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

Arena Leme Hotel
Arena Leme Hotel
4 out of 5
Av. Atlântica 324, Rio de Janeiro
The price is $65 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 2
Nestled on the beach, this Copacabana hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Praia do Leme, Copa D'Or Hospital & Medical Center, and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Rio de Janeiro ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (711 reviews)
"Across from the beach, Fernando at the receptikn was very helpfull with our Restaurants reservations. I did not like that we stayed for 6 days and I got one little bottle of water and they charme for it..it's not the costs that bothers me is that a bottle of water does not make a difference when ..."

Reviewed on Sep 16, 2021

Arena Leme Hotel
Miramar Hotel by Windsor
Miramar Hotel by Windsor
5 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica, 3668 - Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $91 per night from Nov 10 to Nov 10
Nestled on the beach, this Copacabana hotel is just steps from Avenida Atlantica and Copacabana Beach. Carlos Drummond de Andrade Statue and Rua Barata Ribeiro ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (943 reviews)
"The hotel was beautiful and the staff is very nice. When I arrived my room wasn't ready, so I had to wait 2 hours before checking into my room. Besides that the hotel was great. Great room service, great view and attentive staff. Also when you check in the hotel serves you champagne. It makes you ..."

Reviewed on Oct 13, 2021

Miramar Hotel by Windsor
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
5 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica, 1020, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $101 per night from Nov 16 to Nov 16
Located in Copacabana, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district and within 2 mi (3 km) of Copacabana Beach and Sugar Loaf Mountain. Museum of Modern ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (931 reviews)
"I was impressed with the staff. Very well trained and polite."

Reviewed on Sep 14, 2021

Hilton Copacabana 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.

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Best Lodging Options Near Sugar Loaf Mountain

Royal Rio Palace Hotel
Royal Rio Palace Hotel
4 out of 5
Rua Duvivier 82 Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $44 per night from Nov 3 to Nov 3
Royal Rio Palace Hotel
Miramar Hotel by Windsor
Miramar Hotel by Windsor
5 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica, 3668 - Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $91 per night from Nov 10 to Nov 10
Miramar Hotel by Windsor
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
5 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica, 1020, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $101 per night from Nov 16 to Nov 16
Hilton Copacabana Rio de Janeiro
Arena Leme Hotel
Arena Leme Hotel
4 out of 5
Av. Atlântica 324, Rio de Janeiro
The price is $65 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 2
Arena Leme Hotel
Novotel Rio de Janeiro Leme
Novotel Rio de Janeiro Leme
4 out of 5
Rua Gustavo Sampaio 320, Leme, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $66 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 2
Novotel Rio de Janeiro Leme
Windsor Califórnia Hotel
Windsor Califórnia Hotel
4 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica, 2616, Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro
The price is $73 per night from Nov 16 to Nov 16
Windsor Califórnia Hotel
Windsor Leme Hotel
Windsor Leme Hotel
4 out of 5
Avenida Atlantica 656, Rio de Janeiro, RJ
The price is $62 per night from Nov 16 to Nov 16
Windsor 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 $341 per night from Nov 22 to Nov 22
Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro
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
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.