By CivArmy – Wikimedia

Top 10 Facts about the Sugar Loaf cable car


This mountain is one remarkable natural attraction that stands out in Rio de Janeiro. It stands at 1,299 feet and is a landmark that continues to gain popularity within the country and abroad.

The views from the top of this mountain are spectacular and there are several ways to get to the top. One of the ways is by using a cable car.

The Sugarloaf Cable Car moves between Praia Vermelha and the Sugarloaf Mountain. It makes a stop at Morro da Urca which is at 722 feet. The final stop of the cable car is the summit which is 11,299 feet.

This cableway was proposed by Augusto Ferreira Ramos, an engineer, in 1908. He was able to construct it by getting support from well-known figures.

There is a lot more about this cableway on the Sugarloaf Mountain that is not known. As you plan to go up the mountain to see the imposing Christ the Redeemer Statue, here are interesting facts about the cable car that will take you up the mountain.   

1. The Sugarloaf Cable Car was opened on 27 October 1912

The original wooden cable car By André Koehne – Wikimedia

The cable car on the Sugarloaf Mountain was a vision by Augusto Ramos an engineer. The car is managed by Companhia Caminho Aéreo Pão de Açúcar, a company created by Ramos.

The first cable cars to ever go up the mountain were coated wood and were used for 60 years. Unfortunately, there was an accident in 1951, where one of the two cables snapped. Fortunately, none of the 22 people that dangled was harmed.

There was a mechanic on board who helped create an emergency car that saved the passengers. He was honoured as the hero of the day by the President of Brazil, Getulio Vargas.

2. The cable cars were used in a movie

The Sugarloaf cable car was featured in a James Bond movie, Moonraker in 1979. The star of the movie, James Bond battled with Jaws in the tramway.

During the filming, the stuntman Richard Graydon slipped and luckily avoided falling to his death. The cable in the scene where Jaws bites the tramway cable, the cable was made of liquorice.

That same year, a daredevil walked the tightrope on the steel cable, Steven McPeak got his slot into the Guinness Book of World Records.  

The cable car was also featured in video games such as Need for Speed. On the centenary of the cableway in 2012, Google honoured it with a doodle, viewable in Brazil.

3. They run every 30 minutes

By Donatas Dabravolskas – Wikimedia

The cable cars run every 30 minutes, between 8 am and 10 pm. They have glass walls and each car carries 65 people.

The first part of the cable line that stops at Morro da Urca, has a length of 600 metres. The car goes at a maximum speed of 6 metres per second.

At this first stop, you will find a café, snack bar, a restaurant and a souvenir stand and a play area for children.

The second part of the is 850 metres long and the cable car goes at 10 metres per second. The top is particularly very steep.

4. The Sugar Loaf Cable Cars are the highlights of the mountain

By CivArmy – Wikimedia

Going up the Sugarloaf Mountain using the cable car gives one an unforgettable experience. As you go up or down the mountain, one gets to enjoy great vistas of Rio de Janeiro.

The two cable cars that go up the mountain take turns to take the visitors up. They each go up or down every 30 minutes. Although the ride may be short, you will get to take in the breath-taking landscape of Rio.

Capture the moments through the glass walls of the cable cars.

5. Engineer Augusto Ferreira Ramos envisioned the cable cars

Engineer Augusto Ferreira Ramos first thought of building the cable car in 1908. He got assisted by well-known figures of Rio de Janeiro’s high society in its construction. It was officially opened in 1912.

This was the third cableway to be built in the world. There was an upgrade of the cars in 1972. The number of passengers per car was also increased from 22 to 65.

6. These cable cars are one of the safest in the world

By Adam Jones, Ph.D. – Wikimedia

The Sugarloaf Cable Car is one of the safest in the world. The management of cable cars assures the tourists’ ultimate safety. They ensure that they are well maintained.

Riding on these cars affords one a 360 view of the beaches and tropical forest below.

The cables are replaced regularly and they avoid shuttling tourists during bad weather. Not a single car has fallen from this cableway. There was only one incident where a cable broke but the people were saved.

7. They can carry 65 passengers at a time

Each of the cable cars carries 65 passengers. One can choose to sit or stand at the centre of the car. While riding the cable car, you will love the full-circle view of the surrounding landscape.

One can also spot the adventurous hikers scaling up the trails on Morro da Urca. The cars are well ventilated and have an anti-glare glass.

8. You will need to take two cable cars to the Sugarloaf Mountain

By Adam Jones, Ph.D. – Wikimedia

To get to the top of the Sugarloaf Mountain, you will need to take two cable cars and make two stops. The first one takes you to Morro da Urca.

They stop alongside the loading dock where the passengers have ample time to step inside. You may notice the gap between the car and the dock but it is safe nothing to worry about.

People with strollers are also allowed to have them in cars. Once the car reaches Morro da Urca, you alight and take the second car to the summit.

9. Each Cable car takes about three minutes

A ride on the cableway up the Sugarloaf Mountain takes only three minutes. From the first stop to the summit, it will take you about 6 minutes since you have to switch cars.

While this may seem like a short time, the views from the cable cars are something to look forward to. The cars are stable and are safe. 

10. The views up the mountain are breath-taking

By Diego Baravelli – Wikimedia

One of the real reasons that most people take the cable car up the Sugarloaf Mountain is because of the stunning views. If you are lucky to take the cable car in the early evening, watch out for the sunset.

Since the Mountain is on a peninsula stretching into the Atlantic Ocean, you will enjoy unique scenic views of the bustling city, a tranquil bay, and a sparkling ocean.