From Ipanema Beach to the Amazon River to South American Swells—and Beyond

Climbing for Christ
rock climb Rio de Janeiro
Grab Some Rock in Rio: Corcovado (Corel)

The Corcovado is arguably Brazil's most famous landmark, the 2,400-foot-high rock monolith upon which the statue of Christ the Redeemer holds arms out as if to embrace the people below. There are several rock-climbing routes around the city, some directly below the statue, and others within view of it. For example, the 5.8 route, K2, ascends for about 400 feet up Corcovado, and guides at Rio Adventures (; can lead you up it for about $75 per person. Sugar Loaf Mountain, another of Rio's famous peaks, includes routes ranging from 5.4 to 5.10a. Check out the Italianos e Cepi, a 5.9 that stretches for more than 700 feet on the west side of the peak.

In nearby Tijuca National Park, the largest urban forest perhaps in the world, you'll find other long, but easier, routes up formations like the 2,100-foot Pedra Bonita, or the "beautiful rock." As you work your way up the 5.4 turf, be sure to look around at the hang gliders soaring in the thermals as well as the surf breaking on the Barra beaches.

If scaling up rock isn't quite your style, try monkeying through the branches of the Atlantic forests in Tijuca. You can sign up for a tree canopy tour that includes swinging from trees and walking along Ewok-like paths between trunks 50 feet off the jungle floor. The tour with Rio Adventures last about four hours and costs $39.

Published: 26 Aug 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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