A sure way to inspire star producers: Whisk them off to Rio de Janeiro for a personal glimpse of Latin America's equivalent of the Statue of Liberty. Christ the Redeemer, the 100-foot statue perched atop Corcovado Mountain, welcomes the world to Rio with outstretched arms — and he's a fantastic incentive reward.
In a VARIG Airlines first-class seat, white-glove service, extensive wine lists, and succulent dishes like caviar encrusted salmon render the overnight flight not simply painless, but an actual pleasure.
Once the plane touches down in the granite mountains of Southeastern Brazil's spectacular coastal region, your group can rest up on the club floors of the luxurious Hotel Inter-Continental Rio, where private check-in and check-out, complimentary snacks, cocktails, and breakfast exude exclusivity.
Then, it's off to Corcovado Mountain. Some call it a religious experience; others consider it a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity. No matter what you label it, a helicopter flight to the summit of the 2,330-foot forested peak — to hover within 100 yards of the famed stature of Christ the Redeemer — is the climax of any trip to Rio.
On a clear day, it is by far the most thrilling way to get up-close and personal with Christ the Redeemer — and the breathtaking panorama of the sparkling city at his feet, including Sugarloaf Mountain and the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, is a bonus.
The helicopter flights range from 10 minutes to one hour; Helisight Viagens and Tourismo e Helisul Taxi Aero (a partnership) have been operating them in Rio de Janeiro since 1991. The helipads are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and nighttime flights can be arranged. For reservations, call (021) 511-2141, or (021)542-7895 (Sugar Loaf helipad) or (021)259-6995 (Lagon helipad).