|You can spend as long as you like at each stop. Once you're
ready, a cable car whisks you the rest of the way to the top.
Where We Be
|Rio's natural harbor with Sugarloaf rising above it
is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World
|Sugarloaf Mountain -- Rio, Brazil
I doubt any city in the world is more stunningly
situated than Rio de Janeiro. For a major city --
the seventh most populous in the Americas --
to have this much outstanding natural beauty
all around is really something. You don't even
have to squint! It starts with the balloon-shaped
harbor punctuated by oddly shaped monoliths.
Most famous of these is Sugarloaf Mountain,
rising nearly 1,300 feet (400 m) above the water.
To take the cable car to the top of Sugarloaf is
to see all that Rio has to offer at one glance.
It's no wonder practically every visitor to Rio
comes here. Some come at sunset and dusk,
when the lit-up city turns to magic, others in the
morning when the natural lighting is at its best
for photos. We paid R$ 71 (~$18 US) each for
the round-trip cable car journey. Morro da Urca
at the halfway point offers some terrific views
of its own, but the panoramas from the top of
Sugarloaf are incomparable.
|View of the city from the halfway point, Morro da Urca. If the
bird's-eye view from Sugarloaf isn't enough, your helicopter awaits.
|This is the wealthy residential neighborhood of Urca at the foot of Sugarloaf. It's
safe and pleasant and could make a nice (but expensive) base for exploring the city.
|Okay, you actually CAN see Sugarloaf on your way to the
top when you stop at the first station, Morro da Urca
|What a view! Looking west you can see Morro da Urca, the whole city and harbor
spread out below you, and Christ the Redeemer straight ahead in the distance
|To the southwest is the long curve of Copacabana Beach. The small hill
beyond Copacabana is the Arpoador, with Ipanema Beach hidden behind.
|Directly below is a pocket beach that's quite lovely --
the last photo on the page is from the beach itself
|Looking northwest, Urca is below, with neighborhoods like
Flamengo, Santa Teresa, and Centro visible across the water
|You can watch as airplanes makes their final
landing approach to Rio's domestic airport
|We would've loved blue skies, of course, but the
clouds didn't stop us from having a great time
|Once you're down, Claudio Coutinho Trail
makes for a pleasant stroll as it hugs the water
|The trail leads to Praia Vermelha beach, which is gorgeous.
Anywhere but Rio this beach would be packed with people!
|Of course you can't see Sugarloaf when you're standing on top of Sugarloaf, so this
photo is from the Mirador Overlook on Corcovado (site of Christ the Redeemer)
|Robin's travel smile
is one of my favorites!
|We hiked down from Morro da Urca instead of taking the
cable car down. You can also hike UP to the first station.