When I talk about the Tijuca National Park, many of you might not know what we are referencing. That is until I mention that the top of the park is the most visited tourist point in Brazil and is the home of Christ the Redeemer, the great statue that is situated majestically atop the park.

Tijuca National Park in Rio

Future Paineiras Hotel and Visitor Center (Reuters / Paineiras, Corcovado)

recently explored Tijuca National Park along with my See You in Brazil team while we were in Brazil on a mission to give you the inside scoop about Rio and the renovations on major hotels, such as the former Hotel Paineiras.

One of our reasons for this trip was to examine the renovations to the former Hotel Paineiras. The hotel was built in 1880 but has been closed for three years due to renovations. Now, with the environmental permits necessary for construction in the Tijuca National Park, at last, the renovations can begin in full and are scheduled to be completed before the start of the Summer Olympics in August 2016.

The hotel will now be a visitor center and offer guests a glimpse of the culture of Rio, provided a souvenir shop and snack bar, provided toilet access, and will boast a beautiful restaurant overlooking the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro

As of July 2015, my team and I were impressed with the progress of the work and can envision the beautiful center to be completed in the next year. This will be another great spot, situated in the lush nature and beauty of the Corcovado Mountain and surrounded by beautiful birds, monkeys, and other wildlife. When you go up the mountain, you will experiences rapidly dropping temperatures and delicious and fresh air. It is a lovely atmosphere.

The company responsible for the park will replant three times more trees than what was torn down to make room for parking and gardens. This is what we call a compensatory measure to repair any damages to nature. The company is devoted to preserving the environmental integrity of the park and is looking to create a new password system to reduce the amount of queues to buy tickets, therefore, controlling the amount of visitors in the park at certain times to see the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Tijuca National Park in Rio

Tijuca National Park in Rio

If you are thinking about visiting Rio, you have to experience the wonder that comes from viewing the Statue of Corcovado and the immense city below. From your perch at the top of the mountain, you will breathe in all Rio has to offer and immediately understand why Rio mesmerizes so many visitors each year.

This trip, my team and I decided to go by car to the Corcovado Mountain, so we had to first buy our tickets and board a park sponsored van to travel up the mountain to the tourist attraction. This can be confusing with so many cars hustling and bustling around you. Once you have bought your ticket and boarded your van, however, you can enjoy the sites leading to the biggest attraction in Rio de Janeiro.

Tijuca National Park in Rio

Tijuca National Park in Rio

Visitors have another option as well if they don’t wish to go to the top of the mountain. Visitors can catch a van from Copacabana or Ipanema and get quite close to the Corcovado. There are also vans that go straight to the statue of Christ the Redeemer from Copacabana Beach or ax Largo. The city of Rio recommends taking a van from the city rather than renting a car to drive up the mountain yourself. It is much more convenient for you and your companions as well as helps reduce the amount of private cars on the already crowded roads of Rio.

However, if you truly wish to bypass the busy streets of Rio, the Corcovado train is a great option. Guests can buy a one time or season ticket online at and enjoy a relaxing and beautiful trip up the mountain. When taking the train, I prefer to stay on the right side of the train and take photos of passing animals, trees, and a special surprise I won’t spoil for you when the train is almost to the top.

When my team and I went to the statue in July, the vans and shuttles were operating very efficiently. We took a late van and were able to watch the sun set from the mountain and the very first tinges of a clear blue night begin. Even after all these years, I am amazed by Brazil’s never ending beauty and magic. I hope you come to fall in love with this country as much as I have.

Obrigado,

Mister Brazil