The height and unmistakable outline of Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf )makes it one of the main attractions of Rio de Janeiro. The most popular way of reaching the top is to take the glass-paneled cable car (Bondinho in Portuguese) which has been running every 20 minutes since 1912. Don’t worry, it has been rebuilt/ updated since 1912:)
To reach the top, you have to take 2 cable cars. The first takes you from Praia Vermelha to a height of 220m (720ft) above sea level and stops at the summit of Morro da Urca. The view is incredible, but what I found to be quite surprising was the amount of different stores, restaurants and actual event space (there is even an amphitheater- talk about a great place for a party!)The views are breathtaking from every direction! The second leg completes the journey to the Sugar Loaf over a distance of 750m (2460ft). Once at the top there are some restaurants, a few gift shops, a museum (so you can learn about the history behind the cable cars) and a number of different bamboo lined walking paths. It is definitely worth choosing a path and wandering around the top of the mountain, there are great ‘view points’ and small tables/chairs scattered around. Check out the view! The picture below is from one of the cliffs at the end of the trail I took! Now what you can’t see in this picture (and I sincerely apologize I don’t have a clear image for you) are the adorable little monkeys that were running/ jumping around in the bamboo trees! They were really fast and a bit camera shy, but super cute!If you are seeking more of an ‘adventure’ from your Sugar Loaf experience, try climbing it! You can climb Sugar Loaf, Morro da Babilônia (Babylon Mountain), and Morro da Urca (Urca’s Mountain). Together, they form one of the largest urban climbing areas in the world, with more than 270 routes, between 1 and 10 pitches long. I wasn’t that brave, but if you have climbed it– tell me about it!!!