Time Out Rio de Janeiro

Corcovado Trail

The less-trodden route to the feet of Cristo.

Not exactly hidden, Corcovado is of course one of the most iconic landmarks in the city, helped in no small way by the 125-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer perched upon its hunched back. What is harder to spot is the trail winding from Parque Lage's delightfully overgrown gardens to the summit, providing the adventurous with a rewardingly different approach to the classic Cristo photo-op.

Head uphill to the eastern edge of the park and an empty hut is all that indicates the start of the otherwise unmarked path. Starting gently with the vegetation to keep you cool, things don't take too long to steepen and if it has been raining the going gets pretty slippery. One tricky section has a fifteen-metre metal cord to clamber up, and there may well be a few disconcerting characters lining the route - the official line is to beware of thieves but you are far more likely to come across a high hippie flute-player than anyone after your wallet.

A clearing after almost an hour-and-a-half signals the end of the jungle clamber, from where you join the tram line for the last couple of hundred metres and the first views over the city reward your efforts. A refreshing waterfall awaits you at Paineiras, or carry straight on up to the summit. Don't expect to be able to get too close to the statue itself without a ticket since the barriers were introduced, but the satisfaction of arriving up there and conquering the peak that most just ride up on a train is well worth it.

Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors

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