- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Park and garden
Brazilians gave Sugarloaf Mountain its name as it resembles, quite simply, a lump of sugar. It's a Portuguese re-interpretation of its former Indian namePau-nh-Acuquawhich translates as 'high, isolated, pointy mountain'.
To save money and get some exercise, I like to climb up to the second cable-car terminal, which then takes me to the peak. It's a half hour walk through a forest. If you have problems walking take note that, at certain points, it's steep.
Once you've reached the top, you'll be able to look across to Corcovado's 'Christ the Redeemer' and meet some cheeky monkeys.
This is a visit not to miss during your time in Brazil's capital. !
Sugarloaf Mountain is an absolute must-see when visiting Rio de Janeiro. There's no denying that the view over the city is impressive and the sunsets are breath-taking. I should add that if you go there on a cloudy day, you will be disappointed...just sayin'!
To get there, go to Urca, a neighborhood of Rio that's cut off from the hurly burly of the city center. There are two cable cars here to take you to the top (allow for some waiting time). The first will take you to Morro de Urca or shopping heaven - tourist style, with souvenir stores, restaurants, and even a heliport for airborne excursions. Your first climb will give you an amazing view over Guanabara Bay. From there, a second (steep) ascent will take you to the star of the site, the Pão de Açúcar. The sight is spectacular, particularly at night when you can see the city through 180 °. It's the perfect place to get a cover for the photograph album of your trip to Brazil !
Note for the more adventurous: I have heard that it's possible to actually climb up to the summit!
Lots of places provide views over Rio, but the one from Sugarloaf Mountain has always been my favorite. Tickets (which can also be bought in advance on-line) are not cheap at around 62BRL (20USD), but worth every cent.
One bondinho (cable-car) takes you to Morro da Urca and a second to Sugarloaf Mountain's summit, at 400m high. And the view gets better and better along the way. So treat yourself to a 360° view over the city; Guanabara Bay, Urca, Flamengo, Corcovado's 'Christ the Redeemer', Rio's downtown, all accompanied by the sight of planes landing and taking off from the Santos-Dumont airport. Sugarloaf Mountain has a trail that circles it, so you can see its surrounds from all angles. You'll also spot Sagouin monkeys!
Whilst you're there, take the time to sit on one of the many benches dotted around the Morro; eat an ice cream or down a beer, whilst waiting for the sun to set. Trust me, once you see this view for yourself, you won't want to leave.