Published on February 26th, 2013 | by Tom Firehill0
7 Natural Wonders Guide – Christ the Redeemer
Standing at over 100 feet tall, Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is part of the top 5 largest statues of Jesus in the world. This historical landmark of Christianity looks down on the famous city with arms wide open seemingly protecting it with a large embrace. This monument rests atop Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca Forest National Park, a magnificent natural beauty found in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. After climbing some 200 steps, visitors enjoy a 360 degree majestic view of the rainforest and the wonderful city with all its fascinating structures.
In a place where residents are mostly Catholic, the idea to have this monumental artwork was not far from reality. A proposition in the early 1920s followed debates on the form and details of the statue. Finally, the inspiration of Jesus holding up his arms in a wide embrace came about. Completion of this idea was made through a design by local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa. This concrete marvel was sculpted by Paul Landowski in France then shipped to Brazil. With 9 years of work put into construction, Christ the Redeemer was uncovered in October 1931. It has gained worldwide recognition since then and appeared in countless movies and even video games. In 2007, a prestigious title was given to this sculpture as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
There is more than enough reason for visitors to hop on a plane and visit Rio de Janeiro with its culture and wonderful people. To get to the second largest city in Brazil, take a flight to Galeão-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. From there, several forms of transportation are available to visitors. Prepare R$12 for a ride on a bus which runs every 30 minutes. Another option is to take the taxi which costs you somewhere between R$50-R$90. Finally, a 20-minute trip to the city via tram costs R$43 for adults and R$23 for children from 6 to 12 years old. This has got to be the most popular way to travel to the city as you can comfortably sit back and enjoy the scenic views around.
For the adventurous traveler, a hike through the Tijuca Forest National park is a once in a lifetime experience. Choose among the various hiking trails leading to the top of Corcovado Mountain. This is one of the tours that the city offers where visitors take pleasure in the sights of stunning nature, waterfalls and forest animals. The Tijuca Rainforest jeep tour is just the thing for those who are not into hiking for hours. This tour features a four-hour open jeep ride to the rain forest where tourists are dazzled with the birds, butterflies, trees and flowers. An easy one hour trail is a must-try to savor the experience of the forest.
Now that you have relished the exquisiteness of Tijuca and splendor of Cristo Redentor, it’s time for a city tour of downtown Rio. Some attractions include the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Municipal Theater and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Take a picture or two in these historical buildings featuring art, history and a rich culture. The highlight of your city tour is a stopover to Urca, where Sugar Loaf Mountain is situated. Travel to the top by exciting rides via two cable cars. The first one takes you to Urca Hill where one delights in the splendid views of Corcovado Mountain, Guanabara Bay and its surrounding islands. The second cable car takes you farther up until you reach the top of Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) where tourists can see the famous beaches of the city from a different angle.
After a whole day of touring, you will definitely crave for sumptuous food in the city. Enter the restaurant doors of Zaza Bistro Tropical and be welcomed by the aroma of delectable Brazilian food and the smiling faces of the staff. The best seats are upstairs, where diners sit comfortably on pillows while eating and chatting with friends. Travelers describe it as a homey and cozy atmosphere for a place with classy, excellent service. Dishes of tuna with vegetables and grilled shrimp satisfy your seafood cravings. A cocktail or two tops off these gastronomic delights. Just by walking along the streets of Rio, you’ll come across other famous restaurants like Antiquarius, Celeiro and Gero offering great Italian and Brazilian cuisine.
The Rio de Janeiro experience isn’t complete without a party. Finish off the night with a samba number at Rio Scenarium. This three-floor Bar and Restaurant is decorated with thousands of antiques and artwork. This is where Brazillian music meets talented locals and visitors. Nevertheless, everyone is encouraged to dance like no one is watching as the ambience of Rio Scenarium won’t keep you sitting for too long. After hours of dancing, sit for a while and sample the classy entrees, finger foods and fine Argentinian wines.