Guide to Sugar Loaf
Official page for Pão de Açucar or Sugar Loaf - Cart to Sugarloaf Website
SUGAR LOAF - URCA
Picture of Sugar Loaf and Urca (Pão de Açucar in portuguese)
How to get To Sugar Loaf
From Av. Nossa S. de Copacabana take Bus No. 511 to return from Sugar Loaf take bus 512 (lead you to Rua Barata Ribeiro in Copacabana)
With the metro you go to Botafogo station and get transfer from there with bus or taxi.
Currently the ride with rail to the top costs R$ 44 and are in two stages.
First part is to the smaller hill called Urca. This place has a restaurant and partial view.
When you get all the way to the top to Sugar Loaf you will find a good view to the areas of Flamengo, Botafogo and Copacabana.
The mountain might not be as tall as Christ the Redeemer but gives a unique view.
Public transport is a good way to get to the Sugar Loaf.
About Sugar Loaf and its history
Sugar loaf is located on the tip of Guanabara Bay. Its strategic military position is basis for historic significance.
On the western shores of Guanabara bay lies Rio de Janeiro and on eastern shoes lies Niteroi and São Gonçalo.
First discovered on 1st of January 1502 there are two main explanations why they gave it the name Rio de Janeiro.
Common practice during expedition was to give name to discovered areas based on the Saint being commemorated on that particular day.
During this time there were no saints being commemorated on the 1st of January.
Only Christian religious significance of this day was Christ´s circumcision.
Américo Vespucio who was the cartographer for this journey and provided the name for the location luckily decided to choose different criteria.
So why Rio de Janeiro. De Janeiro is naturally because of the name of the month
The first explanation for "Rio" is that the ones who discovered the bay thought it was the outlet of a river (Rio in Portuguese).
Many consider this explanation to be unlikely as Américo Vespucio was very experienced cartographer, so why would he make such a mistake?
Natural counter-argument is naturally that this was an exploratory expedition and that Guanabara Bay is huge.
That they explored this, at this time, insignificant bay is highly unlikely.
Another explanation is that originally they gave it the name "Ria de Janeiro" (January sound) and then there was a later confusion
between the words ria (used for both sound and bay) and rio (river).
Guanabara bay is the second largest in Brazil only following Todos os Santos in Bahia.
The beach between SugarLoaf and Cara-de-Cão (face of a dog) was where Estácio de Sá founded the city in 1565.
There were already French settlers in what is now known as Gloria and Ilha do Governador (where the international airport is located).
This spot provided a strategic position to the bay that already was occupied.
With mandate to expel the French and to found a new settlement it took two years before reinforcements from his uncle Mem de Sá arrived and they successfully expelled the French.
Overseeing the bay is the Sugar loaf, one of the main tourist spots in the city.
As with the name of the city there are disagreements as to why the name - sugarloaf (pão de açucar).
Main explanation is that it looks like the cones of moist sugar that were distributed for consumption in Ilha de Madeira.