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Sugarloaf Mountain

Practical information about Sugarloaf Mountain

  • Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
  • Viewpoint
  • Park and garden
  • Mountain
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
By bus from most of the tourist areas of Rio
When to go
All year round when the sky is blue
Minimum stay
Half a day

Reviews of Sugarloaf Mountain

Anne-Laure Paffenholz Travel writer
13 travel articles

Head uphill to admire Rio de Janeiro from its greatest peak, Sugarloaf Mountain. One of the first things you should do on arrival and it'll give you a great view of the city.

My suggestion:
Make sure the weather and light are good. Avoid cloudy days and try to get there either early in the morning or before sunset; you'll be proud of the photos you take on the way up! The shots of the city are amazing! 
Summary:

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. !

Eva Martin Travel writer
181 travel articles

This block of granite rises to nearly 400 meters above the bay of Rio de Janeiro and is the other great symbol of what has often been called the most beautiful city in the world.

My suggestion:
Because this is one of the most popular sites in the city, avoid the peak times of 10 to 11 am and 2 to 3 pm. Those are the favorite times for the tour buses, so you can imagine the crowds...
Summary:

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!

Amélie Perraud-Boulard Travel writer
32 travel articles

The Pão de Açúcar (or Sugarloaf Mountain) is a Rio de Janeiro postcard favorite and a must-see when visiting the 'Cidade Maravilhosa'. Simply put, it's awesome!

My suggestion:
My favorite time to go to Sugarloaf Mountain is towards the end of the afternoon, around 4pm. Three views in one; Rio during the day, the sun slowly setting followed by the city lighting up.
Summary:

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.

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