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Urca Hill Hike: save money in Rio de Janeiro

Urca Hill Hike: save money in Rio de Janeiro

Everyone has heard of the cable car on Sugarloaf Mountain. I consider this one of the mandatory Rio de Janeiro attractions, for both tourists and locals. What many people do not know is that there is an alternative way to get on top of the hill of Urca, the Urca hill hike (known by many as the sugar loaf hike)!

The cable car goes to two mountains. The first one is Urca Hill (see the picture bellow) and the second is the Sugar Loaf itself. The first one is accessible by a easy level hike , while the access to the sencond one it’s possible only if you climb it with professional equipments (or by the cable car, of course).  In my opnion the first hill view is even better than the second.

The walk is a little hard at first (to most of the people), but then it gets easier.During the Urca Hill trail it is common see monkeys .  I’ve done the hike with 60 years people and 10 years child, and they managed to hike.  The hike takes about 40 minutes and it’s considered extremilly safe, as Urca is a military neighborhood!


Futhermore, in Urca hill you will find a ticket office where you can buy the cable car only from Urca hill to Sugar Loaf hill. And the best of all? It’s cheaper: R$50,00 or R$25,00 for students or seniors. 

To return, you can walk down the same trek (just be careful – it closes at 7PM) or you can pay R$20,00 (R$10,00 if you are a student or senior) at the ticket office and take the cable car! I do recommend you to stay in Sugar Loaf for the sunset (it’s wonderful)


PS: if you also want to see Christ the Redeemer, have a look on our blog post How to get to Christ the Redeemer


Urca Hill Hike: Access

Getting to Urca neighborhood (where Sugar Loaf is located): There isn’t subway close to the Sugar Loaf, so the options are bus or Uber/ Taxi.

Bus from Downtown: BRS1 – bus #107 |

Bus from Copacabana/Ipanema/Leblon: BRS2 – bus “circular 1”

Entrance of Urca Hill Hike: Stop in front of the cable car entrance, but instead of getting inside, walk to the direction of the beach (Red beach). On the street, looking at the beach, turn left. You will see a huge gate with the sign: “Pista Claudio Coutinho”. Take the trek, walk for a while. You will see on the left the entrance of the Sugar Loaf Hike.

If you prefer to take the cable car, here are the prices:

If you prefer to go by cable car, you can get tickets at the official Sugar Loaf cable car website

More city tips on our Free Walking Tour Rio de Janeiro

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