The views from Sugar Loaf are particularly impressive at sunset — Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson
If Rio de Janeiro had a city motto, it could well be, "If you've got it, flaunt it!" This most breathtakingly beautiful of cities loves to flaunt its ample charms, and the Cariocas have turned highlights of the city's natural landscape into some of the most iconic sights on the planet. While the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain is Rio's most instantly recognizable image, Sugarloaf Mountain comes in at a close second, with the cable car ride up to the top cropping up in many a movie scene and music video.
The idea of whisking visitors up to the top of Sugarloaf (translated from the Portuguese Pao de Acucar, as the mountain's curious form was thought to resemble sugar-making moulds) was first floated in the early 20th century. The early cable cars were put into action in 1912. Since then, the cable car has become a world-famous tourist attraction, and making the ascent to the mountain's peak is virtually obligatory during a trip to Rio.
Sugarloaf Mountain is one of the world's most famous peaks — Photo courtesy of Lucy Bryson
Forget concerns about tourist hordes. It is not without good reason that visitors flock here, and the views from the top are simply unforgettable. Head here on a clear day, and bring your head for heights.
You´ll first ride up to the smaller Morro da Urca peak, and can stop for picture opportunities before making the next leg of your short but awe-inspiring ascent. Should you need a calming caipirinha at the summit, there are a couple of handy bars with some of the world's best city views.