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Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf)
Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf) Review
This soaring 1,300-meter (approximately 4,290-foot) granite block at the mouth of Baía de Guanabara was originally called pau-nh-acugua (high, pointed peak) by the indigenous Tupi people. To the Portuguese the phrase seemed similar to pão de açúcar; the rock's shape reminded them of the conical loaves in which refined sugar was sold. Italian-made bubble cars holding 75 passengers each move up the mountain in two stages. The first stop is at Morro da Urca, a smaller, 212-meter (705-foot) mountain; the second is at the summit of Pão de Açúcar itself. The trip to each level takes three minutes. In high season long lines form for the cable car; the rest of the year the wait is seldom more than 30 minutes. Consider visiting the Pão de Açúcar first as the view can be somewhat anticlimactic after climbing the considerably higher Corcovado.
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