By Georgia Grimond, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Visitors to Corcovado to see Christ the Redeemer will now benefit from an improved ticket station in Copacabana. The renovated ticket booth is in the same location as the previous one, in Praça do Lido, however there is now a new climate-controlled waiting room and ticketed boarding system.
Previously passengers wanting to take a van to visit Rio’s renowned landmark would have to queue up outside the ticket booth, often in the baking sun. With the new arrangement tourists can take a ticket and wait in an air-conditioned room. Priority is given to the elderly, pregnant and disabled.
“We made a qualified point of greatly improving the issue of queue and giving comfort to elderly and disabled who may wait. Now people know the time of boarding, it can be scheduled. They know when they’ll have a group leaving so they can stroll until the comes time, which greatly improves the visit to Christ the Redeemer,” said the Secretary of Tourism, Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello.
Praça do Lido has recently received R$300,000 of investment from the city. The work was carried out by the Paineiras-Corcovado consortium, which will also maintain the bathrooms and surrounding landscaping in the area.
Christ the Redeemer, or Cristo Redentor, is one of the New Seven Wonders of the New World. Standing at thirty-meters tall and on eight-meter pedestal, the statue looks out over Rio with outstretched arms and has become one of the most recognized icons of Brazil.
The statue, which is made of concrete and soapstone, is located on the top of Corcovado mountain in Tijuca National Park, and was completed in 1931. With jaw-dropping views of the city and surrounding state, the area attracts close to 10,000 people a day in high season (December to February) and approximately 1,500 can be on the plateau at the statue’s feet at one time.
Tourists are advised to travel to Corcovado by van, leaving either from Praça do Lido or Largo do Machado in Flamengo, or by train which departs from every half hour from Cosme Velho. It is not possible to drive all the way to the top and parking is limited. Visitors can also get to the top from Parque Lage in Jardim Botânico by foot; tickets should be obtained before setting off and walkers should be prepared for a steep – but rewarding – hike.
It is advisable to buy tickets in advance online and never from unauthorized vendors. Official sellers are marked with the Consórcio Paineiras-Corcovado branding. Tickets cost R$64 for adults and R$40 for children aged 5 to 11. The vans leave every 15 minutes from 8AM to 5PM, with hours often extended in the high season.
There are cafes and restaurants at the feet of Christ, along with souvenir shops and general facilities.