So…. Going up to Corvocado to the Christ the Redeemer statue is one of the “things to do” when staying in Rio de Janeiro. And rightly so considering it is one of the 7 modern wonders of the world.
And I have to say that the views and the statue… didn’t disappoint. However the organisation of getting up there to see the thing…. Did disappoint.
Firstly the information out there about getting up is pretty thin and can be quite contradictory. There are a number of ways of getting up there. The first way – and the most famous way – is to take the tram up. And this costs around 50 Reals to do. The only issue is that it does get very busy – especially during busy times like the World Cup when I was there and I imagine carnival and the Olympics coming. So in order to go this way you need to go very very early or you will either have a 4 or 5 hour wait or miss out. The alternative is to book in advance – but the issue here is that you then need to print out the confirmation – which can be quite problematic.
The second way – the option I took – was as it was too long wait to get the tram I decided to take a bus service up to the “base station.” This cost around 25 Reals each but didn’t include your ticket in to the actual park. So along with the 25 Reals you would also be paying another 32 Reals for the ticket. So in total it cost me about 57 Reals a person doing it this way which wasn’t bad. Equivalent to about £2 extra so nothing to get hung up about! The real issue is that when taking the bus there is no real communication about how busy it is once you get to the top and therefore how long you will be waiting – and for an unlucky group I met on the way down – you may not be able to actually get all the way to the top because it’s so busy and are therefore 25 Reals out of pocket.
The third way and probably the easiest way – if your up to it – it to just walk all the way up to the top. It takes around three hours to do, which could be how long you are queuing for anyway, and you can walk all the way to the statue. The only thing you would have to cue for is your actual ticket, which is the easiest of the cues in all fairness. And it is a nice walk so this would be what I would recommend to do if you are able and have the time as it does make it a full day activity, where usually it can be done in just a few hours depending on cues.
The fourth way – and the most expensive, but probably the easiest, is to go with an organised tour. This isn’t something that I did, nor have met anyone who did it this way. But as far as I know – and considering how efficient other tours I did do in Brazil (more on these later) – this does make the process a lot smoother. The only issue is that it is significantly more expensive – at least for a poor traveller like myself!
So I hope that helps cut through some of the confusing information out there. But as well as the lack of information the organisation at the top of the hill where you get your ticket and bus to the very top is horrifying. So do watch out for this. When I got up there they just tell you to get in the cue that is there. You assume this is for tickets – but no when you get off the bus at the top of the hill this is actually the wrong cue. The cue for the tickets is actually at the bottom of the hill. The cue I ended up waiting in, as well as many others, is the cue for the bus. And unfortunately for me after waiting about about an hour – and finally getting close to the front, I finally found out I was in the wrong cue. And when this happens they don’t let you get out, get a ticket and rejoin the cue, they make you go all they way to the back again.. I was very lucky to get around this as what I did was tell the gate person I was going to the toilet – bought two tickets and then slipped them through the gate to my girlfriend on my way back to the start of the gated part of the cue. Unfortunately I was then told I had to go to the back but I pulled off a “oh but my girlfriend is right at the front with my ticket.” Naturally they did not believe me so they came all the way down the hill with me (even though I saw them 20 minutes earlier) to SHOW them my girlfriend existed. I was then finally let back into the cue but they made me wait in a tour group cue across two fences getting on the same bus as my girlfriend (along with my ticket) was quite problematic – but we did make it in the end.
So yes – it is a bit of nightmare getting up there. But once you do get up there it is completely worthwhile. The views are ecstatic and the statue is extremely cool. And getting a selfie with the statue is mandatory. (I hope you like mine!) Only you do have to battle with a mountain of tourists to get the best spots. And once you get that beaut spot you naturally get hounded by impatient rude tourists who want that space for their own and breath down your neck whilst your having your photo done. Naturally I bombed all these peoples photos in retaliation ☺