Sunset at Sugarloaf

If there’s one thing I knew I wanted to experience in Rio, it was sunset from Pão de Açúcar. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I’d scoured endless amounts of blogs and articles about Rio, and the photos I kept getting drawn to where those of the view at sunset.

The weather was unpredictable to say the least during my time in Rio and so it wasn’t until the final day (and third attempt!) that I made it up there. It was definitely worth the wait!

There are a few different ways you can get to the top, including trekking, rock-climbing and I believe mountain biking, although I may be wrong with that one. I chose to take the easy (and quickest) route and hop on the glass-walled cable-car! The cost up and down is R$76 (about $21 USD).  There are two legs to the journey – one to the slightly smaller peak Morro da Urca and the second from there up to Pão de Açúcar.The entire journey is about 3-4 minutes, and the cable car compartment thing-y is almost entirely made of glass, so you get a 360 degree view all the way up.

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The view from one side of Sugarloaf, pre-sunset.

Apple Weather told me that sunset was going to be at exactly 17:26 that day, which was a nice change from the 17:27 it had been every day since my plane touched down in Brazil. So with this in mind we were at the top of Pão de Açúcar ready and waiting by 17:00. And then we realised that the views were so much better from the slightly smaller and less intimidating Morro da Urca; I don’t know if I was just at a bad side of the mountain, but you could barely see a thing thanks to all the foliage, restaurants and other constructions.

So we headed back down to Morro da Urca and enjoyed the breathtaking panoramic views of Rio at sunset. It was incredible.

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20 Comments

  1. 12th January 2017 / 11:03 pm

    I am glad you pursued this for the 3rd time ( man weather can be a hindrance when you don’t have long somewhere)! Looks like it was worth- especially since you went down and viewd from the Morro da Urca! xx

    • rhiydwi
      13th January 2017 / 3:08 pm

      Oh it was definitely worth it! I would have had some serious regrets had I not made it!

  2. 13th January 2017 / 2:41 am

    Wow, your photos look amazing! The pre-sunset shot from Sugarloaf is by far my favorite! I’d love to take the cable car one way (for the 360 degree views!) and hike one way to be able to experience both! Glad to know I should monitor the weather carefully!

    • rhiydwi
      13th January 2017 / 3:12 pm

      Thanks Shem! 😀 That would be a great way to do it! I’d probably hike up and cable car back down, as I’ve heard a few horror stories about doing the hike after sunset…

  3. 13th January 2017 / 2:58 am

    They say that the third times the charm! Wow the views of Rio really are breathtaking from that viewpoint! I hate those cable car rides but I would probably brave it for a view like that.

    • rhiydwi
      13th January 2017 / 3:10 pm

      It wasn’t the worst cable car ride I’ve ever taken, but at the same time probably not one for the faint-hearted!

  4. 13th January 2017 / 3:42 am

    That sunset view is absolutely breathtaking. I wouldn’t quit trying either because that view is totally worth it. So happy that you were finally able to capture it yourself!

    • rhiydwi
      13th January 2017 / 3:10 pm

      Definitely worth it! 😀 Thanks Abigail!

  5. 13th January 2017 / 9:31 am

    So Morro da Urca is the place to go for sunset. I’m glad the sun set at 17.26. It would have been terrible if you’d waited another minute until 17.27, it could have ruined your whole trip!

    • rhiydwi
      13th January 2017 / 3:11 pm

      Hahah yeah, good ole Apple Weather keeping us up to date to the second.

  6. 13th January 2017 / 2:55 pm

    I’d love to visit Rio, and I can see why you wanted to go to the Pão de Acucar for the sunset. What a beautiful view – and gorgeous sunset! Lovely landscape, lovely photos. Glad you didn’t give up trying to go there to catch it. It looked like it was all worth it in the end 🙂

    • rhiydwi
      13th January 2017 / 3:13 pm

      Thanks Kristine, it was definitely worth! I’d go as far as to say one of the highlights of the whole 8 month trip!

  7. 13th January 2017 / 7:22 pm

    I went to Rio years ago (way before it became popular) and I still remember taking in the breathtaking views of the city from Pão de Acucar – that view is iconic!

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Before it became popular, oh man I wish I’d got there then! It’s truly an incredible view!

  8. 14th January 2017 / 12:16 am

    wow the view is amazing at sunset and pre sunset, I just need to go and experience this for myself another thing to add to my ever growing list of places to visit

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:09 pm

      You definitely should if you find yourself on that side of the world 🙂

  9. 14th January 2017 / 12:38 am

    Although the glass-made cable car sounds fabulous and even a bit scary, I think I would have opted to hike up top. But that’s just me, I’m a hiker kind-a-gal. The breathtaking views you have captured would have been a perfect reward for a hike up to the mountain. I would love to see the sunset from Sugarloaf myself some day! Thanks for introducing this amazing place to me!

    • rhiydwi
      15th January 2017 / 4:18 pm

      Definitely! If I’d done more exercise over the months leading up to it I probably would have, but 5 weeks of being shuttled around India in a car means that my level of fitness was at a big fat zero!

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