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Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Squeezed on a curved slice of land at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain and its shorter, wider companion at the other end of the cable car, tiny Urca remains one of Rio’s most unique neighborhoods in that it has retained its intimate feel and close-knit character for decades, despite rapid and unrestrained development in other sections of the city. Facing west across an inlet of Guanabara Bay and overlooking the stately districts of Botafogo and Flamengo, Urca is home to several restaurants and bars that make the trip from other parts of town worthwhile if only for the ambiance.

The site of a Portuguese fort erected in 1565 to fend off the nascent city from French colonial ambitions, Urca developed as a neighborhood much more recently. In the 1920s, the amount of buildable land in the area was expanded with landfill and the first housing developments sprung up. By the end of the decade, the district was a thriving commercial and residential community with its own casino, built to compete against the luxe but barely-accessible Copacabana Palace Hotel. Much of the architecture in the area reflects the development of the 30s and 40s, with a mix of faux Spanish and Tudor-style stucco houses and apartment buildings that render the entire neighborhood a historical treasure.

Tours & Tickets

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Corcovado Mountain, Christ Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain Day Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 357 Reviews

Combine two of Rio's most popular tours on a full-day excursion packed with breathtaking views. In the morning, you'll enjoy a panoramic city tour and have the ...  Read more

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $167.99

Sugar Loaf Mountain Half-Day Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 131 Reviews

Spend the morning at Sugar Loaf Mountain, one of Rio de Janeiro's most famous icons. You'll take a breathtaking ride in a cable car to the top of the Sugar ...  Read more

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $76.99

Guanabara Bay Cruise with Optional Seafood Lunch

4 star rating: Recommended 45 Reviews

Spend half a day sailing on Guanabara Bay, for the most beautiful views of Rio de Janeiro with Sugar Loaf Mountain towering in the distance. Pass the bay's ...  Read more

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 4-6 hours

From USD $64.99

Private Tour: Rio de Janeiro Customizable City Sightseeing with Optional Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Tickets

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

See the best of Rio de Janeiro with a knowledgeable local guide on a private, customizable city tour! You’ll be chauffeured around Rio in a comfortable private ...  Read more

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: Varies

From USD $99.99

Sugar Loaf Mountain Canoe Tour in Rio de Janeiro

Experience Rio de Janeiro’s stunning coastline – lined with mountains, rainforests, beaches and islands – on this 4-hour canoe tour in Guanabara Bay! With an ...  Read more

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $139.99

See all Urca Tours & Tickets

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