Insider's Guide to Rio de Janeiro

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 56 Reviews

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  • Location:Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour: Santa Teresa, Corcovado Mountain and Santa Marta Favela

Visit Corcovado Mountain, the bohemian enclave of Santa Teresa and the Santa Marta favela on this full-day guided sightseeing tour of Rio de Janeiro. Get to see some of the many faces of Rio and learn what life is like for some of the city's residents. Walk through Santa Teresa, one of Rio's oldest neighborhoods, enjoy sprawling views of Rio and the Christ the Redeemer statue from the top of Corcovado and see life in an urban favela in Santa Marta. This small-group tour, led by a knowledgeable local guide, is limited to twelve participants.


  • Full-day Rio de Janeiro sightseeing and cultural tour
  • Walk around the cobblestone streets of Santa Teresa
  • Visit the top of Corcovado to see the Christ the Redeemer statue
  • Enjoy stunning views of Rio’s naturally blessed landscape
  • Tour the Santa Marta favela with your guide, and meet some local residents
  • Ride the city subway and the historic Santa Teresa tram
  • Small-group tour limited to 12 people provides a more personalized experience

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour: Santa Teresa, Corcovado Mountain and Santa Marta Favela

Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour

Meet your guide at the Copacabana Palace Hotel, then hop on the subway with your guide to travel to Santa Teresa the way the locals do. Stroll through Carioca Square, one of Rio's main sources of drinking water, then explore the financial district on foot with engaging commentary from your guide. Hop on a tram (the only remaining one in Rio) or bus for the ride to the top of the hill where Santa Teresa sits.

This neighborhood is one of Rio's oldest, lined with cobblestone streets and interesting buildings. Check out the views of the sprawling city of Rio from this vantage point, once home to the city's elite and now a haven for artists. Learn about the history and culture of the area from your guide as you wind through the narrow lanes and alleyways.

Walk down the hill, stopping at the Selarón Staircase, the Chácara do Céu Museum and Ruins Park and the Carmelitas' Convent. Jump on the subway and ride back towards Copacabana for lunch (own expense).

After lunch, take Tijuca National Park transport from Copacabana, Paineiras or Largo do Machado Station to the top of Corcovado Mountain. Stand at the base of the 98-foot (28-meter) Christ the Redeemer Statue and enjoy sweeping views out over the city of Rio. Built in the 1930s, this statue is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. 

Board a bus destined for Santa Marta favela, a very different face of Rio that tourists don't frequently experience. Meet local inhabitants of this poverty-stricken area and learn about what daily life is like for them. 

Return by bus to the Copacabana Palace Hotel, where your tour ends. 


Please note: We are sensitive to the issues and concerns surrounding favelas, and we understand that this tour may not be suitable for everyone. We strongly believe that the purpose of this tour is for educational reasons alone and allows for a better understanding of Brazilian life inside a favela. Furthermore, the tour operator has an agreement with the local tourism committee of the Santa Marta favela, and proceeds from your tour help support the local community day care called Creche Comunitária Mundo Infantil.

Customer Reviews

Miss T A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

The tour guide Daniel was fluent in english and very knowledgeable. It was a great way to see Rio travelling on local transport and walking through the city. You get to see so much of the Santa Teresa neighbourhood and we were fortunate that the tram was operating so we got to go on that. The favela tour was a unique and eye opening experience with plenty of info and opportunities for photos. Would highly recommend this tour to other people. Such a jam packed day and well worth it.

Stephanie L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Had an amazing experience learning about the Rio culture. Daniel was a great guide!

Jennifer M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2016

Great guide, made sure that the tour suited us. Thank you

Valerie S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Appreciated our guide, Daniel. Vey good!!

dennis w

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2016

Daniel was the best. He brought us to many fabulous sights. This nice young man was a credit to your company. Rio was a fantastic place to visit.

james g

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

An absolutely amazing experience.Thanks to our guide Alex who is so friendly and knowledgeable.The visit to St Teresa and the St Marta Favela is a memory of a lifetime.And lunchtime was exceptionally tasty in a typical local restaurant.Highly Recommendable.Thanks from Malta.

Cameron V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

Very good tour. Knowledgeable tour guide, very enjoyable. However it is a lot of walking, may not be suitable for people who don't like a lot of walking.

Jehan R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2015

Great tour all around Rio to get to main tourist attractions and learn about the culture.
Highly recommend!

Andrew M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Excellent tour - comfortable transportation, and Alex was a great tour guide - very knowledgeable about the history of Brazil and had a great, good-natured sense of humor - especially when talking about football with a couple of German tourists! The Favela was a real highlight!

Peta L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This really was a great way to experience more than just the tourist traps of Rio. Daniel was fantastic - passionate about his city and guiding. It was a bonus that along the way we met many people who knew Daniel personally which really added to the authenticity - I felt like a local rather than a tourist. Getting around via public transport built my confidence to do it on my own for the rest of the week. It was great to visit Santa Teresa although this was the first stop of the day and everything was closed.

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Tour code: 5207BRUH


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