Leave behind the glitz of Copacabana and discover another side of Rio on this 4-hour walking tour. Follow an expert guide into the cobblestoned hilly neighborhood of Santa Teresa, where old meets the new. Inside revitalized belle-epoque mansions, uncover a thriving bohemian spirit: art studios, trendy bars and shops. Capture sweeping views from Ruins Park, browse through spontaneously organized art exhibits and then descend the well-known steps of Selarón Staircase. Learn history and receive tips on the latest hotspots of Santa Teresa from your in-the-know guide.
In the afternoon, meet your knowledgeable guide in downtown Rio at Cine Odeon in front of Cinelândia Metro Station. If the tram line is active, you’ll take the yellow streetcar for a 20-minute ride over the Romanesque-style aqueduct of Lapa Arches (Arcos da Lapa). If not, take a bus to reach the hillside neighborhood of Santa Teresa.After disembarking, follow your guide through a maze of charming cobblestone streets and discover a bohemian mix of tradition and art. Learn about the neighborhood’s history and cultural evolution as you stroll past mansions from the 19th century converted to studios, galleries, bars and shops. Ask your guide about the latest nightlife gems of Santa Teresa, where bohemians flock to over the more crowded spots downtown. Capture stunning views of the city and Guanabara Bay from Ruins Park (Parque das Ruínas), the remains of a belle-epoque mansion that once served as an artist salon in the 1920s and ‘30s. Perhaps discover a new artist as you browse through exhibits installed throughout the neighborhood sporting a village vibe.Then leave the treasures of Santa Teresa and walk down the famous Selarón Staircase (Escadaria Selarón), an explosion of color: 215 steps covered in ceramic mosaics by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón. Take some time to gaze at the tiles he collected from all over the world and learn more about the artist who loved Rio. Your guide points out sections of interest, including the mosaics and paintings in support of the national soccer team for the 1994 World Cup. At the bottom of the stairs, reach Lapa, another bohemian neighborhood, and then follow your guide down the hill back to Cine Odeon at Cinelândia Metro Station.