Another must in Rio is visiting Pao de Acucar or Sugar Loaf mountain. There are two seperate parts to it, so you need to take two cable cars. The cost is quite high though, and if you want you can just pay for one return ride. The views are pretty special, keep an eye out for the monkeys and the birds.
One of the references of Rio de Janeiro, this enormous rock provides marvellous views over town, making mandatory the trip to its top.
However, if you are coming from the breathtaking Corcovado, as we were, then those sensations are really diminished.
The trip by cable car, divided in two steps, is for itself a good experience.
If you plan to go up the Sugar Loaf mountain, consider a walk around the beautiful square where you will find the cable car station. Besides monuments that celebrate events of the military history of Brazil, you will find a nice small beach, a statue of polish composer Frederic Chopin and the only kindergarten in the city of Rio de Janerio with a canon in its premises. At the left end of the beach, you will find a jogging lane that lies between the sea and the forest. Many people go there to run, and others enjoy climbing.
It may be more than a little touristy, but there´s many a good reason why visitors flock to take the cable car ride up to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain. Rising sheer out of the ocean and towering almost 400 meters above Guanabara Bay, the mountain offers spectacular views from its peak. A dizzying two-stage cable car ride takes in sweeping vistas of the city, and once you reach the top you´ll be in no doubt as to why Rio de Janeiro is known as the Cidade Maravilhosa (marvelous city). At the top of Sugar Loaf you will find snack bars, toilets and plenty of prime photo opportunities
Although there is never a bad time to visit the beautiful and awe inspiring Sugar Loaf there certainly are better times. Those times would be early in the morning to take advantage of the mist that surrounds the Sugar Loaf giving it a floating mountain look, or on any clear day. So be sure to consult the weather reports before planning your visit. Otherwise plan on some of the most amazing views you will find anywhere. From Sugar Loaf you can see a bit of Ipanema beach and the whole of Copacobana beach. Pretty much you get the full panoramic view of the city of Rio in one sweeping glance. And yes of course you can see Christ the Redeemer in the distance.
Next we caught thr second cable car to the higher of the two mountains. The from here was just as incredible with a great view of Copacabana Beach and the nearby Praia Vermelha beach below.
We were greeted upon our descent by troop of very small but lively monkeys.
We were advised to walk out past the parking lot to hail a metered cab on the street where the fares would lower.
The drive took us along the coast and past Cobacabana Beach . We arrived back at our hotel in Ipanema for 20 Reals
We were concerned the clouds would also obstruct our view as was the case at the Christ Statue but forever the optomist we decided to go.
Much to our delight it seems that while the Christ Statue from its lofty perch of 700 meters was in the clouds , the view from the top of Sugar Loaf was clear!
We arrived with the same taxi driver and we olnly then realized he had left the meter running while we were viewinh the Christ Statue. Luckily there are attendants in the Sugar Loaf parking lot who spoke English. After some discussion 23 Real were deducted , we paid our fare and sent him on his way ...this time we insisted he not wait.
We bought a ticket each for 44real and waited about 30 minutes for the cable car to take us to URCA . Urca is the lowere flat topped mountain. It is named for the whale it is thought to resemble. I have to say ,I couldn't see the resemblance. This mountain is the larger of the two and we spent quite a while circling it and enjoying the views. It was absolutely breathtaking.
Before we continued we grabbed an empanada. Delicious but definetly not low cal!
There are two things in Rio that are impossible to miss...Cristo Redeemer and the stunning Sugar Loaf. They stand out everywhere you go in Rio as reminders of why people come to Rio...cause I sure as hell doubt it's for the prostitution cause you can find that anywhere. But what you can't find anywhere is the magnificence of visiting Sugar Loaf and taking in the stunning views from the top. To get to the top one must take the cable car which costs $44 Real for a roundtrip ticket. It takes two different cable cars to get there and be sure to go right for the windows in the carriage as to not miss the views on the way up. From the top of Sugar Loaf you will get a 360 degree view of Rio and all it's islands, mountain peaks, beaches, buildings, and if you look close enough, prostitutes as well! There is also a very nice beach by the Sugar Loaf so bring your swimsuit and make a day out of it!
Riding a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain is an excellent option if your time in Rio de Janeiro is limited, giving you the best of Rio in one great day.
In the afternoon, hitch a ride through downtown Rio to pick up the cable car that takes you to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain for wonderful views of Rio de Janeiro growing between the mountains and the sea, and the magical sight of the sun dipping down over the beach.
The view of the makes this trip worth it whether you can understand the guides or not. No photos can prepare you for the spectacular 360-degree views from the top of the mountains. There are multiple sections of the tour. Do not let the first guy take your ticket, or you may run into problems convincing them you paid later.
The Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pão de Acúcar) is another famous and very popular lookout point in Rio. The top is reachable by cable-car, and we arrived at the cable-car station at Praia Vermelha. When we were waiting for the next available cable-car, we spotted some rock climbers on their way up the steep mountain sides. I have read that the Sugar Loaf and the two other mountain in the area, Morro da Babilônia and Morro da Urca, are very popular for climbing.
We had no intentions of beginning a rock climbing career, and started our ride with the cable-cars. The ride was split into two separate stages, the first to Morro da Urca – 215 meters above Rio, and then to the summit of the Sugar Loaf Mountain - nearly 400 meters above the city. The views from Morro da Urca and the Sugar Loaf were fabulous, but the cable-car ride itself was also quite nice. Each ride took about 3-4 minutes and there was a fantastic 360-degree view from the panoramic cable-cars.
We really enjoyed our visit at the Sugar Loaf, but you must avoid cloudy days if you want the full view of the Copacabana beach, the Corcovado Hill, the Guanabara Bay, Niteoroi, and much more...
It is a fun experience. You take cable car to Urca (first level) and then the next cable car to Sugar Loaf Mountain. We did it by ourself. no tour guide needed. It costs around 44 Rias. Great to visit for sunset
Visiting Sugar Loaf was the main thing I wanted to do on my visit to Rio. I'd dreamt about visiting it for years.
To get to the top you first take the cable car from Praia Vermelha to Morro da Urca, an ascent of 220m. The station here has a restaurant & shops. A further cable car ride takes you to the top of Sugar Loaf. The station here is 396m above Rio, it also has shops & a restaurant. The main attraction here though is the panoramic view. The weather was clear with little cloud cover on my visit, making the view truly spectacular. The definite highlight of my time in Rio.
The sugar loaf, or pao de acucar as it is called in brazilian is a 396 meter high rock that is situated right above the Copacabana beach.
In order to get to the top from where you have a fantastic view of Rio, you need to take a cable car from the part of Rio called Urca.
The cable car ride is a double ride where you need to change to another cable car half the way up.
From the sugar loaf you have a fantastic view of the Copacabana beach and the more central parts of Rio.
You might also see rock climbers there as it´s a popular spot for that sport.
I had seen so many pictures of Sugarloaf Mountain before so I was not going to miss riding a cable car to reach its top. I cannot remember how much I paid, but I think it was less than $10 ( was it $8?). But no matter how much, it was worth it.
I remember going to a base station (Praca General Tiburcio?) which is at a small water peninsula (entrance of Guanabara Bay) – and from this station, the cable car leaves every 30 minutes from 8-10PM everyday.
The cable car (called “bondinho” in Portuguese or sometimes, teleferico) actually joins the hills of Urca (220 meters/705 feet) and Sugar Loaf( 575 meters/1300 feet). It can hold 75 passengers (some say 115 passengers). The views while still in the cable car are already stunning and the rides from base to Urca (halfway), and Urca to Sugar Loaf only took about 5-10 minutes if I remember right.
So, when you go out at Urca, you get excited to see the view and also enjoy the shops and restaurants. Then ride the cable again, and you get the magnificent view atop Sugar Loaf! On a clear day, it’s just as in the postcard!
But this mountain which is shaped like concentrated refined loaf sugar also has historical significance – this is where Rio de Janeiro was originally founded in 1565.
Access to cable car is on 520 Pasteur Avenue
TE: 2546-8400 / 2541-3737
The most recognisable postcard image from Rio, Pão de Açucar, or Sugarloaf Mountain, dominates the centre of Rio and the entrance into Baìa da Guanabara. The steep mountain was called pau-nh-acugua, meaning "pointed peak", by the indigenous people, a name that to Portuguese ears sounded sufficiently close to Pão de Açucar or Sugarloaf, which also accurately describes the shape of the mountain. Since the introduction of the first cable cars in 1912, visits to the top of the mountain have been possible. First the visitor climbs up the smaller mountain, Morro de Urca where there are bars and restaurants and good views over the city. Then a second cable car takes the visitor to the higher peak for even better views over the entire city. Also worthwhile is the 7-minute helicopter ride from Morro de Urca that circles Morro de Corcovado/Cristo Redentor and back, and for those mountain climbers amongst us, climbs of Pão de Açucar are frequently organised.