The Sugar Loaf: An icon of Rio de Janeiro
Sugarloaf Mountain, also known in portuguese as Pao de Açucar, is an icon of Rio de Janeiro, present in each postcard of the city. It is a peak situated in at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 mts high, (aprox 1,299 ft) above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. It is known worldwide for its cableway and panoramic views of the city and beyond.
The mountain is one of several monolithic granite and quartz mountains that rise straight from the water's edge around Rio de Janeiro. Geologically, it is considered part of a family of steep-sided rock outcroppings known as non-inselberg bornhardts.
The mountain is protected by the Sugarloaf Mountain and Urca Hill Natural Monument, created in 2006. This became part of a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 2012
Visiting the Sugar Loaf
From Praia Vermelha, the visitants take the first tram links to the Urca hill, and from there, a second tram takes them until the top of the Sugar loaf hill, it stays 396 meters of the sea level. Different histories justify the name of this touristic side; the most popular says that during the centuries XVI and XVIII, at the peak of the production of sugar cane, the producers stored sugar blocks in little boxes to be exported, and the resemblance of the object with Sugar loaf mountain gave origin to the name.
Inaugurated in 1912, the little tram of the Sugar loaf was the first Brazilian cable car and the third in the world, linking the Urca hill to the Sugar loaf mountain. Since then, more than 40 million of people have already used that cable cars.
From the high of the two mountains revels a gorgeous landscapes of the city, including the Botafogo cave, Copacabana edge and the entrance of Guanabara bay. In the summer, the amphitheater, located in the top of Urca hill is a stage for shows and night events, joining fun and a wonderful visual of lights of the city.
Youths and kids of 6 to 21 years old, students, seniors and deficient have 50% off. Kids under 6 years old don’t pay.