Hiking Up Morro Da Urca

Cable Car Morro da Urca to Pão de Açúcar Rio de Janeiro Sugarloaf

Cable Car Morro da Urca to Pão de Açúcar Rio de Janeiro Sugarloaf
Although some people may try to tell you otherwise, there are still many amazing things you can do for free when traveling. One of the famous tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro is Pão de Açúcar, or as it’s called in English, Sugarloaf, is one you can do almost for free. You can at least see it pretty close up by hiking up the hill next to it, Morro da Urca. I personally refused to go up to the Sugarloaf because of my fear of heights. So as you may imagine, cable cars aren’t my idea of fun. So either if your excuse is like mine, or if it’s simply that you don’t want to pay R$53 to go all the way up, you can do the “short, easy hike that lots of children do”, as I read somewhere online. Ha. I’m never trusting anything I read on the Internet ever again.

Praia Vermelha View of Sugarloaf From Bottom
The hike starts on the left side of Praia Vermelha.

Praia Vermelha Hiking Up Morro da Urca
Hey! They were right! This IS easy! The road is paved and… wait a second… Shouldn’t it start going up soon?

Hiking Up Morro da Urca Rio de Janeiro Brazil.jpg
Um, yes… You almost immediately need to take off the paved road to the left where there is a tiny trail and a warning sign about cobras. 45 minutes later, wet of sweat, almost dehydrated and muddy all over, I realized that either of these had to be correct:

  1. I’m in extremely bad shape, or
  2. Someone lied in the article I read online, or
  3. The weather might have been bad the days before and made the ground slippery and muddy.

I’m guessing a combination of the last two.

Overlooking Rio de Janeiro from Morro de Urca
However, when you finally arrive, you are rewarded with a beautiful 360º view of Rio de Janeiro, and seeing the Sugarloaf up close. There are several crazy expensive cafeterias, souvenir- and jewelry (!) shops up here, as well as bathrooms in perfect conditions. From here you can either hike down again, take the cable car up to the Sugarloaf (it’s supposedly cheaper from here since it’s the first stop), or take the cable car directly down.

Despite my surprise over how not-easy the hike was (I won’t exactly classify it as hard either, so don’t get me wrong), it was a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of the city, to breathe fresh air and feel a bit of nature, so I highly recommend this hike.

Just remember: bring water, wear good shoes (sneakers would be fine), and be sure to calculate the timing so that you get down again before the sun sets; the cobras come out at night. (I’ve been told. Never trust anything you read on the Internet.)

Observation Deck Morro da Urca View of SugarloafPão de Açúcar View From Morro da Urca Rio de JaneiroView of Rio de Janeiro and Cristo Redentor from Morro da Urca

If you want a tip on another free activity in Rio de Janeiro, you can read it here.

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  1. Haha! I’ve had some similar experiences hiking up there myself. I actually slipped and fell pretty bad one time, so now I never go when it’s raining or if it has been a day or two before. A quick and fun hike, and we always meet a bunch of monkeys on the way up/down. Didn’t you? :)

    – Kristine B

  2. Haha, awesome! Hadde skikkelig lyst til å gå samme rute da jeg var i Rio. Men ekstrem varme kombinert med lite tid gjorde at vi gikk for taubanen. Freaky! Men utsikten var absolutt upåklagelig. Ett av de fineste øyeblikkene vi hadde i byen. Leste også at man kunne gå opp til Kristusstatuen fra den botaniske hagen! Kanskje jeg nesten bare må reise tilbake.. xD
    Randomjenta recently posted…50 ting jeg har lært på mine reiserMy Profile

  3. Great informations. Can you buy Tickets at the top of the Trail or do You have to buy them. down at the First Station?