By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The famous Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue on top of Corcovado mountain, which overlooks the entire city of Rio de Janeiro, has been voted the top touristic attraction in Brazil by TripAdvisor. The monument is the second best landmark in South America and the ninth best in the world.
In 2014, around 2.3 million people visited the Cristo statue and enjoyed the view over the city and Guanabara Bay, according to ICMBio, the institute managing Tijuca National Park, where the statue is located. The numbers of visitors has increased by 64 percent since 2010.
“Christ the Redeemer is a great icon, not only of the city but of Brazil. The monument with open arms on the Corcovado hill is our main image, recognized by anyone in the world. We are very happy with another award that goes to the bookshelf of Rio’s pride. The recognition of the public is always more important than awards that are judged by a small number of people,” Municipal Secretary for Tourism in Rio Antônio Pedro Figueira de Mello stated.
Mello further emphasized the new ways reaching the Cristo statue with buses from Largo do Machado and Copacabana adding options to the Corcovado train. “The ways to arrive at Christ have improved, but there is certainly still more to improve. Like that, we could become first in the world ranking.”
The second best attraction in the TripAdvisor ranking, gathered through a special algorithm judging the quantity and quality of all user evaluations, is also located in Rio de Janeiro, the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB) Cultural Center.
The two attractions in Rio are followed by Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasília, the Itaipu hydroelectric dam, the Amazonas Theatre in Manaus and Praça da Liberdade in Belo Horizonte.
In South America, Christ the Redeemer is second only to Machu Picchu in Peru, while worldwide Angkor Wat in Cambodia tops the list, in front of Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal in India, Sheikh Zayed mosque in the UAE, Sagrada Família in Spain, St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, the Cathedral in Milano, and Alcatraz in the U.S. The Eiffel tower in Paris only made it to eleventh place.
Brazil generally received high rankings in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards with the Baía do Sancho on Fernando de Noronha winning the best beach in the world award and the Insituto Ricardo Brennand in Recife and Inhotim in Belo Horizonte topping the ranking of the best museum in South America. Gramado in the South of Brazil came third on top destinations in South America, behind Buenos Aires and Cusco.