There has been a lot of confusion about the changes that the city of Rio de Janeiro introduced in the organization of selling tickets for access to the Christo Redentor statue, one of Rio’s most visited tourist attractions.
People who tried to get up to the Christ statue the old way – via Paineiras – were in for a surprise the past few weeks. On may 21st, the city of Rio de Janeiro introduced a number of changes to “simplify” the sales of tickets for the Christ statue, but did this without giving a lot of information about it.
I personally arrived with a group in Paineiras and had to hear from one of the people there (not even an official) that the ticket booth there had been closed, and you now had to buy your tickets online or go to largo do Machado and buy your ticket there… he added laconically that if we would go to Largo do Machado, we would find a long line of people waiting.
It was already quite late in the afternoon, and driving down 10 km to Largo do Machado, buy the tickets and drive back up, would take some time. We did take the chance and indeed there was a considerable line, so my group decided to desist and try to go to the Christ another day…
It is easy to imagine that we were not the only ones that got in this kind of situation, and that means that something is wrong and the organisation needs some tweaking, to say the least.
So what is the current situation?
There are basically two ways to make your way up to the statue:
- The train at Cosme Velho.
- The vans that leave at Largo do Machado (Flamengo neighborhood).
There is a ticket selling point at Largo do Machado – Flamengo (44 R$), after which you can take a van that takes you straight to the Christ. Largo do Machado is located at about 10 km from the statue (see map)
Latest news stories (June 3rd) report that many tourists had to endure waiting in line 3-5 hours before being able to access the statue, because there are not enough vans. People who buy their tickets and drive their own car up to Paineiras, face huge lines there as well.
Apparently, after going to court, the sales of tickets at the Cosme Velho station has been restored, but this didn’t solve the problems.
An alternative way:
For who is not afraid of some physical effort, there is an alternative – apparently not well known – way to get up to the Christ statue.
There is a hiking trail (+/- 1.5 km) leading up from “Parque Lage” (see map), near the Botanical garden. It is quite steep, so it is not the easiest of trails, but if you have some physical condition, it is definitely worth checking out.
After completing the dirt trail, it is another 10-15 minutes of concrete road up before you reach the statue area, where you can buy a ticket for only 19 R$.
Before and after the hike, you can eat or drink something at the cafetária of the Art School of Parque Lage.
Just follow the signs…