Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) – One of the best things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Fast Facts:

Entrance Fee R$ 71.00
Credit Card Accepted Yes
Handicapped Accessible Yes
Parking Available Yes
Changing Room N/A
Lockers Available No
Food Available Yes

Recommendations:

  1. The best time to visit Sugarloaf mountain is in the evening before the sunset.
  2. Taxis are readily available from Ipanema and Copacabana areas to Sugarloaf mountain.
  3. It costs around R$ 25 to get to Sugarloaf mountain station from Ipanema. Since yellow taxis don’t accept credit cards, make sure you have cash available.
  4. Visit Sugarloaf mountain only in clear weather. A cloudy day could very well spoil the view of the magnificent city of Rio. Therefore, make sure to check weather forecast before visiting the Sugarloaf mountain.
  5. Ticket office opens at 8:00 AM in the morning and is open until 08:00 PM in the evening.
  6. Your ticket include 2 cable car rides: the first one up to Morro da Urca and the second one up to the Sugarloaf mountain.
  7. The cable car leaves every 20 minutes or whenever it reaches full capacity of 65 persons.
  8. The cable ride up to the Morro da Urca lasts approximately 3 minutes.
  9. The cable ride from Morro da Urca to Sugarloaf mountain lasts 3 minutes as well.

Getting to Sugarloaf mountain from Ipanema and Copacabana:

Yellow taxis are the best when it comes to getting around city of Rio de Janeiro. During our time in Rio, I found the yellow taxis to be readily available, most reliable and least expensive. The best thing about yellow taxis in Rio is that you don’t have to make any advance reservation over the phone. All you have to do is get down to the street, waive at any yellow taxi and you’re up for the ride. We stayed 5 days in Rio and we never had to wait more than a minute for the taxi. The only downside is most of the drivers of yellow taxis don’t understand English. But, that’s the case with almost all of Brazil where very few people know or speak English.

As for getting to Sugarloaf mountain, ask your taxi driver to take you to Pao de Acucar or Sugarloaf mountain. Since taxi drivers don’t understand English, I would recommend writing ‘Pao de Acucar’ in your phone or on a piece of paper so that you can show it your driver. It costs around R$ 25 from Ipanema to get to Sugarloaf mountain. Since Copacabana is pretty close to Ipanema, it would cost around the same or less to get to the Sugarloaf mountain from Copacabana too.

Our time at Sugarloaf mountain:

The weather wasn’t perfect on the day we chose to visit Sugarloaf mountain. For the most part it was cloudy with the sun playing hide and seek. However, we had to leave for Iguazu falls the next day, and therefore, we took our chances and decided to visit Sugarloaf mountain on a cloudy day.

Since we had heard that panoramic views from the mountain top are breathtaking, particularly at sunset; we started for Sugarloaf mountain from Ipanema in the afternoon. It cost us R$ 25.00 for a 20 minutes ride to Sugarloaf mountain from Ipanema. We had visited Rio during shoulder season of October, and therefore, there were not many people in the line ahead of us. We bought out tickets using the Miles-and-More credit card because there ain’t any fee on international transactions on this card.

After purchasing our tickets, we waited for our tram up to Morro da Urca as cable car leaves every 20 minutes. As soon as the gate opened, we rushed to pick a good spot at the back of the cable car so that we can get some good shots.

Sugarloaf_Mountain_1

On our way up to Morro da Urca

After approximately 3 minutes of cable car ride, we arrived at Morro da Urca. From there, we had to walk a little to get to the other cable car that would take us up to the Sugarloaf mountain. It’s a short 5 min walk with plenty of good spots for the photo op.

After arriving at the other cable car station, we could see the mighty Sugarloaf mountain. Since it was a cloudy day, we couldn’t see the top. Still breathtaking, nevertheless.

Sugarloaf_Mountain_2

View of Sugarloaf mountain from Morro da Urca

From Morro da Urca, we took another cable car ride up to the Sugarloaf mountain. This ride took around the same time as the first cable car ride.

The view from the top was far from perfect because of clouds. We were able to spot Christ the Reedemer only a couple of times during an hour we must have spent at the top.

Sugarloaf_Mountain_3

Christ the Redeemer playing hide and seek with clouds as seen from Sugarloaf mountain

There is a small snack bar and a souvenir shop at the top. We spent our time there drinking beer and waiting for clouds to disappear. All our wait went in vain as the clouds were pretty persistent with no sign of disappearing. That’s when we decided to come down back to Morro da Urca.

Sugarloaf_Mountain_4

Fellow tourists at Sugarloaf mountain waiting for clouds to disappear!

Please hold on to your tickets throughout your time at Sugarloaf mountain. You will need the same ticket for the cable car ride on your way down.

Sugarloaf_Mountain_6

Christ the Redeemer on our way down to Morro da Urca

In spite of disappointment we had at the top, we were glad that we got some good views of the magnificent Rio from Morro da Urca.

Copacabana beach from Morro da Urca

Copacabana beach from Morro da Urca

Verdict:

I would highly recommend visiting Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) in Rio for the splendid panoramic views of the city of Rio.

About the Author

devesh.s.sharma@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *