It took nerves of steel, a steady step and just a quick half an hour climb to take what could be the ultimate selfie.
Londoner Lee Thompson, 31, convinced the Brazilian tourist board to let him scale Rio's most famous monument, the Christ the Redeember statue.
The landmark, perched on top of Corcovado mountain, was being repaired after a lightning storm when Thompson made his nearly 40-metre climb.
The narrow steps took 25 minutes to navigate, with just one misstep meaning a long, long way down.
Thompson said it was extremely hot, eerily quiet and claustrophobic on his climb up the statue, the Daily Mail reported.
"When I popped my head out of the top it took my breath away. The view really was incredible.
"Everyone says it is crazy and it makes them feel sick just looking at it.
"I have had lots of messages from Brazilians who say it is something they have always wanted to do."
Thompson, co-founder of travel company www.theflashpack.co.uk, said it was "the most fun selfie I've taken and one of my favourite photos."
His proud dad Paul Thompson, who lives at Red Beach north of Auckland, called it "the best selfie ever".
He said his son had been to about 90 countries in the last 10 years or so, including some danger zones. "Climbing Christ the Redeemer was the least of my concerns," he added.
A photojournalist of 14 years, Lee Thompson has covered the tsunami in Japan, and conflicts in Libya and Egypt.
The statue - Cristo Redentor in Portuguese - was the largest art deco statue in the world when it was completed in 1931 and stands at almost 30 metres tall.