For over 90 years, the Sugarloaf is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Brazil, a national icon as famous as Corcovado. Located in the district of Urca, is part of a set of three mountains: Morro do Pão de Açúcar itself (Sugarloaf hill), Morro da Urca (Urca hill) and Morro da Babilônia (Babylon hill). What makes it even more special is that besides its ravishing topography surrounded by the Guanabara Bay, it also has its famous cable car that connects the Praia Vermelha (Red Beach) station to Morro da Urca and then from there to the Sugarloaf hill. It was the first apparatus of its kind to be built in a Third World country and is locally nicknamed as Bondinho do Pão de Açúcar, or more formally as teleférico (cable car).
It has transported over 30 million people – an average of 2,500 visitors per day. It took about 400 workers-climbers to accomplish the feat of building, which finally opened on October 27th 1912. A second parallel line was inaugurated in 1972, which enabled a system modernization, importing new trams from Italy, with capacity for 65 passengers, surpassing the previous model, who could carry only 22 people. Its cable car became even more famous when in 1979 it was used as a set for the film Moonraker, starring Roger Moore as the iconic MI6 agent James Bond, popularizing even more the touristic spot. To these days the cable car and its stations are used to film premieres, as in 2011 the Harry Potter franchise chose the venue to launch the second part of The Deathly Hallows sequence, with the presence of actor Tom Felton.
The opening hours is from 8am to 8pm, and the ride is divided in two steps: the first step connects the base of Babylon hill to the top of Urca hill, and the second step runs from there to the top of the Pão de Açúcar hill. Each ride takes about three minutes, which gives an average of 1,200 passengers transported per hour. The initial project included a connection running from Urca hill to the top of Babylon hill, but as the route would pass through a military area, the project was shelved.
Many illustrious passengers have surrendered to the beauties of the Sugarloaf. Celebrities from all over the world who come to town never miss an opportunity to pay a visit to this so coveted spot by tourists and locals. From Broke Shields to Gina Lollobrigida, from John F. Kennedy to Pope John Paul II, and even Albert Einstein: they all have not missed the opportunity to hop on the cable car and enjoy one of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet. To visit the Sugarloaf is a must for everybody who arrives in Rio. An unique opportunity to appreciate the effort of human engineering coexisting harmoniously with a real masterpiece of nature.
Jeep Tour offers daily departures throughout the day, from Monday to Monday, and each tour lasts 4 hours.