Time to explore one of Rio's most beloved neighbourhoods, Santa Teresa — and there's no better way to get under the skin of the neighbourhood than on a private tour with a local guide. While this is mostly a walking tour, we'll start with a little public transit, shall we? Take the subway downtown so you can experience how locals get around Rio and help orientate yourself in the city.
We'll hop off at Carioca Station and wander through the Financial District, home of huge companies such as Petrobras and BNDES. Check out Carioca Square, once the main source of drinking water in Rio, transported in by the Aqueducts of Lapa.
From here, we'll climb aboard the tram for the journey up to Santa Teresa, which is a 20 minute ride over the aqueducts which are now used as the tram route. This is the last tram line in Brazil that is used solely for transportation purposes.
Hopping off at Largo dos Guimaraes, it's time to explore the cobblestone streets of Santa Teresa! We'll wander about on foot and discover beautiful architecture, art galleries, restaurants, and local costumes that characterise Santa Teresa.
One of Rio's oldest neighbourhoods, Santa Teresa, situated high on a hill overlooking Rio, enchants locals and visitors alike with its cobbled streets and eclectic architectural styles. The views of the city centre and the bay aren't too shabby either. (Okay, they're stunning, but that's hardly a surprise...we're in Rio, after all!).
Previously a neighbourhood dominated by the elite, with their departure to more modern suburbs of Rio, Santa Teresa has been transformed into an artistic centre with many artists choosing the area as their preferred place of residence. Among the attractions in Santa Teresa is the Ruins Park and its gorgeous view over downtown Rio de Janeiro and Guanabara Bay. Many visitors compare Santa Teresa to the bohemian district of Montmartre in Paris, and we'd stay that's a pretty fair comparison.
During the Carnival, many street bands perform on the streets and the most famous one is “Bloco das Carmelitas”, which was named after the local convent, which we'll see on our way back towards the Lapa District. As our Santa Teresa Rio tour winds down, we have one final (and rather important) stop to make: Selaron's Staircase. This masterpiece and picturesque icon is one of the late artist's most famous pieces, and is without a doubt one of the highlights of this Rio tour. They always say to end on a high note, don't they?!
(If you’d prefer to travel as part of a regular group experience, please book our Santa Teresa group discovery tour.)
This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers.
Inclusions: Local English speaking guide, round trip subway ticket, tram ride fare (bus fare while tram is not running), transportation.
Exclusions: Personal shopping, snacks, tips / gratuities for your local guide.
Dress standard: Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point.
Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Closure of sites: In lieu of the subway, other transportation might be used for safety reasons whenever necessary. Also, the bus to Santa Teresa will be taken if, for some reason, the tram is not running.
Child Policy: Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children below the age of 6 are not permitted on this tour.