I didn’t visit many of Rio’s tourist attractions while I was there this time around. However, we did take the cable car up Pão de Açúcar to watch sunset and it was one of the best things I did. Many of Rio’s top attractions have to be done at the crack of dawn before the heat of the day creeps in (and the crowds) but Pão de Açúcar is one of the exceptions. We chose to visit around the time of sunset and made our way there via the Metro and a little walking (you could alternatively get there using a taxi). There was no queue upon arrival and we were on our way up within no time!
The journey up was just the beginning of a very exciting afternoon. The first cable car takes you on to Morro da Urca, the baby of the two mountains. From here you get some gorgeous views of Bottafogo below and across to Pão de Açúcar. Enjoy the view but don’t spend too long here, the best is yet to come. The second cable car will take you to where you want to be, try and grab a spot on the right hand side of the cable car to enjoy a different view from the first cable car.
Once on the mountain be sure to take it all in: sit and have a beer, watch the planes taking off from the airport, spot the parts of the city you know, count how many times Cristo disappears behind a cloud. Enjoy the moment and then like we did, wait for the sun to set. It will be worth it.
Photo Essay of Pão de Açúcar
Tips for visiting
It was a lot colder than I had imagined at the top, if like me you get cold easily then take an extra layer up with you.
You can climb to the first mountain but to get to Pão de Açúcar you will still need to buy a ticket for the cable car. The walk might be nice but don’t do it if you are trying to save money.
It cost R$71 for an adult ticket.
When watching sunset from Pão de Açúcar, head to the left side of the cable car. This side was much, much quieter during our visit and the view was not very different. Of course if you want to sit down for the occasion you will need to stay on the right side.