Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro

After the disastrous non-existent views from Christ the Redeemer, I was eager for a second chance to see Rio de Janeiro from above. It's a wonderful city from the ground, don't get me wrong, but it’s only when we got an aerial view that we realized just how stunning it is. The bay itself is even one of seven "Natural Wonders of the World."

According to Lonely Planet, one of the best places to see the city is from Sugar Loaf, and the best time to visit it is during sunset. So that’s where M and I headed right after our favela tour. 

There’s no subway that takes you to the entrance of Sugar Loaf, so we took a taxi there and back, not wanting to risk walking aimlessly or in the dark. It might seem like a severe caution to take, but our caution never failed us! No pickpocket stories here. 

To get to the top of Sugar Loaf, we had to take two cable cars – one goes up to Morro da Urca, and the next one takes you up to Sugarloaf. Morro da Urca had a food and shopping complex and stunning views of the west side of Rio. I actually preferred this smaller mountain because there were more places to sit and relax, and the views were more panoramic and unobstructed. 

On Sugar Loaf, there were really only two places to take those iconic photos of Copacabana Beach and Guanabara Bay – and both spots were insanely packed with other people trying to take the same photo as we were!

We eventually gave up and went to sit on a terrace looking out over the photo takers. The views were a bit obstructed because of the greenery and construction – so much construction! Parts of the terrace here were closed, and although we saw a neat elevated walkway, it wasn’t finished and either being constructed or repaired. 

The best place to take a photo was when we were getting back on the tram to take us down to the smaller mountain. We got into trouble though because we weren’t allowed in the loading area… but come on, what else are we supposed to do when the rest of the viewing areas are under "restoration"? #noregrets

We settled in to watch the sunset from Morro da Urca. Right here, with the sun setting behind Christ the Redeemer, the sky all alight in flames and rays of sunshine magically painted on like stripes of gold, was a sight I could have looked at for hours and never gotten tired of. 

Sugar Loaf didn't disappoint. Our time spent on these hills made me fall even more in love with Rio. How could you not? IMHO, Drake has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to #views in Toronto... everything just pales in comparison to this.