Corcovado – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
An Unmatched Urban Tableau
The mesmerizing 360-degree panorama from atop Corcovado Mountain showcases Rio de Janeiro’s beauty in all its heart-stopping glory. This unique, overpowering tableau of curving white beaches, skyscrapers, gray granite mountains, lush rain forest, and the island-studded Bay of Guanabara encouraged Rio’s nickname, Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City).
Corcovado’s summit is crowned by the 120-foot-high soapstone figure of Christ, his arms outstretched to a 75-foot expanse; the very symbol of the city, it was completed (nine years late) in 1931 to commemorate the 1922 centennial of Brazilian independence. Almost twice as high as its rival, 1,300-foot Pao de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain), Corcovado offers a view of the gumdrop-shaped Sugarloaf, and confirms that no other major metropolis is as blessed with physical and natural beauty as Rio. The passenger train to the summit makes its steep 2.3-mile, twenty-minute ascent through lush Tijuca National Park, the largest urban park in the world – an 8,151-acre forest of plate-size blue morpho butterflies and refreshing waterfalls.