For your Santa Teresa Discovery Tour – Rio de Janeiro, you should meet your guide at the magnificent and classic Copacabana Palace Hotel. Please arrange to arrive at the meeting point well before the departure time of 9.00 am.
Take the subway downtown (other transportation might be used for safety reasons whenever necessary) and learn how to use this excellent means of transportation in Rio, a great way to orientate yourself with this large city. Hop off at Carioca Station and wander through the Financial District, home of huge companies such as Petrobras and BNDES. Visit Carioca Square, once the main source of drinking water in Rio, transported in by the Aqueducts of Lapa.
Climb on a tram/bus for the journey up to Santa Teresa, a 20 minutes ride over the aqueducts which are now used as the tram route. This is the last tram line in Brazil used for transportation purpose. Santa Teresa, situated high on a hill overlooking Rio is one of Rio's oldest neighborhoods and enchants locals and visitors alike with its cobbled streets and eclectic architectural styles. The views of the city center and the bay are stunning. Previously, it was a neighborhood dominated by the elite, but with their departure to more modern suburbs of Rio it has been transformed into an artistic center with many artists choosing the area as their preferred place of residence.
Among the attractions in Santa Teresa are the Chacara do Ceu Museum, the Ruins Park and the gorgeous view over Rio de Janeiro Downtown and Guanabara Bay. Many visitors compare the neighborhood to the bohemian district of Montmartre in Paris. During the Carnival, many street bands perform on the streets and the most famous one is 'Bloco das Carmelitas', which is named after the local Convent.
On the way back towards Lapa District you will drop by the Carmelitas’ Convent and clamber down the picturesque Escadaria Selarón ('Selaron’s Staircase').
Escadaria Selarón is a world-famous set of steps decorated with brilliantly colored tiles, ceramics and mirrors by Chilean-born artist Jorge Selarón. No sooner than the stairway is 'finished', than Selarón starts work on another section, constantly changing it so that it is an ever evolving piece of art.
On this tour you will see the masterpiece and probably meet its maker as well!
The tour ends back at the starting point in front of the H Stern Store at the Copacabana Palace Hotel.