All the tourists and football fans touring Rio de Janeiro invade the Copacabana beach but to discover the real beauty of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, all and sundry rush to Sugarloaf Mountain and acknowledge it as the best. Many football teams like Chile, Cameroon and Colombia have already asked Fifa’s Local Organising Committee to arrange a tour to the picturesque mountain from where the whole of Rio, its beaches and the blue Atlantic Ocean are visible.
Sugarloaf Mountain (Portuguese: Pão de Açúcar) is a peak situated near Copacabana, at the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 metres or 1,299 ft above the harbor, it was named for its similarity with the traditional shape of a concentrated and refined loaf sugar, the main source of earning of the Brazilians when sugar was its principal export resource. The name “Sugarloaf” was coined in the 16th century by the Portuguese during the heyday of sugarcane trade in Brazil. The mountain is only one of several monolithic granite and quartz mountains that rise straight from the water’s edge around Rio de Janeiro.
The tourists have to take two cable-cars to reach the peak. The first one takes the tourists to the shorter Morro da Urca, 220 meters high, from where another cable-car reaches the peak of the Sugarloaf. The Italian-made bubble-shaped cars offer passengers 360-degree views of the surrounding city. The climb takes three minutes from start to finish. Departures are available every 20 minutes.
A Brazilian engineer Augusto Ferreira Ramos completed the entire project in 1912 after which the cable-cars were introduced. It is a magnificent journey in the air with a panoramic view of Rio and the blue Atlantic soothes the eyes and the body. The cool and windy atmosphere is marvelous. With His bronze statue situated at the top, the tourists stop for a brief moment and shower respect to Him.
The downtown of Rio - the southern beaches Corcovado and Niteroi Bridge that are 13km long across the ocean - presents the viewers a wonderful experience. The authorities have carved out concrete roads across the peak so that the people can have a walk through the green jungle that has grown up down the cliffs. Evenings are the best time to visit Sugarloaf and enjoy the stupendous sunset.
At the top of the peak there is a souvenir shop, a disco and a food court. The parties held at the peak are gorgeous with the top celebrities attending regularly. The peak was used in the James Bond film Moonraker and a number of other Hollywood films.
All the football fans visiting Rio was seen taking the cable-cars wearing their national team jerseys and often shout out their country’s name while they enjoy the superb scenic beauty and admire the beautiful experience that is the Sugarloaf Mountain.