My visit to Sugarloaf Mountain was one of my favorite outings in Rio (along with visiting Christ the Redeemer). This stunning natural landmark is situated at the mouth of Guanabara Bay and peaks 396 metres (1,299 ft) above the harbor. The name apparently refers to the resemblance is has to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar… Although I couldn’t see it.
This granite and quartz mountain is one of several which rise straight from the waters edge.
It’s not just the view that brings the masses. Sugarloaf is one of the largest and most popular urban rock climbing destinations in the world. There are 270 different routes to explore in the area as you climb high above the Atlantic Ocean and the sprawling Rio de Janeiro.
As I’m not an adrenalin junkie I was more interested in the celeb status Sugarloaf Mountain boasts. The mountain has made an appearance in several movies such as Bette Davis’ “Now, Voyager”, the James Bond film “Moonraker” and a little show called The Simpsons also referred to this majestic mountain.
Two glass walled cable cars (or ‘glass death traps’ as I referred to them as) took me to the top of the peak where I enjoyed the spectacular views of the city, the Atlantic and Guanabara Bay. The cable car journey for me was just as rewarding as the views from the top (once I got over the fact I was standing in a glass box about 300 metres off the ground!).
Once I reached the top I had a nice lunch (yes, for me it is always about the food!) while soaking in the sun and the views. Not a bad way to spend the day!
As I was wandering around I heard a peculiar noise coming from the trees above me. I looked up to find a family of marmoset monkeys! They are tiny, cute and infested with rabies so as adorable as these little creatures looked I was sure to keep a safe distance. There is also other wildlife found there such as toucans, which unfortunately I did not see.
The cable car runs approximately every 20 minutes between 8am and 8pm. The trip up will cost you $25 (USD), which I was happy to pay for such a wonderful afternoon out.
As it is only a few minutes drive from Copacabana Beach I chose to get a taxi there and back which cost me $16 (USD) each way. For those who, unlike me, are not afraid of a bit of exercise it is only about an hours walk from Copa.
I would highly recommend a visit to Sugarloaf Mountain during your Rio stay. The views are nothing short of amazing and the cable car ride (even for someone who fears heights like I do) was amazing.
Have you been to Sugarloaf Mountain? What did you think?