Visiting Christ the Redeemer
Rio de Janeiro is famous for its statue on top of Corcovado Mountain: Christ the Redeemer. From where ever you are in the city, chances are you can see this enormous statue overlooking the city. And from the statue, you have a great view over the city. A visit to Christ the Redeemer is therefore considered a must when visiting Rio de Janeiro.
There are different options to get to the top of Corcovado Mountain. You can hike there (though, this were strongly advised not to consider this as a real option because of safety reasons), you can take you car and park near the top, you can take the train or you take a shuttle bus from Copacabana beach, like we did. The shuttle bus leaves from Praça do Lido and costs $R 42,- (R$ 53,- during high-season). This gives you a return ticket for the shuttle bus and access to Christ the Redeemer. Considering the ride takes about 30 minutes, and you will get dropped-off at the entrance to Christ the Redeemer, this option can be considered as the best and cheapest option.
Because it can get pretty crowded at Christ the Redeemer, we left our hotel early in the morning. When the shuttle bus dropped us off at the entrance, we could walk right through. But seeing the signs saying 'from here, it is 1 hour queuing', it can definitely be busy. Luckily this wasn't the case for us. We thought. When we walked up the stairs to the statue itself, it appeared it was pretty crowded already. Imagine how it must be if there are hundreds of people waiting to get in...
Some people lay down on the floor to make funny pictures of the 38 meter high statue of Christ the Redeemer. We actually had to step over some of these people in order to get to the edge of the platform where you have a great viewpoint over the city: Copacabana, Sugerloaf Mountain and downtown Rio, you have clear sight on the entire city. But because you are at 710 meter altitude, you don't see a lot of details.
When we turned round again, we faced the enormous statue.
It is rather remarkable how they were able to built this 1145 ton concrete statue. They needed ten year to bring it all up the mountain, from 1921 till 1931. But it was worth it: it has become a cultural icon for Rio de Janeiro and is now even listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. When we were done staring at the statue, we walked back to the entrance, where we were able to get a shuttle service back to the Copacabana. This time, there were no other passenger, just us. Not bad, a private shuttle service, including entrance for $R 42,-.