Christ the Redeemer#1 in Best Things To Do in Rio de Janeiro
This iconic landmark is a must-see attraction in Rio. Recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this statue of Jesus Christ stands with arms outstretched to the city from above Corcovado Mountain's staggering 2,330-foot elevation.
Started in 1922 and completed in 1931, the monument — made of concrete and covered in soapstone mosaic tiles — stands 125 feet tall as a religious and cultural symbol of the Brazilian people's warm and welcoming culture. The monument rests atop Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca National Park and is the most famous attraction in Rio de Janeiro, visited by nearly 2 million people each year. Recent travelers recommend visiting on a day with clear skies since the vantage point is the best in the city.
There are multiple ways to reach Corcovado and Christ the Redeemer. Using public transportation, take bus lines 180 and 184 from Rio or Route No. 583 from Copacabana or Ipanema to Cosme Velho. From there, venture on the environmentally friendly electric train to the foot of the statue. Others choose to take vans from different points in the city directly to the foot of the statue. It's also accessible by foot from Parque Lage via a hiking trail located at the foot of the mountain. Be prepared: This 8-mile trail is strenuous and includes a number of steep inclines. However, if you decide to tackle the hiking trail, you'll be rewarded with discounted admission.
Prices for the train and vans include round-trip transportation, plus admission to the statue, and vary between high and low season, ranging from $51 to $62 reais for adults and $27 reais for children between ages 6 and 11. (Weekends and holidays are always considered high season.) Note that if you choose to arrive by taxi, you'll only be able to take it to Estrada das Paineiras; from there, you'll have to hop on one of the vans.
Trains operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; with trains departing every 30 minutes. Vans operate from 8 a.m. to 4 or 6 p.m. depending on pickup location. For additional information, check out the Trem do Corcovado website.
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#2 Jardim Botânico
Spread out across more than 340 acres, this botanical paradise awes its visitors with more than 6,000 indigenous and exotic species of flora. This serene garden hosts everything from orchids to jasmine-mango heliconias.
The gardens were originally created in 1808 by Regent Prince D. João to acclimatize spices from other regions, and since its debut to the public in 1822, the verdant sanctuary has become a haven for locals and tourists; Albert Einstein even dropped in. The national park is also known as a premier botany and ecology research center.
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