Tijuca National Park (Rio De Janeiro Brazil)

Tijuca National Park, Mount Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer).
We did a bit of research before heading out on this hike. Well, you hear so many daunting stories about thefts that we wanted to know where the hike started and read other peoples experiences before heading off. Anyway, luckily for us we met a British couple at our hostel (Jess and Tom), who also happened to be researching the same hike. Therefore, we decided to join foces and hike together (safety in numbers!).

We all got up reasonably early and caught a taxi (it was the cheaper and fastest option between the 4 of us). We asked the driver to drop us off at Parque Lage entrance. We walked in and headed to what we thought was the start of the hike using Mapme as our guude. To ensure that this was indeed correct we stopped a local who was in the park and asked if the path we were about to walk down led to the trailhead? He said yes, but then began explaining that there had been a recent robbery and that we should be careful. This information concerned us a little but we carried on. We soon came across the registration office and signed in. The officer gave us a brief run down (actually just Vanessa as it was in Portuguese and Vanessa who translated).

The hike consisted of a 3.8km hike up through rainforests. It started off relatively easily with plenty of switch backs along the way. We all surcomed to the humidity and were downing as much water as possible. We stopped to observe some Macacs (may have been ringtail monkey’s), Jon took a plastic bag out (which had his camera in), this sly but clever move enticed the monkeys to come closer, before we knew it, there was at least half a dozen, all looking at Jon in anticipation (hoping for food we guess). Jon promptly took some excellent close ups, then we carried on.

Ring tail monkeys (we think)
We came to a clearing around half way to catch our breath, snapped a quick photo and noticed that the skies were clear. We only hoped that the good weather would continue, so that we would have great views at the top. We were not disappointed.

Catching our breath half way up
The second half of the hike was far steeper and involved scrambling up some rocks, climbing with the assistance of chains and metals hooks attached to the cliffside and would be pretty treacherous in the wet. Luckily for us it was dry.

We came to the railway line and crossed this very shortly before reaching the road.

The final 1km of the walk was along the road section, which gradually wound its way up towards Christ the Redeemer. The only concern for this last part (apart from the humidity) was avoiding the countless minibuses winding their way up and down the mountain, full of tourists taking the more popular but less fulfilling route to the top.

Reaching the top, it had taken us a little over 2 hours and we saw approx. half a dozen other people doing the same route. There was no sign of any trouble whatsoever.

We had to pay an entry fee to enter the statue area itself. During high season this is R26 (approx. $11 Australian) but fortunately for us, reduces to R13 in low season (we were there in April). We were dumbfounded by the spectacular views and felt extremely lucky to have had a clear day. We snapped some pictures, marvelled at the number of people there in low season, and drank plenty more water.

Rio and Sugar Loaf mountain

Jon ………..and Christ
Jess and Tom decided to stay at the top and then catch the train down but we both decided to hike back along the same route. This was an excellent decision for us, as we saw several other monkeys, called ‘Macac’s Castanho’ (brown monkeys) and we also came across a Toucan. Very impressive. The only unforunate thing was that Jon managed to lose his t-shirt somewhere on the way back down. At the bottom, back at Parque Lage, we explored a tower and small cave before catching a bus to the beach for a well deserved swim and a spot of lunch.