A helicopter tour over Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro is a really unforgettable and unique trip, as it affords an aerial view of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, Rocinha Shantytown, Maracanã Football Stadium, Lagoon, Botanical Garden, Downtown, Sambadrome, Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf, and Christ the Redeemer statue (as well as parts of the statue that you don’t see from the ground such as the feet [the statue is barefoot], the toes and its nails, and the lightening rods on the head [looks like a mini crown], arms and hands).
Length of the Rio de Janeiro helicopter tour
The minimum helicopter ride over Rio de Janeiro lasts between six and seven minutes. This flight covers Christ statue as well as part of Copacabana Beach. Additionally, this flight also gets closer to Sugar Loaf before heading back to the helipad at Urca Hill. While seven minutes might sound like a rather short flight, it is actually an intense and a memorable experience. However, a 12- or 14-minute tour (#5 and #6) is ideal and really worth the extra money.
How much does the helicopter ride to Christ the Redeemer statue cost – Prices per person and itineraries
Tour 1 (6 to 7 minutes): R$180; US$90; €78. Itinerary: helipad – turn around Christ – Copacabana Beach – view of Sugar Loaf – helipad. Note: tour 1 does not take off from Lagoa helipad (Lagoon).
Tour 3 (8 to 9 minutes): R$275; US$137; €119. Itinerary: helipad – turn around Christ – Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches – view of Sugar Loaf – helipad.
Tour 4 (11 to 12 minutes): R$335; US$167; €145. Itinerary: helipad – Maracanã – turn around Christ – Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches – view of Sugar Loaf – helipad. (Note: This helicopter ride in Rio is one of the best values).
Tour 5 (12 to 13 minutes): R$360; US$180; €156. Itinerary: helipad – turn around Christ – Botanical Garden – Lagoa (Lagoon) – Rocinha Favela – Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana Beaches – view of Sugar Loaf – helipad.
Tour 6 (14 to 15 minutes): R$420; US$210; €182. Itinerary: helipad – downtown – Sambadrome – Maracanã Stadium – turn around Christ – Botanical Garden – Lagoa – Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana Beaches – turn around Sugar Loaf – helipad.
Note: tours 6, 7 (R$540; US$270; €235, 20 minutes), 8 (R$625: US$312; €270, 30 minutes) and 9 (R$1050; US$525; €456, 60 minutes) are the only tours in which the helicopter turns around Sugar Loaf.
Payment: in cash (reais, US dollars, euros) or majorcredit cards.
The helicopter tour company in Rio de Janeiro takes safety extremely seriously. When the weather is not appropriate, flights are suspended. In fact, there has never been a helicopter ride accident in Rio involving tourists.
Reservations are not possible (except for very large private groups). You need to book and pay on site right before the flight. On peak days and mainly extreme peak days, be at the helicopter ticket office at 9:00 a.m. to buy the first tour. Any later and you risk an extended wait (up to an hour and a half, or more) for your turn.
Allow enough time to take the tour, because even if you are the first in the morning, be aware that it takes at least 20 minutes to inspect the aircraft and get it ready for the first tour of the day, which happens around 9:30 a.m. The last flight is before sunset. All tours need at least three passengers to fly (the aircraft holds one pilot and four passengers).
Note: there are no headsets for passengers, so the ride is rather noisy. Bring your earplugs if you are noise-averse.
- • Lagoa (the lagoon at the back of Ipanema)
- • Mirante Dona Marta (on the road to the Corcovado minibus shuttle stand)
- • Urca Hill (the hill halfway to Sugar Loaf)
Note: be aware that at Urca Hill, you need to pay the full Sugar Loaf round trip ticket even if you just want to take a helicopter tour (unless you hike 25 minutes in the forest up to Urca Hill – hiking is free). Urca Hill’s helipad is where you have the best chance of joining up with another tourist if you need an extra person or two to close a tour. Alternatively, you can pay for the empty seat and take a private tour.
Avoid standing in line, wasting your time and money when visiting Christ statue. Learn the tricks and secrets that few tourists know by getting a copy of Christ the Redeemer Statue – A Comprehensive Guidebook to Visiting the Rio de Janeiro Landmark atop Corcovado Mountain. (Or, get a FREE preview of the e-book in PDF format below).
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