Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) is situated in Rio de Janeiro in the bay of Guanabara, rising 396 m above the harbour on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. There are lots of different stories about its name. It is said that the mountain resembled the traditional shape of the loaves of concentrated refined sugar that were exported from Brazil. The Portuguese gave it this nickname when blocks of sugar were placed in conical molds made of clay to be transported on ships. The form of the peak reminded them of the well-known resulting “sugarloaf” shape. Another story is that the name given to the mountain by the Indigenous Tamoio Brazilians was Pau-nh-acuqua (“high hill”) in the Tupi-Guarani language and this was transliterated into Pão de Açúcar by the Portuguese settlers.
This site is very famous for its amazing panoramic views, and also for its cable car. The site is formed of two mountains. Urca is the smallest, and Sugarloaf is the tallest. The mountains are several monolithic granite and quartz mountains that rise straight from the water’s edge around Rio de Janeiro.
Depending on the time of the day you go for a visit, it gets really busy. I went around one o’clock in the afternoon, and didn’t experience many queues. The views are incredible.
From a distance you can see the Christ the Redeemer statue. It is an amazing breathtaking view of the city.
This picture is of the first cable car, from when they first ran up the mountain in 1912.
You go up on the cable car in two sections. First stop is on Urca mountain; you can walk around there, and there are a few shops, and restaurants you can visit, but the most important thing to do is to enjoy the view.
There is a helipad port where you can take a ride around the site. It last about seven minutes, and is quite expensive.
Going up to the second mountain you have gorgeous views of the city. This attraction is all about the pretty views. You could spend all day there if you wished.
This site is a must-do when in Rio. It is one of the top 10 things to do in Rio. I’ve visited this site a few times, and I never tired of it. If you are feeling very enthusiastic, you could walk all the way up Urca as there is a trail, and then get the cable car to the last stop: Sugarloaf Mountain.