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Sugarloaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar)

Scale this mountain on foot or by cable car to see impressive views of Rio’s beaches, rain forests and its most famous statue.

Located on the coast of the southeastern corner of Rio de Janeiro, Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar) resides within forests, water and hills at the edge of Guanabara Bay. Rock climbers conquer the mountain using appropriate gear, but most visitors take the glass-sided cable car to the top. Originally built in 1912, the cable car transports 65 visitors per trip and offers panoramic views the entire way.

Sugarloaf Mountain offers remarkable views of nearby beaches, local rain forests, adjacent hills and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. The lush rain forests provide a sharp contrast against the surrounding granite hills. Historians attribute the mountain’s name to the 16th-century practice of molding sugar into a cone-like shape. These “sugar loaves” were common during the peak of Brazil’s sugarcane trade.  

The mountain draws crowds year-round, but the best times to visit are each day early in the morning and 90 minutes before sunset. Make sure you have clear skies and bring your camera to capture Rio’s scenic beauty from 1,300 feet (396 meters) above sea level. Right beneath you is Copacabana Beach, which connects to Ipanema Beach at its southern end. To the west, enjoy views of Rio’s iconic member of the “New Seven Wonders of the World,” the Christ the Redeemer statue.

Cable cars depart every 20 minutes from morning until evening. Before reaching the top, you will board two cable cars. One stops at Morro da Urca and the other stops at the peak, Pão de Açúcar. Be sure to check with the ticketing office if you visit during major holidays as cable-car trips typically close around noon on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and close completely on Christmas and New Year’s Day. If visiting between December and March, be prepared for the cable car to close early on weekend evenings to accommodate seasonal performances.  

Access to Sugarloaf Mountain is from Praia Vermelha at the southern entry to Guanabara Bay. You can walk to Guanabara Bay from nearby Copacabana Beach, or use boat or bus if you are coming from farther afield.

Popular Activities at Sugar Loaf Mountain

You could comfortably spend an entire morning at Sugar Loaf Mountain. The list below contains a nice selection of the activities you can enjoy here:

For even more activities, check out our Rio de Janeiro things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Sugar Loaf Mountain


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Sugar Loaf Mountain

See all 2,010 Properties near Sugar Loaf Mountain
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro ¥19,990
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro

Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro

Avenida Atlantica, 1020, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Nestled on the beach, this Copacabana hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Copacabana Beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Museum of Modern Art and Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden are also within 6 mi (10 km). Cardeal Arcoverde Station is 11 minutes by foot and Siqueira Campos Station is 22 minutes.

    Belmond Copacabana Palace ¥32,077
    Belmond Copacabana Palace

    Belmond Copacabana Palace

    Avenida Atlantica 1702, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
       
      5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Copacabana, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within a 5-minute walk of Copacabana Beach and Avenida Atlantica. Sugar Loaf Mountain and Ipanema Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km). Cardeal Arcoverde Station is 5 minutes by foot and Siqueira Campos Station is 15 minutes.

      Arena Copacabana Hotel ¥9,997
      Arena Copacabana Hotel

      Arena Copacabana Hotel

      Av Atlantica 2064 - Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Copacabana, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk, just steps from Copacabana Beach and Avenida Atlantica. Praia do Leme and Chacrinha State Park are also within 15 minutes. Cardeal Arcoverde Station is 8 minutes by foot and Siqueira Campos Station is 10 minutes.

        Arena Leme Hotel ¥9,425
        Arena Leme Hotel

        Arena Leme Hotel

        Av. Atlântica 324, Rio de Janeiro
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Nestled on the beach, this Copacabana hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Praia do Leme and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Museum of Modern Art and Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden are also within 6 mi (10 km). Cardeal Arcoverde Station is 20 minutes by foot.

          Royal Rio Palace Hotel ¥7,668
          Royal Rio Palace Hotel

          Royal Rio Palace Hotel

          Rua Duvivier 82 Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Copacabana, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Avenida Atlantica and Copacabana Beach. Sugar Loaf Mountain and Ipanema Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km). Cardeal Arcoverde Station is only a 3-minute walk and Siqueira Campos Station is 14 minutes.

            PortoBay Rio de Janeiro ¥11,810
            PortoBay Rio de Janeiro

            PortoBay Rio de Janeiro

            Avenida Atlântica, 1500, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Copacabana, this beachfront hotel is in the city center, 2 mi (3.2 km) from Sugar Loaf Mountain, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Parque Henrique Lage and Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden. Museum of Modern Art and Arcos da Lapa are also within 9 mi (15 km). Cardeal Arcoverde Station is 6 minutes by foot and Siqueira Campos Station is 17 minutes.

              Windsor Leme Hotel ¥9,883
              Windsor Leme Hotel

              Windsor Leme Hotel

              Avenida Atlantica 656, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Nestled on the beach, this Copacabana hotel is steps from Guanabara Bay, Copacabana Beach, and Avenida Atlantica. Sugar Loaf Mountain and Ipanema Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km). Cardeal Arcoverde Station is 17 minutes by foot and Siqueira Campos Station is 27 minutes.

                Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro by Intercity ¥10,081
                Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro by Intercity

                Yoo2 Rio de Janeiro by Intercity

                Praia de Botafogo 242, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
                   
                  4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Botafogo, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of General Consulate of Germany and Flamengo Beach. Sugar Loaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach are also within 2 mi (3 km). Flamengo Station is 6 minutes by foot and Botafogo Station is 12 minutes.