The first person that made the summit of Pão de Açucar ( Sugar Loaf ) , a rock with 600 million years that projects 396 mts of height in the entrance of Guanabara Bay was Henrietta Constairs , in 1817, from England. Henrietta thought that for the good, put the England flag on the top. The gesture infuriated the pupils of the Military School that had at the time in the base of the Morro da Urca ( the first step until Pão de Açucar ). Few weeks later, the cadets had gone up for the same way and had changed the flag for one of Brazil.
So , the great notoriety finish generating ambient damages that come compromising local biodiversity. The impact falls again with more force into the flora. Bromelias and orchids species come suffering with the extreme use of the tracks and with the opening of new ways in the big walls. To give security in the stretches, a series of steel bolts, calls of cramps, they are fixed in the rock. Besides accenting the deterioration of the mountain, the cramps, if placed in a great amount, also they generate an undesirable visual pollution.
Rare example of rocky elevation, not affected by the metamorphosis caused by physical, chemical or biological agents, Pão de Açucar (Sugar Loaf) appears in the entrance door of Rio de Janeiro city as a Natural monument, visible to the sailors from remote positions in the Atlantic Ocean. The access to the top of the boulder has become possible after the implementation of the cable-car whose the first line was inaugurated in 1912 and linked Vermelha Beach to Morro da Urca (Urca Hill). The second line came into operation in the following year and was extend to the top of Pão de Açucar.
From the summit of Pão de Açucar, all the Downtown Zone, South Zone, Niteroi City and Guanabara Bay could be seen. Over there, it's possible to see Corcovado, Pedra da Gavea, Serra da Carioca, Serra dos Orgãos, Mount Mourão and Parque da Cidade ( Niterói ).
It's very easy to get the Pão de Açucar area. If you arrive in Rio de Janeiro by Santos Dumont airport, Urca district is far around 5 minutes. Drive by Aterro do Flamengo to Urca and stop at Vermelha Beach. There are two alternatives to climb the mountain:
#1 Cable-streetcar : U$ 12 to carry to the summit of Pão de Açucar without difficults;
#2 The climbing routes : There are many routes to get the summit of the mountain. Some of them:
Fecho Eclair : 5°VI E4D1
O Perigo Mora Ao Lado : 7°VIIE1D1
Sonho e Ilusões : VIIb E2D1
Argus : 5°VIsup E3D3
and much more how "Italianos, Cavalo-louco..."
There aren't camping areas there because Pão de Açucar is in Military area.
The climbing routes are very difficult, and I recommend professional guides to lead the route.
Timetable to visit Pão de Açucar
Every day at 8:00 am to 22:00 pm.
More Photos of Pão de Açucar
This is another points of view of the symbol of the Rio de Janeiro City.
This is another place near Pão de Açucar to pratice climbing.
This is the special overviews of this beautiful mountain.
This is the wild side of Pão de Açucar. There are many routes at this side. ( I'll put the routes soon ).