"Corcovado" means hunchback and that is how this granite hill looks like. Its original name is Pinaculo da Tentacao or Pinnacle of Temptation. Corcovado with the Redemptor statue and a set of equally enchanting attractions are to be found in central Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. This peak towers over the city with its 710 meters in height. You can see Corcovado, even from a distance.
The image of Christ the Redeemer Statue atop Corcovado is quintessentially Rio de Janeiro. You can see the soaring 38-meter high icon of Christ in many a postcard of the city and of Brazil itself. Its arms are outstretched as if it is embracing the city. That's a thirty-meter hug that seems to provide a 24-hour welcome to the city's visitors. At the foot of the statue is an observation deck where you can enjoy great views of Rio de Janeiro sights, such as Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, the Sugarloaf Mountain, the marvelous Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, and even downtown Rio.
This attraction has brought thousands of visitors who deem the climb to Corcovado one of the highlights of their visit. The Redentor (as the statue is known) has an interesting history. It weighs more than a thousand metric tons and is coated with a mosaic of soapstone. The statue was mostly made by the engineers Pedro Viana and Heitor Silva Costa, although the hands and the head were sculpted by Paul Landowski. The statue was to be part of Brazil's 100th independence celebrations; however, the statue was finished only in 1931.
At night, the statue is even more stunning with a lighting system that brings the statue to life. At the base, you can also find a small chapel.
To reach the peak, you can try the Corcovado Rack Railway, which is an experience in itself. The railway is over a century old, as it opened in 1884. The railway leaves every 30 minutes, starting from 8:30 in the morning to 6:30 in the afternoon. Be prepared to wait in line, as the attraction is a popular one for tourists. The train makes for an exciting ride, as it has an absurd angle of accent, as well as lovely views of Leblon and Ipanema and a nature trail. Upon alighting the train, you have to climb the 220 steps to the observation deck. You can also go by panoramic elevator or escalator.
Corcovado is also part of the Tijuca National Park, which is Brazil's pride when it comes to rain forests. It affords you with great sightings of birds and other wildlife, such as the rarely seen boa constrictor. It also boasts of some 30 waterfalls and century-old trees. There is a hiking trail that leads up to the statue via the Parque Lage in the section of the Jardim Botanico.
What's more, you can also indulge in some rock climbing at the south face of the mountain, which has over 50 climbing routes. The sheer granite face of Corcovado has made it a challenging climb. Take note that these are for climbing and not hiking.