The Sugar Loaf Mountains is one of Rio’s most prominent tourist destinations, and it is found in the charming city of Urca. The Sugar Loaf Mountains give tourists an amazing view of other attractions such as the Niteroi Bridge, the Flamengo Park, and the Bay of Botafogo.
The Sugar Loaf Mountain
Resembling a sugarloaf hence the name, the Sugar Loaf Mountain which is Pao de Acucar in Portuguese is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Rio. The Sugar Loaf Mountain is located in Urca and overlooks the Guanabara Bay.
For those who want to reach the summit of the Sugar Loaf Mountain, you don’t need to worry since you don’t have to trekk to go there, a cable car ride can bring you to the peak of the mountain.
Once in the cable car, you will get to see the Sao Joao Fort. Also, you will find one of the most beautiful football fields in the world.
On opposite goal posts of the football field you will find the Sugar Loaf Mountain on one side and a fort on the other; and one of the sides of the football field is a view of the Guanabara Bay.
The film Moonraker was also shot here.
Entertainers from Urca
Some of the most well celebrated personalities in the entertainment history had their roots in Urca.
Once of them was Carmen Miranda. She was a Hollywood actress who was first spotted by a film maker while she was singing in the Casino da Urca.
Her house, also located in area at Rua Sao Sebastiao is a small house with the words ‘Pequena Notavel’ written on it. These words literally translate to little wonder. If you happen to be in Urca you will still be able to see the small house as you walk down the lane.
Another well known casino in Urca is the Praia da Urca which was closed in 1946 and used to feature new and trendy artists during that time.
Urca may actually be called the birthplace of the stars due to the fact that many entertainers come from here. One of them is Roberto Carlos who is considered as the Elvis Presley of Brazil.
Forte Sao Joao
Another famous fort in Urca is the Forte Sao Joao.
Currently a military base, this fort holds an important part of Rio’s history since it was here that the Portuguese drove the French away in 1567.
The Portuguese influence is eveident with the architecture of the building.
Monuments to see in Urca
Rio has a lot of monuments build in almost every corner of the city. Urca also has its share of monuments; the Chopin stature was built in 1964 and represents the culture and religion of Rio.
Another statue that shouldn’t be missed is the St. Peter floating statue.
Where to dine?
Aside from being a feast for the eyes, Urca definitely offers a lot of feasts for the hungry stomach.
Some of the most notable eating spots include the Zozo which is a barbecue restaurant found as the foot of the Sugar Loaf Mountains; the best seafood is served at the Bar Urca; and for chips and picanha lovers, the Garota da Urca fine dining restaurant is the best choice.