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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.

You could easily spend an entire morning or afternoon at Sugar Loaf Mountain. The list below contains just some of the things you can try here:

Peruse our Rio de Janeiro things to do page to discover many more activities in the area.


Guide to Exploring around Sugar Loaf Mountain


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Sugar Loaf Mountain

See all 2,285 Properties near Sugar Loaf Mountain
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro ¥16,991
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.

    PortoBay Rio de Janeiro ¥12,558
    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 Califórnia Hotel ¥10,009
      Windsor Califórnia Hotel

      Windsor Califórnia Hotel

      Avenida Atlantica, 2616, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Offering direct access to the beach, this Copacabana hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Copacabana Beach and Copacabana Fort. Sugar Loaf Mountain and Parque Henrique Lage are also within 3 mi (5 km). Siqueira Campos Station is 8 minutes by foot and Cantagalo Station is 15 minutes.

        Royal Rio Palace Hotel ¥7,769
        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.

          Belmond Copacabana Palace ¥42,062
          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 Leme Hotel ¥10,672
            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.

              Américas Copacabana Hotel ¥6,565
              Américas Copacabana Hotel

              Américas Copacabana Hotel

              Rua Barata Ribeiro 550, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Copacabana, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rua Barata Ribeiro, Avenida Atlantica, and Copacabana Beach. Ipanema Beach and Copacabana Fort are also within 2 mi (3 km). Siqueira Campos Station is 6 minutes by foot and Cantagalo Station is 11 minutes.

                ibis budget RJ Praia de Botafogo ¥3,881
                ibis budget RJ Praia de Botafogo

                ibis budget RJ Praia de Botafogo

                Praca Joia Valansi 24, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Botafogo, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of General Consulate of Germany, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and Flamengo Beach. Copacabana Beach and Avenida Atlantica are also within 2 mi (3 km). Botafogo Station is 7 minutes by foot and Flamengo Station is 12 minutes.