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Things to do in Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Our most recommended things to do in Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

1. Santa Teresa & Lapa With Tram Ride And Selarón Steps

Begin your tour at Downtown (“Centro”), where you will get the tram (“bondinho”) to the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa. You will drive over the Arcos da Lapa, the aqueduct used to connect water from Santa Teresa to Downtown and one of Rio’s most traditional postcards. At Santa Teresa, you will experience an interesting local atmosphere. Walk through the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, a bucolic area in Rio de Janeiro. Located on a hillside, Santa Teresa has become a district of cultural interest because of its architectural value and prime location, famous for its winding, narrow cobblestone streets and a favourite spot for artists and tourists. A flair similar to Montmartre, in Paris. You will visit the Ruins Park, a public park with an art gallery built around the ruins of a mansion. Take a minute to enjoy the city’s landscape, in particular the Downtown area and the Sugarloaf Mountain. Up next, you will walk down the colorful Selarón Steps, one of Rio’s landmarks, and arrive at the district of Lapa, the zone with the most traditional nightlife. Take a stroll in the Passeio Público, the oldest public park in South America, to reach Cinelândia, a lively spot in Rio thanks to its bars, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Among many remarkable constructions in the area, you will notice the Theatro Municipal, Rio de Janeiro’s most traditional theatre and opera house, as well as the Biblioteca Nacional, Brazil’s most important library. Your last stop will be at Confeitaria Colombo, a permanent member of all must-see cafés rankings around the world. Enjoy the opulent art nouveau decoration with huge stained glass, tiles, and mirrors imported from France, Portugal, and Belgium. You can finish your tour tasting one of the Brazilian traditional snacks – such as the coxinha de frango (‘little chicken thigh’) – or desserts – such as the brigadeiro (‘brigadier’) in what was one of Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious places at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Rio: Christ the Redeemer & Selarón Steps Half-Day Tour

2. Rio: Christ the Redeemer & Selarón Steps Half-Day Tour

Meet your group at the meeting point in Copacabana. Start your half-day and drive up to the statue of Christ the Redeemer at the top of the Corcovado Mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Journey through a short and beautiful route through Tijuca Forest, one of the largest urban forests in the world, before enjoying the incredible views of the entire city. When reaching the top of the mountain, visit the most famous tourist attraction in Brazil and get a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro, 710 meters above sea level. Return from Christ the Redeemer and drive past Santa Teresa, the famous neighborhood located on a hillside known for its narrow cobblestone streets, unique cultural flair, and iconic yellow tram. Arrive at the neighborhood of Lapa, a hot spot of Rio’s nightlife and known for the Carioca Aqueduct, before visiting the brightly colored tiles of the world-famous Selarón Steps. Take some photos at one of Rio's most distinctive landmarks. This landmark was created when Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón began renovating the dilapidated steps that ran along the front of his house. This now-iconic site has featured in many famous magazines, newspapers, travel shows, documentaries, and commercials.

Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket with Van Transport

3. Rio: Christ the Redeemer Official Ticket with Van Transport

Guarantee a visit to Rio de Janeiro‘s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue with official tickets and official transportation. Choose one of the two departure points in Copacabana or Largo do Machado, which are located in strategic points easily accessible by public bus and subway, or a hotel pickup. Experience breathtaking views of the city from the top of Corcovado mountain during your journey to the statute. Enjoy the exuberant nature and cultural landscapes throughout the trip.  When passing through the historic and cultural neighborhood of Santa Teresa, be sure to record the panoramic view from Mirante dos Prazeres. On your way to Tijuca National Park, you will see the Caixa da Mãe D’água Aquifer, built-in 1774 by the Portuguese Crown. This structure was, at the time, mainly responsible for the large-scale water supply reaching the city of Rio de Janeiro. Arrive directly at the visitor's center of Paineiras Corcovado, a new adjacent structure with restaurants, a cafe, a gift shop, and a museum. Be sure to explore the Paineiras Visitor Center displaying exhibitions and models of the city of Rio de Janeiro. From the Visitors Center, board another van to the top of the Corcovado Hill, for a closer look at the Christ the Redeemer statue.  Learn about how the art deco statue was first opened to the public in 1931 atop a 710 m high granite dome. Get spectacular 360 views from Rio of the Tijuca Forest, Sugarloaf Mountain, Guanabara Bay, and the most stunning beaches in the city such as Copacabana and Ipanema.  After your day of exploring one of the “7 Wonders of the Modern World”, be comfortably driven back to your initial pickup point at either Copacabana or Largo do Machado.

Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

4. Rio de Janeiro: Historic Rio and Santa Teresa Half-Day Tour

Following pickup from your accommodation, head to the historic center of Rio de Janeiro. Consisting of centuries-old buildings and roads, the historic center of Rio best illustrates the most important chapters of Brazil’s history.  See the contrast of new and old architecture at XV de Novembro Square. Continue to Cinelândia Square until you reach the famous Carioca Aqueduct (Arcos de Lapa) in Lapa. Admire the historic beauty as you continue to Santa Teresa by car. Enjoy the winding narrow streets and colorful buildings of bohemian Santa Teresa, famous for its bars, galleries, ateliers, and the 19th-century Santa Teresa tram. From the top of Santa Teresa Hill, enjoy some of Rio’s finest views and look across Guanabara Bay.  Take in the panoramic views of the city from the Parque das Ruínas, located in the ruins of an old mansion belonging to Laurinda Santos. The mansion has been partially restored and is now used as a cultural center hosting various exhibitions and events.

Wonders of Rio: Christ, Selaron Steps, and Tijuca Forest

5. Wonders of Rio: Christ, Selaron Steps, and Tijuca Forest

This specially designed 7-hour tour around the city of Rio de Janeiro provides a unique chance to see the attractions of Rio de Janeiro with a professional English speaking tour guide showing you all around. The day tour starts with pick-up at your hotel or hostel in Rio. Your first stop will be at São Conrado beach where the hang gliders land after their take off from Pedra Bonita. You will enjoy amazing views of the high mountains on the blue coast of the ocean. From there, you will visit the Tijuca National Park and get a glimpse of the greenest tropical rainforest. This is the best spot to check how nature and the urban area can coexist, while seeing waterfalls, tropical plants and the wildlife.  After that, stop for lunch in Ipanema, and then hit the road again, this time to visit the Christ The Redeemer. Remember to bring your camera for the breathtaking photos of this memorable day. After the visit to the Christ, have a stop in Santa Teresa. This is one of the most traditional neighborhoods of Rio. It still retains much of its original architecture and character of previous colonial years. At the end of your Rio day tour, see the Escadaria Selaron or secret Lapa steps where Snoop Dogg shot his famous video for ‘Beautiful’ with Pharrell Williams. Finally, you will be offered the option to be dropped off at Sugarloaf Mountain in time for enjoying the sunset or to be dropped off back in your hotel or hostel.

Rio de Janeiro: Christ the Redeemer & Sugarloaf Mountain

6. Rio de Janeiro: Christ the Redeemer & Sugarloaf Mountain

Start with pickup from your hotel in southern Rio and meet your guide, who will provide more information about the sites you will visit. Begin the tour with a visit to the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. Experience breathtaking views of the city from the top of Corcovado Hill. Pass the historic and cultural neighborhood of Santa Teresa, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from Mirante dos Prazeres. Learn more about how the Art Deco-style Christ the Redeemer statue was first opened to the public in 1931. From its base, enjoy spectacular 360-degree views of the Tijuca Forest, Sugarloaf Mountain, Guanabara Bay, and the city's most stunning beaches, such as Copacabana and Ipanema. After visiting one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World, continue the tour with a ride on the cable car to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain. Enjoy the journey on the most famous cable car in Brazil where you can enjoy more fantastic views of the entire city. Afterward, be returned to your hotel.

Rio de Janeiro: Christ Redeemer, Santa Teresa & Sugarloaf

7. Rio de Janeiro: Christ Redeemer, Santa Teresa & Sugarloaf

Explore the best of what Rio de Janeiro has to offer on a guided sunset tour. See the World famous Christ the Redeemer, visit Santa Teresa, Escadaria Selarón, and take in sunset views of the city from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. Begin your tour with a visit to Corcovado Mountain. After a 25-minute drive to the base of the Christ the Redeemer statue through the Tijuca Forest, take in the enchanting views of the city and surrounding countryside. Continue towards the Santa Teresa neighborhood where you will see its charming streets and its history by sight. Right after that, visit the famous Escadaria Selarón, before heading to Sugarloaf Mountain for the sunset. Board a cable car and head to the Morro da Urca station before continuing to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. From there, marvel at the fantastic panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro. Watch one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world while admiring Copacabana Beach from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain.

Corcovado, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Selarón Steps 6-Hour Tour

8. Corcovado, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Selarón Steps 6-Hour Tour

Discover the best of Rio de Janeiro on a 6-hour guided tour of Corcovado, Selarón Steps, and Sugar Loaf Mountain and see it all! Following a pick-up from your hotel, transfer to Corcovado Mountain through the Tijuca Rainforest. Ascend to the summit to see the 38-meter (128-foot) tall statue of Christ the Redeemer. Enjoy spectacular views of Rio and its surrounding countryside. Then, travel back downhill to take a tour of the bohemian Santa Teresa neighborhood. Admire its charming architecture and go to the famous Selarón Steps made in ceramic by the artist Jorge Selarón. After that, head to the Sugar Loaf Mountain taking a ride through the charming neighborhood of Urca to take the cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf in two stages. The first cable car takes you to Urca Hill, from where you will get beautiful views of Guanabara Bay, the Rio-Niterói Bridge and Corcovado Mountain. Continue to the summit for unrivaled views of Copacabana, Santa Cruz Fortress and the beaches of Niterói.

Rio Culture and History through the Art of Traditional Foods

9. Rio Culture and History through the Art of Traditional Foods

Join a delicious guided walking food tour in Rio de Janeiro's lively Santa Teresa and Lapa neighborhoods where you will visit unique local restaurants and specialty shops and sample different foods and beverages, including cachaça. Enjoy foods that contain some of the most important elements found in traditional Brazilian cuisine like açai, tapioca, and manioc flour.  Hop on a charming tram ride going over the Lapa Arches aqueduct, and passing by Ruinas Park to marvel at panoramic views of the city as you make your way from downtown to Santa Teresa. Taste local beer, as well as delicious cachaça on your route, and learn about the culture and history of Rio de Janeiro and the family traditions behind each food locales you visit. Your local guide will answer any questions you might have.

Christ the Redeemer and Escadaria Selarón Half-Day Tour

10. Christ the Redeemer and Escadaria Selarón Half-Day Tour

Explore some of Rio de Janeiro's top sights with this fantastic guided tour. After being picked up from your hotel by your driver/ guide, you will set off for your first stop at Rio's infamous Christ the Redeemer statue. On your journey up Corcovado Mountain, you will pass through dense Tijuca rainforest to the 38-meter tall Christ the Redeemer statue. From the top, enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Rio and the surrounding countryside. After descending back down the mountain, you will take a pleasant drive through the charming Santa Teresa neighborhood, where old Rio comes alive! Admire its stunning street art as you make your way to the amazing Selaron Steps. Decorated in ceramics artist Jorge Selarón, these steps are truly are one of a kind. Following your exploration of Rio, sit back and relax as your driver transfers you back to your hotel. Or, if you choose an option with a visit to Sugarloaf Mountain included, you'll then travel all the way to the top in 2 steps by cable car. At 395 meters, enjoy splendid views of Copacabana beach, the Santa Cruz fortress, and several beaches of Niterói. Enjoy this magnificent scenery for about 45 minutes until you head back down to catch the van which will bring you back to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,075 reviews

An excellent half day tour with Meilin who customised the tour to our interests and my walking ability. Lovely architecture in the historic centre, we saw the first library in Brazil which was stunning and had a coffee at the Cafe Colombo which is a local institution. Meilin is full of interesting facts and tells the history of Rio like a story. A must to do.

Great day. G the tour guide was so informative. Took us to off the beaten tracks to areas with no tourists which was wonderful. Explained the diffferent architecture and hidtory of the area. Loved the whole day.

Bruno was awesome and the the whole tour was timed very well! Everything went incredibly smooth with no issues. I got to experience so much of Rio thanks to this tour. I would highly recommend it to anyone!

Our guide Newton was very good and his explanations very clear, he was very attentive with us and helped us to take pictures!

Easy and excellent way to get to Christ the Redeemer. Staff couldn't be more helpful; drivers were excellent.