Have you ever heard of Paraty in Brazil? This little slice of paradise has some amazing hidden gems, and one of our favorite hikes in the country- Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak.
When we first saw photos on Instagram, we knew that we had to add this to our list. It took us a lot of research, and we were still very unsure about the process to get there, because almost everything was in Portuguese!
After successfully making it there, we've gathered all the info for you so that you can be perfectly prepared for this great experience. So without further ado- here's the complete guide for getting to Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak in Paraty, Brazil.
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Where is Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak?
Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak is located in the eastern part of Paraty, overlooking Mamangua Bay (also known as Saco do Mamangua). Paraty is a beach town along the east coast of southern Brazil, a few hours south of Rio de Janeiro, and a few hours north east of Sao Paulo.
How to Get to Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak
Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak is certainly not the easiest to get to, but it definitely is worth it! There are two options for going- you can take a tour, or you can go on your own. In this guide we're going to share our experience of going on our own. If you'd rather make it easier on yourself, here are some tours you can sign up for:
If you want to save a bit of money, or are in a big group, we're also sharing this option as well. Here are the steps to getting to the hike of Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak:
Step 1: Rent a Car
We rented our car in Rio de Janeiro, but you can also rent a car right in the town of Paraty. We suggest booking in advance, as there is limited availability.
Step 2: Go to Paraty Mirim
Paraty Mirim is a beach zone that is part of Paraty, but is a bit outside the central area. In order to get to Paraty Mirim you can take a local bus from the Old Town of Paraty, take a taxi, or drive and park nearby the beach. If you don't have easy access to the bus, you can download the app 99, which is basically the Uber of Brazil.
Driving to Paraty Mirim
If you drive, it will take around a half hour from the old town. You'll want to take highway 101 south to Estr. de Paraty Mirim, and the road will lead you right to the center of the beach town of Mirim.
For parking you'll find a number of lots, most of them charging between 25-30 Real for the day.
Step 3: Take a Boat from Paraty Mirim to Praia do Cruzeiro
The trail to get to Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak can only be accessed by the start of the official trailhead, which is located on the beach "Praia do Cruzeiro", and the only way to reach this beach is by boat.
From the beach of Paraty Mirim you can find small boats that will take you over to the beach in about 15 minutes. There is no official area to get a boat, nor set prices. In the summer especially, people will try to charge an extortionate amount, so it's really all about haggling.
Generally, most boats were offering the roundtrip boat ride for 250-350 Real per boat. This can be quite expensive if you are only 1 or 2 people, so we suggest trying to round up a group to share the cost with. We ended up finding a lone Brazilian guy to bring along with us and our friend, so we were 4 people, and got the price down to 250 total. Even with having a Brazilian with us, they weren't willing to budge any lower than that.
The boats are speedboats, and the ride can be a bit bumpy, but overall was super nice with the wind and the great views. The boats are covered, so you won't need to be exposed to the harsh sun rays.
Step 4: Hiking the Trail
Now that you finally made it to the beach, you can find the trailhead very visibly on the left hand of the beach. If you need to use the bathroom or grab something to eat, we suggest stopping by the restaurant, as you won't find anything along the trail or at the top.
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The Hike to Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak
The hike to the top was rather challenging. We went in January, and it was extremely hot and humid. The trail was very well marked, but definitely not even and easy to walk along. There are a ton of tree branches to dodge, and giant rocks to climb. Shade comes and goes, and there are a ton of mosquitos.
When you're doing the hike, chances are you won't enjoy it that much, but we promise you, the end view makes all of the effort worth it. Half way through you'll also find a bench where you can rest for a few minutes.
The Brazilian guy that came with us was in excellent shape, and so he went ahead of us. We are normally in pretty great shape, but as it was right after the holiday season, we truly weren't at our best. The hike took us an hour to complete, and the Brazilian 45 minutes, while some others took closer to an hour and 15 minutes. The hike back down I found to be much easier, and only took about a half hour to go down.
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Arriving to the Viewpoint of Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak
After a long, intense hike, you've finally made it! You'll be rewarded with an amazing breeze, and 360 degree views of pure natural beauty. There is plenty of room to relax, and quite a few cool photo opportunities. We suggest giving yourself a half hour to truly enjoy the moment of being at the top.
Bonus: Look out for condors! These majestic birds were circling the viewpoint the entire time we were there.
How to Prepare for Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak
We suggest being well prepared for the hike, and to start early to avoid to intensity of the sun and heat.
Some things to keep in mind are that in order to get into the boat you will mostly likely have to walk through the water, and that the trailhead is located on a beach, where you may want to spend some time.
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Here are a few things that you should bring on the hike:
- Bug spray
- Light athletic clothing
- Power bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are long lasting)
- Sandwich or snacks
- Insulated water bottle (we use Cafago Water Bottles as they hold the temperature)
- Small backpack- here are a list of our favorite backpacks for travelers.
- Flip flops (our favorite are Havaiana flip flops)
- Bathing suit
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Price & Time Breakdown
Here is the general breakdown of how much time and money the trip to Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak will end up being.
Bus to Paraty Mirim: 4.35 Real
99 to Paraty Mirim: 55-60 Real
Parking at Paraty Mirim: 20-30 Real
Boat ride to Paraty Mirim: 250-300
Total money spent: 255-360 Real per group
Getting from Paraty to Paraty Mirim: 30-40 minutes
Parking/ finding a boat: 15 minutes
Boat ride to Praia do Cruzeiro: 15 minutes
Hike to the Top of Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak: 1 hour
Enjoying the view: 30 minutes
Hike back down: 30 minutes
Boat ride back to Paraty Mirim: 30 Minutes
Washing off, grabbing a drink: 20-30 minutes
Driving back to Paraty: 30 minutes
Total time spent: approx 4 1/2-5 hours
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Other Things to Know About Hiking Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak
Now you know almost everything there is to know about visiting Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak, we have a few more things to share:
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
At the very end of our hike, right before reaching the top, we saw a huge snake! We stepped to the side (luckily there was a large rock), and we waited a few minutes. Be aware of your surroundings, and never get close to animals you may find.
Amenities to Know About
While the hike itself doesn't have any food, drinks, or toilets, you can find these things on either of the two beaches. Paraty Mirim has a few restaurants, and also has small hotels where you can stay. It is a relaxed beach town, and definitely a place that you can enjoy for the rest of the day before or after the hike.
Everything we did to get to Mamangua Sugarloaf Peak involved strictly cash, from the parking to the boat ride. The only time we were able to use our credit card was at one of the restaurants in Paraty Mirim after we finished the hike.
Going on a Tour vs On Your Own
We'd say that if you are a solo traveler, a nervous traveler, or like group activities, then we highly suggest booking the tour. This way you won't have to haggle, or spend a ton for a boat on your own. It's also a great way to meet other people, and have people to support one another during the hike.
If you are on a tight budget, want to go extremely early, or are traveling in a group, then it will be better to go on your own. As spend an excessive time creating content, we like doing things on our own so that we have plenty of time and don't feel rushed. However, for practicality and the social aspect, we do like the idea of doing this particular activity as a tour.
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So are you ready for one of the most beautiful views in Brazil? While the hike may be intense, we really think it was worth every minute and penny invested, and is one of the top things to do in Paraty!
Want to know other fun things to do in Paraty? We have a complete guide coming out soon! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so that you can stay in the know. Looking for other fun places in the area? We have a bunch of other Brazilian travel guides for you to check out as well.
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