Santa Teresa is nothing like the rest of Rio, artsy, eccentric and loved by anyone who lays eyes on it. A hilltop district exuding so much charm with its bohemian vibe, narrow cobble stone streets and many historical buildings. Famous for the spectacular views of Guanabara Bay and lush greenery that seems to overtake the hills.
If that hasn’t sparked your curiosity yet, here are some reasons why you choose to stay in Santa Teresa:
Many historical buildings have turned into Hotels and B&Bs
I stayed in Casa Marques, a hotel built on the foundations of a late colonial mansion. I loved the combination of old architecture and modern design, with many art work of famous Brazilian artists through out the interiors. From the rooftop pool we could see the sugar loaf and christ the redeemer, and everyday we woke up to the sounds of birds. Our stay was simply magical!
Other great options for stays are:
Some of the best restaurants in Rio de Janeiro are located in Santa Teresa.
My favorite one is Aprazivel, a Brazilian restaurant that has been in business for over 20 years and voted one of the best restaurants in Rio. The dining areas are separated into different levels including an indoor dining room, two outdoor terraces, and an elevated “tree-house” style dining room which will have you feeling like you are in a jungle. The menu offers a mix of Brazilian cuisines, serving everything from salads, to seafood and meat.
Other restaurants worth trying are:
The nightlife is on everyday of the week
I can’t testify to this as I am always skipping the late nights. But I can tell you that every “Carioca” goes to Santa Teresa for drinks. Locals gathered outside meeting spots such as Armazém São Thiago and Bar do Mineiro. I can’t forget to mention that neighbouring Lapa is know by everyone as the nightlife central in Rio.
This is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Rio de Janeiro, located right in between Lapa and Santa Teresa. The steps were designed by Chilean artist Jorge Selarón and feature intricate, brightly colored mosaic tiles. Selarón steps are made up from tiles from all around Rio, with an addition of tiles donated by visitors from all over the world.
Christ the Redeemer
A visit to Rio is not complete without seeing Christ the Redeemer, or like us Brazilians called it “Cristo Redentor.” This Art Deco statue is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It weighs 635 metric tons and is located at the peak of Corcovado Mountain (700 meters high) in the Tijuca Forest National Park. If you look at a map, you will see just how close it is to Santa Teresa, as close as 2 miles depending on where you accommodation is located.
TIP: Just wanted to mention that public transportation is not so easily accessible in Santa Teresa, so taking taxis is the best way to get around. I found taxi drivers in Rio to be so friendly and honest, as soon as I got in they would quickly give me their phone so I could type in the location I wanted to go to and they always used the best route.