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Brazil: Sugar Loaf

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Sugar Loaf | Brazil | Americas

[Visited: January 2005 and several times before]

There are many mountain tops in the world called Sugar Loaf, but the most famous must be the one in Rio de Janeiro. The city is surrounded by granite rocks sticking out into the sky, and one of those rocks is Sugar Loaf. The difference with the other peaks is, that Sugar Loaf, or Pão de Açúcar, is situated right on the shore. This means, that it seems to be an integral part of the city skyline - as long as you are in the Copacabana or Gloria neighbourhoods, or across the Guanabara bay.

Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf sticking out of the Copacabana skyline

The mountain is a challenge for climbers, but already at the beginning of the 20th century, the Cariocas realized that anyone would like to enjoy the view from the top of the Sugar Loaf. A cable car was built, which was renewed in 1972. Obviously, it only makes sense to go up the mountain on a clear day. You can only go up in two stages, first to Urca peak, where you already have a good view of the city, and from there, another cable car takes you all the way up to Sugar Loaf itself.

Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf: view in direction of Copacabana just before sunset

While I was walking down Copacabana boulevard, I saw small clouds around the summit of Sugar Loaf, and huge clouds started to build above the mountains behind the city. Still, I wanted to take my chances to go up Sugar Loaf. The views from Urca were good, and the Sugar Loaf peak every now and then was covered in a small cloud. Our cable car went through a cloud before reaching the top. I spent hours at the top, having spectacular views over the city, but also mysterious clouds seemed to come from the sea below. Unfortunately, around sunset serious clouds covered the skies over Rio de Janeiro and I didn't get to see the city lights being lit.

Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf mountain from the air
Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf mountain seen from Urca
Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Corcovado and Cristo Redentor seen through the clouds from Sugar Loaf
Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf: cable car lines disappearing into the clouds
Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf: clouded view over Rio de Janeiro
Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf: view over Praia Vermelha and Copacabana
Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf: view towards Guanabara bay
Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf: peaks behind the city
Picture of Sugar Loaf (Brazil): Sugar Loaf: nightly view over one of the city's bays

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Sugar Loaf (Brazil). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Sugar Loaf.
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