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Sugar Loaf Mountain
Vacation Travel Guide

Sugar Loaf Mountain featuring a sunset and mountains

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.

Top things to do in Sugar Loaf Mountain

Top Hotels Close to Sugar Loaf Mountain

Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
5 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica, 1020, Rio de Janeiro
The price is ¥11,623 per night from May 8 to May 9
Located in Copacabana, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within 3 mi (5 km) of Copacabana Beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Museum of Modern ...
4.4/5Excellent! (954 reviews)
"24/7 Service was excellent."

Reviewed on Apr 21, 2021

Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
4 out of 5
Avenida Atlântica, 1500, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is ¥9,218 per night from May 6 to May 7
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 ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (978 reviews)
"Very good location amazing balcony wiev. Easy in and out."

Reviewed on Mar 6, 2021

PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
Arena Copacabana Hotel
Arena Copacabana Hotel
4 out of 5
Av Atlantica 2064 - Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is ¥5,236 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Located in Copacabana, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk and within a 15-minute walk of Avenida Atlantica, Praia do Leme, and Chacrinha State Park. Copa ...
4.4/5Excellent! (959 reviews)
"I loved that I choose this hotel especially when the country was on lockdown. They allowed us to check in early and also gave us a room upgrade on the same floor of the pool overlooking the Copacabana beach. Also they were able to get us PCR testing that did hotel visits with 24 hour results. The ..."

Reviewed on Apr 6, 2021

Arena Copacabana Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Sugar Loaf Mountain

Sugar Loaf Mountain

Best Lodging Options Near Sugar Loaf Mountain

Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
5 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica, 1020, Rio de Janeiro
The price is ¥11,623 per night from May 8 to May 9
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
4 out of 5
Avenida Atlântica, 1500, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is ¥9,218 per night from May 6 to May 7
PortoBay Rio de Janeiro
Arena Copacabana Hotel
Arena Copacabana Hotel
4 out of 5
Av Atlantica 2064 - Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is ¥5,236 per night from Apr 25 to Apr 26
Arena Copacabana Hotel
Arena Leme Hotel
Arena Leme Hotel
4 out of 5
Av. Atlântica 324, Rio de Janeiro
The price is ¥3,926 per night from Apr 27 to Apr 28
Arena Leme Hotel
Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro
Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro
5 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica 1702, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is ¥31,325 per night from May 16 to May 17
Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro
Américas Copacabana Hotel
Américas Copacabana Hotel
3.5 out of 5
Rua Barata Ribeiro 550, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is ¥3,081 per night from May 11 to May 12
Américas Copacabana Hotel
Quiet Apartment in Urca Near Sugar Loaf
Quiet Apartment in Urca Near Sugar Loaf
Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Quiet Apartment in Urca Near Sugar Loaf
Windsor Leme Hotel
Windsor Leme Hotel
4 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica 656, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is ¥6,808 per night from Apr 24 to Apr 25
Windsor Leme Hotel
JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro
JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro
5 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica, 2600 - Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is ¥7,559 per night from Apr 24 to Apr 25
JW Marriott Hotel Rio de Janeiro
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.