Urca is a small town district at the foot of Sugarloaf and one of the most preferred living areas of Rio de Janeiro. It offers a splendid view on the Bay of Botafogo, Flamengo Parc and the 10 miles long Niteroi Bridge.
The shallow water of Praia Vermelha turned Urca into an insider place for swimming. But this beach is very small and often extremely crowded, also the water quality often is a problem.
The highlight of Urca is the access to sugarloaf. The cable cars start only 100 meters distant from Praia Vermelha.
We also recommend to take a walk at the “Trilha do Morro da Urca”. The access is a bit hidden at the left of Praia Vermelha. It is a beautiful walk. Signs describe how the rock was formed.
The path gives the opportunity for a nice walk with beautiful views of the bay, great trees, monkeys, birds and is absolutely safe.
From here there is also an ascent (footpath) to the lower station of the Sugarloaf. If you take this path you can buy a cheaper ticket above and either go down to Praia Vermelha or up to the 2nd cable car station.
We also recommend a walk at the other side of Urca, from the Yacht club to Praia da Urca until the Bar Urca. Beautiful houses and views to the ocean and during happy hour and on weekends, the casual waterfront bars attract a lively audience of young locals.
Add to your visit a shopping tour to the Rio-Sul Shopping Center. From Copacabana or Ipanema the shopping center is located on your right hand side just after leaving the tunnel and entering Urca.