If you've seen Moonraker (1979, James Bond movie starring Roger Moore) you've already been to sugarloaf mountain.
Remember Jaws?..the big guy able to chew nuts and bolts as easily as cornflakes crushing against it in the cable car and surviving unscathed?
Well, that's the mountain we're talking about, but do not worry, you don't need to be a spy to reach the summit and to enjoy the view.
Besides, landing is much easier and stress-free than in the movies.
In fact, it's a two-leg journey in the bondinho (cable car) that takes a few minutes to complete - and about 25,00 U$S of your time - reaching first Morro de Açúcar (220 meters high) and finally Pão de Açúcar, rising 396 meters (1,299 ft) above Guanabara bay.
And you get a 360 degree view of the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro in return.
Granted, the number of Rio de Janeiro attractions could be counted by the dozens so it all boils down to the length of your Brazil holidays to visit them all, but Pão de Açúcar is the city's most iconic mountain that you simply cannot miss.
Furthermore, if I have to write a very concise list of sights, that would include sugarloaf mountain, corcovado mountain and the two most famous beaches in Rio de Janeiro: Ipanema and Copacabana beach.
Then you could continue with a tour to Samba City to get a hint of what carnival means to brazilian culture and cariocas in particular, a visit to the Botanical Garden and start doing the round of museums of course.
Don't want to overload you with homework because I'd assume you'll spend some time enjoying Rio's nightlife as well.
According to history, back in January 1502, Guanabara bay - flanked by Pico do Papagaio (Parrot's Peak) and Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf) at the western tip - became known to the world by the hands of two Portuguese explorers.
The ria (Portuguese for bay) was named Ria de Janeiro (being Janeiro Portuguese for January). Some confusion or translating error took place and rio (river) was adopted instead.
The city was named after this and the cidade maravilhosa of Rio de Janeiro was born, and became one of the most unique South America travel experiences of all times.
Sugarloaf mountain is so emblematic and worldwide known as a Rio attraction that even the Simpsons were there when Homer was kidnapped at "Blame it on Lisa" episode, so what are you waiting for?..
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