Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World using miles & points: Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
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Editors note: This is a new series showing you how to experience the seven wonders of the world using miles and points. As only one of the original seven wonders of the world from the second century is still standing (the Pyramids of Giza), we are using the list of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Constructed between 1922 and 1931, Christ the Redeemer is a 30 metre-high Art Deco statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Created by French sculptor Paul Landowski, this Christian monument sits at the top of the Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca National Park.
You can enjoy spectacular views over the city of Rio De Janeiro while visiting one of the most iconic sites in Brazil.
To reach the peak of the Corcovado mountain the best option is to take the cog train, leaving every 30 minutes and taking approximately 20 minutes, crossing Mata Atlântica. To avoid queues, especially during the peak summer season of December to March you can purchase tickets in advance for around £11 return in high season, and £9 return in low season. This includes entrance to Christ the Redeemer.
Though it is possible to hike to the top via the Tijuca Forest National Park, is is not advisable due to safety issues on the route.
To beat the crowds, aim to visit on a weekday, either early in the morning, or late in the afternoon.
If you’ve ever wanted to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World — here’s how to visit Christ the Redeemer using miles and points.
How to get there
Christ the Redeemer is located less than 10 miles from downtown Rio de Janeiro. You can fly into Rio de Janeiro/Galeão – Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (GIG).
Right. now, there is only one direct flight from the United Kingdom to Rio, on British Airways.
To book it with points, as one of British Airways longest flights, you will need to redeem the following, one way, per person:
- 19,500 Avios off-peak / 30,000 Avios peak + £244.56 in fees, taxes and surcharges in World Traveller economy
- 39,000 Avios off-peak / 60,000 Avios peak + £364.06 in fees, taxes and surcharges in World Traveller Plus premium economy
- 75,000 Avios off-peak / 90,000 Avios peak + £440.56 in fees, taxes and surcharges in Club World/Club Suite business class
Brazil previously made fuel surcharges on redemptions illegal (though the laws have since changed). A quirk of this route is that for return flights from Brazil back to London on British Airways, you will only pay £8.23 in fees, taxes and surcharges, regardless of the cabin.
Availability on this route is surprisingly good, though if you cannot find availability on the direct British Airways flight, you can try redeeming your Avios for flights on Iberia via Madrid (MAD), or American Airlines via Miami (MIA) or New York (JFK).
Unfortunately Virgin Atlantic does not currently fly to Rio however you can redeem Virgin Points on their partner airlines Air France, via Paris (CDG), KLM via Amsterdam (AMS) and Delta Air Lines via Atlanta (ATL).
The book with points the prices may vary slightly depending on your route, but you can expect to pay around, one way, per person on Air France or KLM:
- 17,000 Virgin Points + £225 in fees, taxes and surcharges in economy
- 42,000 Virgin Points + £300 in fees, taxes and surcharges in premium economy
- 87,500 Virgin Points + £401 in fees, taxes and surcharges in business class
You can expect to pay more Virgin Points if you are travelling with Delta as the two legs will be priced separately.
If you have Star Alliance miles you can fly from the United Kingdom to Rio on Lufthansa via Munich (MUC), TAP Portugal via Lisbon (LIS) and Porto (OPO) or United via Houston (IAH).
You may be surprised to hear that none of the Big 3 Middle Eastern carriers – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar – fly to Rio De Janeiro.
Where to stay
There are several hotel options to redeem your points and miles at in Rio De Janeiro:
- The Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro is a five-star member of Hilton Honors with cash rates from £55 per night or 20,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
- The Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana is a five-star member of Hilton Honors with cash rates from £66 per night or 29,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
- The Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro is a five star World of Hyatt property with cash rates from £115 per night or 12,000 Hyatt points per night.
- The JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro is a five star Marriott Bonvoy property with cash rates from £106 per night or 35,500 Bonvoy points for a standard night redemption as a Category 5 property.
- Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel & Resort is a four-star Marriott Bonvoy property with cash rates from around £74 or 25,00 Bonvoy points for a standard night redemption as a Category 4 property.
- Residence Inn by Marriott Rio de Janeiro Barra da Tijuca and Courtyard by Marriott Rio de Janeiro Barra da Tijuca are both four-star Marriott Bonvoy properties with cash rates from around £40 or 17,500 Bonvoy points for a standard night redemption as a Category 3 property.
Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World using miles & points:
Featured image by Jeremy Walker / Gettys
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