Located between the city center and the south, the district of Santa Teresa is an historical area, with Empire Era buildings inspired by French architecture, and boasts a rich and diverse cultural identity. It is named after the Convento de Santa Teresa, a nunnery built in 1750, one of the main visual references at the time of the Empire, and can be seen from many points of the city. It was occupied by the upper class that began to frequent the region as an alternative to avoid the then already populous city center, and in 1850 has received numerous inhabitants trying to escape from the yellow fever outbreak, as its location – at the top of a mountain – was privileged, ruling out the possibility of having contact with the contagious areas. A great attraction back then were the mule trams, which operated through Rua Almirante Alexandrino and Rua Joaquim Murtinho, for later, with the advancement of electricity in 1896, be replaced by engines and expand its route, crossing the entire neighborhood all its way down to the former Carioca Aqueduct.
Considered the Montmartre Carioca for hosting artists and intellectuals from many different backgrounds, Santa Teresa is a neighborhood full of workshops, museums, studios and bars of the bohemian Rio. It is a district known to be an opinion leader in either political or cultural issues in town, and has one of the oldest residents associations of Rio de Janeiro. In surroundings of Largo do Guimarães there is a gastronomic center with numerous traditional establishments, besides a local business that meets the needs of local residents.
Santa Teresa is a widely visited tourist spot nowadays, attracting visitors from all over the world. After its revitalization, many of these visitors have set their homes in the region, further expanding cultural exchange – especially European immigrants who identify with the architecture and lifestyle. Places such as Chácara do Céu belvedere and its museum, Parque das Ruínas belvedere, the Santa Teresa Covent stairway and the Tram museum amongst other attractions have turned Santa Teresa into a must see for those who really are into culture and history.
Jeep Tour has daily departures – both morning and afternoon’s – from Monday to Monday and the tour in Santa Teresa takes 4 hours.