Sugarloaf Mountain: The Best View in Rio
One of Rio’s best known attractions is the iconic cable car up Sugarloaf Mountain. The cable car has received over 37 million visitors since its opening in 1912.
The ride is divided into two stages, each lasting 3 minutes. The first stage goes from Praia Vermelha (Red Beach) to Morro da Urca (Urca Hill), at an altitude of 220 meters. The second stage goes from Morro da Urca to Sugarloaf Mountain, at an altitude of 528 meters. Cable car speed varies from 21 to 31 kilometers per hour. Each car has a capacity for 65 passengers.
I don’t care if you are afraid of heights (or afraid of precarious-looking cable cars like my mother), the view is to die for. (Well, maybe not literally). The 360-degree views you’ll enjoy along the ride and from the top of Morro da Urca and Sugarloaf Mountain encompass Rio beaches – Flamengo, Botafogo, Leme, Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon – the Corcovado, Guanabara Bay, downtown Rio, the Santos Dumont Airport, the Rio-Niterói Bridge and Dedo de Deus (God’s Finger), a peak which rises from Brazil’s coastal range (Serra do Mar) in Teresópolis, RJ, about 50 miles from Rio.
That’s a lot of places to see at once. And I must admit the view is even better than the view of the sexy locals on Ipanema Beach…
Helisight, a company which does helicopter tours of Rio de Janeiro, has a station at Morro da Urca. For reservations, call 55-21-2511-2141.
The Sugarloaf complex has elevators.
Wheelchair accessible restrooms are available at Morro da Urca and the Sugarloaf.
Avenida Pasteur 520
Open daily. Rides every 20 minutes.
Ticket office hours daily 8a-7:50p
First ride Paia Vermelha-Morro da Urca at 8:10a
Last ride Morro da Urca-Sugarloaf at 8:20p
Last ride Sugarloaf-Morro da Urca at 8:40p
Last ride Morro da Urca-Praia Vermelha at 9p.
R$ 62 for passengers 12 and up
R$ 31 for kids aged 6-12, seniors, students and persons with special needs; free for children under 6.
Mastercard and Visa accepted.
Tickets are valid for the round trip to the top of Sugarloaf. Hold on to your ticket and present it when you board the cable car at Morro da Urca.