The cable car up Sugar Loaf Mountain. Photo by Doug88888
Copacabana is the beach on the far left side with Ipanema and Leblon beaches beyond. Botafogo beach, near centre in the picture is nice but not good for swimming due to polluted waters.
One of Rio’s best attractions, the cable car up the granite Sugar Loaf offers incredible 360 degree views. Some like it in full sun, like the one pictured, though romantics might go for a sunset ride. Or get the best of both worlds by taking a late afternoon ride and hanging around – not difficult with a panorama like that and a cold beer or a glass of wine (OK, a coffee if you insist! ) to keep you company.
This is a short, easy hike to the top of Morro da Urca (the big bump beside Sugar Loaf), taking about 30 minutes. Since there’s a cable car station there you can get a free ride back after 6pm when it runs free The hike begins at Pista Cláudio Coutinho in Urca.
Many tourists wonder whether it’s worth seeing the view from Corcovado’s Cristo Redentor as well as from Sugar Loaf. It is! They’re both magnificent but offer very different perspectives on this wonderful city. Personally if I had to choose one or the other, I would go for Sugar Loaf.
Remember, there will be queues, perhaps long, so take plenty of water, a hat and a camera and don’t lose your ticket, you need it to come down!
Rio’s ‘Wonder’, Cristo Redentor, known in English as Christ the Redeemer. Original photo by Artyominc
Built in 1931, Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain was voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. It’s certainly a stunning statue and amazing panoramic location that makes it a tourist must-see, but we have some trouble in thinking of Cristo Redentor in the same category as the Great Pyramid of Giza or India’s Taj Mahal. On the same planet but not the same ball park!
Access to the top of Corcovado is easy via modern, comfortable Cosme Velho train station where visitors can also see displays on the the history of Cristo Redentor. It is possible to drive there but parking is pricey and very congested
The platform beneath the statue is quite small, gets very congested and can be quite dirty. Go early to beat the crowds but watch out for cloud cover that can easily spoil the views around and even of the Christ.