Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain) || Rio de Janeiro



While we didn't want to do too many touristy things in Rio, we decided that there were some sights that we did have to see. I thought that we should choose in between going to see Christ the Redeemer or going up to Sugarloaf Mountain. We decided on Sugarloaf Mountain because it was much closer to where we were located and we heard it was the place to go to see the most beautiful sunset, not to mention the lines were not supposed to be as crazy as for Christ the Redeemer. I'm not a fan of long commutes nor am I a fan of waiting in long lines. Is anyone?


Sugarloaf Mountain was only about a 15 minute cab ride from our apartment, but we decided to walk because 1.) I LOVE walking anywhere and everywhere and 2.)We thought it would be a good way to get to see a little bit more of the city. We left our apartment in Copacabana around 4pm and arrived at Urca (the neighborhood where Sugarloaf Mountain is located) about 40 minutes later. Along the way I lost my bearings a bit, but didn't want to take my map out to check where we were because heaven forbid someone should think I'm a tourist (I never want to look like a tourist...I don't know if that's a "fear" or a "pet peeve", but I try really hard to fit in wherever I am). Tomas decided to ask someone at a newspaper stand for directions and they sent on us on a way I wasn't planning. The directions took us a little off the beaten path, through a quieter area at the base of the mountain. I insisted that we speed walk until we got to the next main road since I wasn't sure whether we were about to enter a favela or not (turns out we weren't even close). And then we came across something pretty exciting and unexpected...... MONKEYS! And quite a few of them! They were just chilling in the trees and running across the street, as if they were squirrels. I didn't take a photo because I was on a mission to get to Sugarloaf and I figured we'd see more monkeys during our trip, but as it turns out this was our only monkey encounter, and a pretty cool one at that!

Remember these guys from the movie, Rio?


Those were the monkeys we saw, up close and personal! They aren't nearly as scary in real life, and we continued on our way with all of our belongings. 

The Urca neighborhood is a pretty & quiet part of town, home to a military base, Morro da Urca (Urca Hill) and Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf Mountain).



There's a cute little beach at the base of Morro da Urca which I imagine is where the locals go. 



After checking out the vista, we headed to the cable car station. We only had to wait a few minutes for a cable car. The cable cars fit up to 65 people and departed every few minutes. 


The first stop is Morro da Urca (Urca Hill), the smaller of the two mountains. When you get to the top they have a few places to pick up something to drink and/or eat, a shop that sold a ton of Havaianas flip flops, as well as a a gift shop. There was also a somewhat fancy restaurant on Morro da Urca although I don't know how many people go there. Seems like it would be super touristy and overrated. 

There were a lot of views to see on top of Morra da Urca, and since there is quite a bit of space on top, you don't feel like people are on top of you (even there were quite a few people there when we were visiting).



Just whipping my hair back and forth, atop Morro da Urca.




Once you are done snapping all the pics your heart desires, you head on the next cable car to Pão de Açúcar. This time we had to wait a little to board the next cable car, but the line went pretty quickly. At this point the sun was setting and everyone seemed to have the same idea: Head up to Pão de Açúcar and wait for that million dollar Rio de Janeiro sunset shot (although I feel I didn't get that shot. My "million dollar shot" was taken on Morro da Urca on the way down).


Pão de Açúcar was pretty crowded with people, so I took the photos I wanted and we headed back down. We thought it would be a good idea to start the decent before everyone else did.




I got some pretty great shots with my phone, although I do wish that I had brought my camera with me. But, since we walked there, I thought it was best not to be carrying a huge camera around my neck.



All in all, it was a great sight to see and I would highly recommend it. We lucked out with the weather on the evening we went because the sky was clear. Many of the other days we were in Rio it started to get hazier later in the day, so I would recommend going on a clear day. As far as going to see the sun set, you have to go at exactly the right moment. We got there a little before sunset, so some of my photos just capture the blaring sun and not much else (as you've probably already noticed). It still made for cool photos, but it was also blinding at times......Good thing I remembered to bring my sunglasses!

And, here it is...my favorite photo of the evening (which you can also find on my Instagram: @chrystingloria)!


Have you ever been to Rio de Janeiro? 

How do you feel about doing "touristy" things when you are on vacation?

12 comments:

  1. SO PRETTY. SO JELOUS.

    Also, love doing touristy things, hate looking like a tourist. No backpacks, no sweatpants.

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    1. I generally don't like doing touristy things, but part of me feels it's my "duty" as a tourist to do at least some touristy things. It's such a dilemma haha

      No backpacks, no sweatpants and normally no flip flops, but in Rio everyone wears flip flops in the wonderful world of Havaianas!

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  2. How beautiful is Rio.... I am in love and just can't wait to be able to go there!
    I met one Brazilian lady in my interpreter's course and she said that no matter where she traveled, she would always miss Rio and its beauty.
    Hope you will get to visit Christ The Redeemer next time, a nice excuse to go there again ;)
    The sunsets are surreal.... <3
    xox Nadia
    http://mielandmint.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. It really is a beautiful city---from the mountains to the greenery to the beach! Really hope we get the chance to make it back there again someday!

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  3. That last shot is gorgeous! This place looks amazing! There's a place in Arkansas called Sugar Loaf Mountain that I've hiked to the top of a couple of times. It's super pretty, but doesn't look like it's quite as huge as this place!

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    1. It was breathtaking! Easily one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen!

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  4. Omg these photos are breathtaking, what a view!! The first one really does look like from a travel magazine or something. I can't believe you saw monkeys on the streets! That must have been pretty cool and definitely not something you see everyday ;) The photos you've taken are beautiful, to me they're all a million dollar shot!
    xx

    www.stylebydeb.com

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    1. I couldn't believe we saw monkeys just in the trees on the side of the street! Definitely was not expecting that! I'm still kicking myself for not taking a photo!

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  5. The views are breathtaking! Thanks for sharing the pics:)

    irenethayer.com

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    1. Thanks, Irene! Glad you enjoyed my little photo diary of our trip to Sugarloaf Mountain!

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  6. Great post, beautiful pictures! Its great to travel <3

    www.ufbytaryn.com

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    1. Thanks, Taryn! It can be easy to go for a long time without traveling, but once you do it again you get bit with the travel bug and want to travel all the time!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love hearing what you have to say :)