Corcovado and Beaches
Corcovado – The first official expedition to the Corcovado Mountain was headed by Dom Pedro I, heir to the Brazilian throne at the time. The Art-Deco statue situated at the top of the 710 meters high mountain was inaugurated in October 12, 1931 by then-President Getúlio Vargas.
The “Cristo Redentor” Statue is certainly the most visited and admired monument in Rio de Janeiro with its magnificent 360° panoramic view of the city. With the recently inaugurated escalators and panoramic elevators the two hundred steps climb to the top can thankfully be avoided.
The cog train ride through the Tijuca rain forest takes about 30min each way during which visitors can appreciate the exuberance of the native flora.
Maracanã — The biggest stadium of the world at the time of its construction, today it is still famous for its imposing elliptical framework which is almost circular. During the fifties, it was not only one of the most luxurious stadiums in the world, but it was also well known for its functionality and security.
Maracanã was built to host the 1950 world cup which Brazil surprisingly lost to Uruguay. This match was witnessed by the (unofficial) record attendance in soccer/football history of approximately 200.000 people.
Although the stadium was already known as Maracanã (the name of a small river that runs nearby), in 1964 it was officially named after Journalist Mario Filho who greatly supported its construction.
Official Record Attendance: 183.341 people – Brazil x Paraguay; 1969
Sambódromo — In 1928, Rio gave birth to what would someday be the heart of Carnival, the samba school. But it wasn’t until 1930 that then-Brazilian President Getulio Vargas, gave the samba schools an official place in Carnival festivities and the Samba Parade was born. The three schools to perform that inaugural year were Estacio de Sá, Estação, Primeira de Mangueira, and Portela.
In 1984, the Sambodromo, a permanent structure on avenue Marques de Sapucai was built specifically for the samba parade.
Sambodromo (also known in English as Sambadrome or Sambodrome) is the “stadium” of samba. It consists of a 700 meters long parading avenue (the samba run-way) and several independent concrete structures for the spectators (the so called sectors) along both sides of the Sambodromo´s parading avenue.
The Sambodromo was designed by Brazil’s world-famous architect, the modernist Oscar Niemeyer. Purpose-built for the Samba Parade and inaugurated it can seat around 80,000 people, which is already far too few for the ever growing Rio Carnival Parade.
Lunch – Porcão Rio’s – NOT INCLUDED
Sugar Loaf –The name “Pão de Açúcar” was given by the Portuguese because in the ancient sugar mills after the sugar cane was squeezed, the liquid was put to drip into a cone-shaped mold that formed the cakes of sugar shipped to Europe.
Italian-made Cable cars carrying up to 25 people, introduced by the engineer Augusto Ferreira Ramos in 1912, take visitors to the top of the mountain in two stages of about 3 minutes each. The first stop is at Morro da Urca, a smaller mountain in front of Sugarloaf.
Pão de Açúcar also hosts shows, with many bands frequently playing on the top of the mountain. If you want to enhance your Rio experience, there is an optional helicopter ride leaving from the Sugar Loaf. The shortest ride lasts 7 minutes flying over Corcovado, Sugar Loaf and South District beaches.
The tour ends with a relaxing return drive to the Hotel along some of the beaches of the southern district of Rio de Janeiro.