but in true Ollie and the Captain style, we set off at 11 am. Sure, it was hot, but it was far from unbearable. The entire route is under the cover of beautiful tall trees. As a result, we were never in direct sunlight until we got to the monument.
Brazil is not a conservative country at all, so I was very comfortable in my crop top and it didn’t take Ollie long to lose his vest (much to my delight).
If this description has tickled your fancy, but you’d rather have a guide for hiking Christ the Redeemer – you can do that too!
Hiking to Christ the Redeemer Monument
Once you get to the top, you will be expected to pay the entrance fee (in cash). Don’t be shocked when you see people sprawled out on the floor. These people are trying to get the whole of the gigantic Christo statue in the shot. Just walk a little bit further down and you will find the ultimate view spot. Here, you can get a picture with Jesus without losing your dignity.
Take the time to absorb the incredible panoramic views at the monument. Seriously, they are unreal. We packed sandwiches (watch the end of the video where Ollie tries to feed the “holy” pigeons) but there is a restaurant if you want to indulge.
As a tip: prices of items (souvenirs and food) and the top are exorbitant. They are geared towards those who habitually fall into the tourist trap. As an example, water cost us R$6 (USD $1,5) where it only costs about R$2 at our local beach (USD $0,5).
Hiking Christ the Redeemer is by far the cheapest, most fun and exciting way to get to the top of the mountain! Just be careful that if there have recently been heavy rains, the trail will be incredibly slippery!
Religion and Dating: Hike to Christ the Redeemer Conversation
Dating for nomads is a hot topic. There’s a good chance that you’ll meet kindred spirits as well as those from a different cultural background. Religion and dating, in particular, is something that Ollie and I had to work through from early on in our relationship.
When the day came to visit Christ the Redeemer, we joked about how it will be the first time I was going to take Ollie to see Jesus. It was funny at the time (and still is). However, there is a far more serious underlying truth to the joke.
We documented our journey and conversation while hiking to Christ the Redeemer. We’re also sharing it here in case you’re going through the same.
We understand that we are not alone in trying to make our differing beliefs work. So, we decided to disregard the conservative advice of avoidance and share our thoughts (and experiences) on dating and religion.