Santa Teresa Discovery

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Private Tour

When you've had enough of the sizzling bods and football heroics of the beach scene, join this Rio de Janeiro tour which takes you on a retreat up to the classic locale of Santa Teresa for some arts, culture, history, and architecture.

Rio’s Santa Teresa Tour Highlights

  • Explore the lovely Bohemian district of Santa Teresa, considered to be Rio’s version of Montmartre
  • Pay a visit to the iconic and picturesque Selaron’s Staircase to see the late artist’s masterpiece
  • Jump on the last tram line in Rio de Janeiro
  • Ride the Rio subway and see how locals get around the city

Inclusions: Local English speaking guide, round-trip subway ticket, tram ride fare (bus fare while tram is not running), and transportation.

Exclusions: Personal shopping, snacks, and tips/gratuities for your local guide.

Schedule details

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Meeting point: Copacabana Palace Hotel – Avenida Atlântica, 1702 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22021-001 – Right by the statue outside the hotel!
  • Starting time: 9.00 AM
  • Ending point: Copacabana Palace Hotel – Avenida Atlântica, 1702 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, 22021-001
  • Chevron down Full Itinerary
  • Time to explore one of Rio’s most beloved neighbourhoods, Santa Teresa. While this is mostly a Rio 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 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 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 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 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?!

    Additional information

    Inclusions: Local English speaking guide, round trip subway ticket, tram ride fare (bus fare while tram is not running), transportation.

    Exclusions: Personal shopping, snacks, and 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.

    Your Trip: This trip is offered on a “join-in” basis. Maximum group size is 12.

    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.

    Local contact

    Office phone number: +55 21 9 8372 1107
    Email address: [email protected]

  • Chevron down Reviews
  • Mr. Richard P. from USA travelled on 09 Mar 2018:

    There were just three people plus our tour guide, Jesse, on this trip to Santa Teresa. We went by Metro and tram which was fun, safe and easy. Santa Teresa is beautiful and easy to walk around. We stopped to get cheese dough and also at a tourist shop where the owner was kind enough to give Jesse and me a complimentary shot of Cachaça! Jesse made it a wonderful, fun experience. He was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and clearly well liked by the local people in Santa Teresa. His English and Spanish (the other two customers were from Mexico) were excellent!

    Mr. Ron W A. from Canada travelled on 18 May 2017:

    Juliana is the best very warm and friendly. Her knowledge of the Town gave us a good insight into the life of the people.
    She made sure we where safe while walking around and she even bought us some Cheese pasties at the local Café

    Ms. Sheriden F. from Australia travelled on 05 Sep 2016:

    I had a fantastic tour of Santa Teresa with tour guide Daniel. Daniel was super friendly, knowledgeable and couldn’t be more helpful. Daniel obviously enjoyed his job and it showed in his enthusiasm on the tour. Thanks Daniel!

    Mr. Kevin P. from Australia travelled on 08 Nov 2012:

    This guided tour in Rio de Janeiro was a fantastic way to see a bit more of a great city. It gave us a lot of local insight and made us feel comfortable with the buzz that is Rio. I would recommend this tour to anyone, particularly if you want to feel less timid in a city that often gets a fair bit of bad press from the tourist point of view..

    Ms. petra s. from Germany travelled on 13 Jul 2012:

    It was perfect, exactly what I expected, the guide was very good informed, provided good english and answered all our questions, nice to stop here and there for a drink or coffee 🙂