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Rock climbing and abseiling on Sugarloaf Mountain

  • Rio de Janeiro, Southeastern Region, Brazil

Last updated: 05 April, 2024

Guanabara Bay shimmering at your feet, Christ the Redeemer hovering on the horizon, rainforest, bays and beaches all around: few urban locations in the world offer a more spectacular backdrop to a rock climb or an abseil.

While it looks like a single mountain, the Sugarloaf you see in the photographs is actually two – the lower Morro da Urca (Urca hill) and the higher Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf itself). There are climbing routes up both, ranging from the beginner level Morro da Urca Overview (a popular training route) to the technical, advanced Via dos Italianos route. Views are spectacular on all climbs.

Rio has some excellent climbing clubs and schools with fully accredited climbers and state-of-the-art equipment.


Price from: £35
Minimum age: 13
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 5 hours

Getting there & doing it

There are lots of different routes of varying difficulty up both Morro da Urca mountain and Sugar Loaf itself. Even if you have all your own ropes and equipment, to find the right starting points and best routes you need to book with a tour operator.

Rio has a number of reputable and reliable climbing schools and clubs including Companhia da Escalada (run by an award-winning author of climbing books) and Rio Mountain Sports (run by a climber with 30 years of climbing experience). Both provide guided climbs, courses and hikes on Sugarloaf and the city’s other boulder mountains. Both companies are able to work with climbers of all levels and can provide all equipment.

When to do it

You can climb all year round, but views are best in the drier months May to September.

Who to go with: organised tours


Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Rio de Janeiro

Wish to explore rock climbing in Rio de Janeiro while hiking your way to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain? The Costao Route is a guided-tour that combines hiking, scrambling, and a brief climbing section. Reach the top and enjoy the famous panoramic view after taking part in one of Rio’s best outdoor adventures.

Price R$335

Min age 10

Rating 4.98 / 5 [71 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Rio de Janeiro

Discover the Costao trail, the original route to the summit of the Sugarloaf Mountain! This steep trail is one of the most incredible hikes in the city and few visitors know about it - most assume that the only way to the top is by cable car. Although the trail features a vertical pitch of rock climbing, it does not require prior climbing experience. With the help of safety gear and our certified climbing guides, you can conquer this challenge and continue to the top of Rio’s famous Sugarloaf Mountain. This is a classic Carioca experience not to be missed!

Price CA$55

Min age 8

Rating 5 / 5 [58 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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  • Rio de Janeiro

♦ Combo of two experiences to fully experience the climbing universe ♦ Baptism in rock in the largest field of rock climbing school for beginners in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Morro da Babilônia ♦ Climb the Pão de Açúcar by its route of conquest ♦ Climb at Urca, inside of the world's largest urban climbing complex, the wonderful Rio de Janeiro city ♦ The descent is made by the most famous cable car in the world, the Sugar Loaf Cable Car

Price $125

Min age 18

Rating 4 / 5 [12 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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