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Sugarloaf Mountain
Elevation 1,299 ft (396 m)
Sugarloaf Mountain is located in Brazil
Sugarloaf Mountain
Location in Brazil
Location Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Coordinates 22°56′55″S 43°09′26″W / 22.94861°S 43.15722°W / -22.94861; -43.15722Coordinates: 22°56′55″S 43°09′26″W / 22.94861°S 43.15722°W / -22.94861; -43.15722
Sugarloaf (background right) and Botafogo Beach.

Sugarloaf Mountain (in Portuguese, Pão de Açúcar), is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 metres (1,299 ft) above the harbor, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar. However, it is believed by some that the name actually derives from Pau-nh-acuqua (“high hill”) in the Tupi-Guarani language, as used by the indigenous Tamoios.

The mountain is only one of several monolithic morros of granite and quartz that rise straight from the water's edge around Rio de Janeiro. A glass-paneled cable car (in popular Portuguese, bondinho - more properly called teleférico), capable of holding 75 passengers, runs along a 1400-metre route between the peaks of Pão de Açúcar and Cara de Cão every 20 minutes. The original cable car line was built in 1912 and rebuilt around 1972/1973 in its current form. The cable car goes from the base, not the peak of the Babilônia mountain, to the Urca mountain and then to the Pão de Açúcar mountain.

To reach the summit, you take two cable cars. The first ascends to the shorter Morro de Açúcar, 20 meters high. The second car takes you to Pão de Açúcar.[1] The cable cars hold up to 75 passengers. The Italian-made bubble-shaped cars offer passengers 360-degree views of the surrounding city. Each car takes you only three minute from start to finish. In 2006, departures were available every 30 minutes between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm. At that time the fare was US$10.[2]


Rock climbing

Aerial view of the Sugarloaf

Visitors can watch rock climbers on Sugarloaf and the other two mountains in the area: Morro da Babilônia (Babylon Mountain), and Morro da Urca (Urca's Mountain). Together, they form one of the largest urban climbing areas in the world, with more than 270 routes, between 1 and 10 pitches long. Some routes on Sugarloaf are:

  • Italianos, 5.10a, 2 pitches. Beautiful and well protected face climbing. It can be connected to other routes, in a total of 6 pitches to the top.
  • Stop Chimney, 5.6, 7 pitches. A classic runout but easy chimney.
  • Lagartão, 5.11c, 7 pitches. The first two pitches are traditional climbing, the rest is bolted.
  • Ibis, 5.10d A1, 10 pitches. Runout and committed. Some parties climb it in one day, sleeping on one of the ledges in the first half of the route.

Appearances in media

The mountain may be known for its memorable scene in the 1979 James Bond movie, Moonraker, in which the villainous henchman Jaws attempts to kill 007 and the agent's ally, Dr. Holly Goodhead, on a cable car.

External links


  1. ^ Lonely Planet: Rio de Janiero, page 76, Ricardo Gomes, John Maier Jr et. al., 2006, Lonely Planet Publications, ISBN 1740599101
  2. ^ Insight City Guide: Rio de Janerio, page 144, Pam Barrett, 2006, Insight Print Services, ISBN 9812584110

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