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There are numerous ways of reaching the Christ the Redeemer statue. You can go by minibus or train from Cosme Velho, or hike up from Parque Lage.

But, for me, nothing is as satisfying as a cycle up to the iconic peak through Tijuca forest. It is a tough climb, but the reward is glorious scenery, occasional wildlife (capuchins, toucans and snakes), mountain showers and then an exhilarating ride down some very steep slopes. More ambitious riders can make a morning of it and do the three-hour circuit from Santa Teresa, up to Corcovado, along the Paineiras ridge, down to Alto da Boa Vista, then up and down part of the brutal Olympic cycling course past the Mesa do Imperador and Vista Chinesa.

Bikes can be rented at Fiets Rio in Ipanema or Laranjeiras.

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