The Sugarloaf Mountain, one of Rio de Janeiro´s most famous tourist attractions, has undergone renovation two years ago that greatly improved it´s accessibility and we were invited to visit the newly renovated site. We were greeted by Suzana, a spokeswoman for the Sugarloaf, and Colonel Rui Siqueira, who also works for Sugarloaf as a security consultant. They accompanied us along the whole visit showing all the facilitied created for wheelchairs users.
The first one can be seen right at the entrance. Just beside the stairs leading to the box office,there´s a platform lift. First hurdle overcome without problems. After buying the tickets, a flight of stairs leads to the cable car boarding platform. Calm down, no one needs to be carried upstairs. There´s another lift to the boarding platform. In order to board and disembark from the cable car, people in wheelchairs might need some assistance with the gap between the cable car and the platform. Sugarloaf has, on each shift, three specially trained people from the staff to help people with disabilities during the entire visit. Sergio, a very kind and helpful staff member, assisted me and joined us on our visit.
The cable car ride is indescribable! Rio de Janeiro is truly a beautiful city and the bright sunny day only contributed to our fascination. At the first stop, on Morro da Urca (the lower mountain), more pleasant surprises. There were ramps to the the cafeteria, souvenir shops and to the beautiful views of Guanabara Bay, Copacabana Beach, Praia Vermelha (Red Beach) etc. And if you need, there is a wheelchair accessible toilet. Morro da Urca also hosts some events at night, like music concerts and private parties.
After spending some time in Morro da Urca, We boarded another cable car to get to Sugarloaf (the higher mountain). The area on top of Sugarloaf is much smaller than Morro da Urca, but the views are fantastic from up there. Time to take a lot of pictures! The viewpoints are accessible by platform lifts and there´s an accessible toilet on one of them.
Sugarloaf also has a portable stair lift that can be used during maintenance of the platform lifts. According to Colonel Siqueira, there´s more to come: they will build an accessible toilet on the ground floor, next to the ticket office, and an open air museum about the history of the Sugarloaf.
We really enjoyed our visit to Sugarloaf and recommend it to anyone visiting Rio de Janeiro!
Click here to see more pictures from Sugarloaf Mountain!
Address: Avenida Pasteur 520 – Urca – Rio de Janeiro
Prices, opening hours etc: www.bondinho.com.br (english version available)