Christ Statue & Sugarloaf

If you are planning a trip to Rio de Janeiro or are already around, then there are two famous places that you shouldn’t miss. You have a range of fantastic things to do and see in Rio, but these two places should be on top of your must-see list.

This is on the one hand the Christ the Redeemer statue and on the other hand Sugarloaf Mountain. Please don’t confuse the latter with Corcovado Mountain where the monumental Christ statue is located and which is nearly twice as high as the Sugarloaf.

The Christ the Redeemer statue has a beautiful history attached to it. It was during the late 1800s when the first electric railway was built in Brazil. In those days, people used to go to the top of the Corcovado Mountain to enjoy the view, read a good book and to have fun with friends and family. However, it was not until 1926 that the construction of the statue began.

The workers who were responsible for constructing the statue took a lot of risk as there were no safety harnesses or belts provided to them. There are historic photographs which show that these men balanced on scaffold structures without any kind of safety equipment while working on the statue. It took almost five years to finish the project, but what’s surprising is that despite the circumstances, not a single person died during this long period. Everyone believed this was a miracle.

In 1980, Pope John Paul II paid a visit to the Corcovado Mountain via the cog train. This is the same method of transportation that you may be required to take when visiting the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio.

It is also believed that the Jewish head builder of the Christ statue converted to Catholicism when the statue was completed.

The height of the Corcovado Mountain is 710 metres and the statue sits atop this mountain with a height of 38 metres. When there is no or little traffic, it is possible to reach the mountain within half an hour from Ipanema Beach which is a very famous and trendy beach in Rio de Janeiro. It is even possible to see the mountain and the statue from some hotels which are located in Ipanema.

Before the construction of the statue started on Corcovado Mountain, consideration was also given to Sugarloaf along with a number of other mountains and hills. In the end, Corcovado Mountain was chosen but in spite of the fact that Sugarloaf didn’t make the race, this should not be a reason for any visitor to miss this attraction. While the views from Corcovado Mountain are stunning, there are many people who believe that the views from Sugarloaf are simply stupendous.

Sugarloaf is a peak which rises 396 meters and is located at the entrance of the large bay of Rio which is known as Guanabara Bay. You can see stunning views of Rio de Janeiro when standing on its summit. No matter which way you look, you will be delighted to see green peaks, sparkling water and sweeping beaches. You can spend your morning there or make late afternoon trips. The best part is that you can also get views of the Christ the Redeemer statue from a unique perspective. Since the tourist buses mainly arrive at weekends and during the school holiday season, the place gets extremely crowded during these times. However, there are some clearly marked trails where you can get some time away from the crowds and enjoy amazing wildlife views.

You can choose to climb the peek or take the cable car to reach Sugarloaf. But unlike before, it is no longer possible to hike halfway up and then take a cable car. Anyone who wishes to take it must get down to the bottom and purchase a ticket first. Therefore, it is important to make up your mind first and avoid all the hassle that you can in order to enjoy the two classic icons of Rio de Janeiro. Plan well in advance and visit at the right time of the year to make your visit to Rio an exciting and memorable one.

Both attractions are included in our Rio Classic tour, click here for details.