In Flamengo and Catete you’re heading towards downtown Rio de Janeiro but still within the bounds of the affluent zona sul. Flamengo and Catete are virtually the same neighbourhood and it’s most relevant to the traveller for being Rio’s backpacker ghetto. This is where you find the really cheap places to stay and see other confused white faces, pouring over the pages of Lonely Planet guidebooks.
There’s one main street in Catete and it’s mainly for shopping and eating. There’s almost no nightlife here and instead you’ll have to jump in a taxi for 5 reais down to Lapa. Do not on any account try to walk through Gloria to get there as the transvestite prostitutes are out in force at night, along with their pimps and other villains.
Whilst there is a beach in Catete, it’s not the most attractive in the world and feels more like you face onto the bay than the ocean.