The bonde that travels up to Santa Teresa from Centro is the last of the historic streetcars that once crisscrossed the city. Its romantic clatter through the cobbled streets has made it the archetype for bohemian Santa Teresa. The two routes currently open have been in operation since the 19th century. Both travel high atop the narrow Arcos da Lapa and along curving Rua Joaquim Murtinho before reaching Largo do Guimarães . From there, one line (Paula Matos) takes a northwestern route, terminating at Largo das Neves . The longer route (Dois Irmãos) continues from Largo do Guimarães uphill and southward before terminating near the water reservoir at Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers – named after the twin stone pyramids used to collect water from the Carioca River).
Although Santa is safer than its been, a policeman often accompanies the tram as the favelas down the hillsides still make this a high-crime area. Go by all means, but don't take any valuables with you. Local kids jumping on and off the tram lend a festive air to the journey. An unspoken tradition states that those who ride on the running board ride for free.