Santa Teresa is probably the most bohemian of all the neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro and one of the best places to hook up with a cooler scene. Here you’ll find long term travelers and Brazilians who have dropped out of the rat race to pursue music, circus performance and art.
It’s set on a hill behind Lapa and whilst you can walk there it’s good to know where you’re going as there are favelas on either side and a new face can be seen as a new target. On the other hand there’s an unwritten rule (many are illiterate anyway) amongst the bandits that no one should rob anyone too close to home so sometimes the closer you are the better…
Santa Teresa is a pain in the ass to get to though as the buses and the little train (the bondi) run to and fro Lapa – thus to get home from anywhere else in the city you have to change buses and walk in the dark to the next stop.
It takes time to work out where everything is in Santa Teresa, too – there are a couple of bars but the scene centres more around a circle of friends. It’s a good place to live if you plan to stay in Rio for a while but not so open to the traveler just passing through.