City Tour

This is the CITY TOUR. One of our three pre-planned tours for you to choose from. We stop at Christ the Redeemer.

Tours city

City tour would normally follow this route: Leme | Copacabana | Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas| Mirante do Leblon | Avenida Niemeier | Ride through Rocinha(*optional) | Vista Chinesa | Largo do Boticário ; Christ the Redeemer | Santa Teresa| Lapa | Escadaria  do Selarón.

Estimated Time: 5-6 hours (google time 2h) In KM: 64km.

1. Ladeira Ary Barroso – Leme.

The great brazilian composer Ari Barroso made his home in the nearby hill called “Chapeu Mangueira“. You know his song „Aquarela do Brasil“. Yes, you do. The is a square named in his honor at Antonio Vieria. This square has live music during each Carnaval by the famous Banda do Leme - a neighborhood band parading down the streets of Leme.


2. Leme and Hotel Windsor Atlantica

Leme is named after the huge rock on the northern side of the beach which is in the shape of a rudder or “Leme”. Leme is the portion of the beach which is to the north of Princessa Isabel Avenue. It is more residential and less touristic than the neighboring Copacabana Beach.

At the opposite end of Leme is the Leme Fort. You can walk up to the top of the Leme Rock and enjoy wonderful looks over both Copacabana and Leme and on Sugarloaf on the other side. There is also the Whale sculpture and a walkway built along side the Leme Rock, where it is good to ask for fried sardines.

Windsor Atlântica Hotel, formerly Le Méridien Copacabana is a 110-metre 37-storey skyscraper hotel in the Leme neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the tallest building on Copacabana Beach. It originally opened in 1976. Le Méridien Copacabana was the first on the beach with fireworks to celebrate the new year. Then they added more fireworks and today they are between world largest New Year celebrations.

The Port Tunnel Engineer Marques, started in 1946 and opened in 1949 a Tunnel Engineer Coelho Cintra. It now connects Leme and Copacabana to Botafogo and downtown Rio.

Workers who worked on the tunnel, founded nearby favela de Babilonia where they stayed.



3. Copacabana Beach

Copacabana begins at Princesa Isabel Avenue and ends at Posto Seis (lifeguard watchtower Six). Beyond Copacabana, there are two small beaches: one, inside Fort Copacabana and other, right after it: Diabo (“Devil”) Beach. Arpoador beach, where surfers used to go after its perfect waves, comes in the sequence, followed by the famous borough of Ipanema. The area will be one of the four “Olympic Zones” during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

According to Riotur, the Tourism Secretariat of Rio de Janeiro, there are 63 hotels and 10 hostels in Copacabana.


Copacabana beach stretches from Posto Dois (lifeguard watchtower Two) to Posto Seis (lifeguard watchtower Six). Leme is at Posto Um (lifeguard watchtower One). There are historic forts at both ends of Copacabana beach; Fort Copacabana, built in 1914, is at the south end by Posto Seis and Fort Duque de Caxias, built in 1779, at the north end. One curiosity is that the lifeguard watchtower of Posto Seis never existed.


Hotels, restaurants, bars, night clubs and residential buildings dot the promenade.Copacabana Beach plays host to millions of revellers during the annual New Year’s Eve celebrations and, in most years, has been the official venue of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

This beach is also the venue where Usain Bolt attempted to beat the 150m world record, and just recently Pope Francisco celebrated mass at world youth meeting in July 2013

4.Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, mostly known as “Lagoa”, is a lagoon and district in the Lagoa, Zona Sul of Rio de Janeiro. The lagoon is connected to the Atlantic Ocean, allowing sea water to enter by a canal along the edge of a park locally known as Jardim de Alá. Though it receives its waters from diverse river tributaries from the surrounding hillsides, among those that stand out is the river Rio dos Macacos (today channelized), its water is salty and not very clean. The water of the lagoon comes from the damming of an opening to the sea caused by successive build-ups of earth. This separates it from the Atlantic Ocean, except for the Canal do Jardim Alá. It offers very nice views of hills and neighbourhoods around it.


5. Ipanema and Mirante do Leblon

The word “Ipanema” comes from the Tupi language and means “stinky lake”, from upaba (“lake”) and nem (“stinky”).

Most of the land that Ipanema consists of today once belonged to José Antonio Moreira Filho, Baron of Ipanema. The word “Ipanema” did not refer originally to the beach, but to the homeland of the baron at São Paulo.


Ipanema gained fame with the start of the bossa nova sound, when its residents Antônio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes created their ode to their neighborhood, “Girl from Ipanema.” The song was written in 1962, with music by Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by de Moraes with English lyrics.


written later by Norman Gimbel. Its popularity has seen a resurgence with Diana Krall’s song “Boy from Ipanema” released in 2008. People usually applaud to the sunset in the summer.

6. Avenida Niemeyer

Niemeyer Avenue is a road connecting the city of Rio de Janeiro. It serves as one of the most important avenues in the South Zone, connecting the neighborhood of Leblon to São Conrado, bordering one stone shore and the Atlantic Ocean.


In it, the Sheraton Hotel is located at the time of the Vidigal favela. The man who took the role was the military engineer Conrado Jacob Niemeyer, founder of the Engineering Club. It all started in 1891. It was to be a railroad, but advanced only 800 meters. Cut the rock was a challenge. Then, as in 1913, the work continued another 400 meters towards the São Conrado.

Three years later, in 1916, the engineer Conrad Jacob Niemeyer bankrolled and finished construction – just over five miles, still on the dirt floor and no protection walls, but that allowed the expansion of Rio with more comfort, in addition to two brothers. The carioca followed path, always seafront, towards São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca.


In ancient times there were races “baratinhas” when Avenida Niemeyer was an excerpt from the classic circuit of Gávea. After a party, on July 24, 1977, the body of the young Claudia Lessin Rodrigues found on shore of Avenida Niemeyer. The tragedy caused great impact: it would have been dead in the apartment of Michel Frank, in Leblon. With the help of hairdresser George Khour, Frank tried to hide the body.

7. Ride through the famous Favela Rocinha (opcional)

{Normally we stop in Rocinha for a small snack and short walk around for approx 1 hour.}

Rocinha (little farm) is the largest favela in Brazil, and is located in Rio de Janeiro’s South Zone between the districts of São Conrado and Gávea. Rocinha is built on a steep hillside overlooking Rio de Janeiro, and is located about one kilometre from a nearby beach. Most of the favela is on a very steep hill, with many trees surrounding it. 99,356 (census 2010) people live in Rocinha, making it the most populous favela in Brazil. Unofficial version speaks about 220.000 to 300.000 people live in Rocinha (2012)


Although Rocinha is technically classified as a neighborhood, many still refer to it as a favela. It developed from a shanty town into an urbanized slum. Today, almost all the houses in Rocinha are made from concrete and brick. Some buildings are three and four stories tall and almost all houses have basic sanitation, plumbing, and electricity. Compared to simple shanty towns or slums, Rocinha has a better developed infrastructure and hundreds of businesses such as banks, medicine stores, bus lines, cable television, including locally based channel TV ROC (TV Rocinha), and, at one time, a McDonalds franchise. These factors help classify Rocinha as a favela bairro, or favela neighborhood.

8. Vista Chinesa

Since 1856, the Botanical Garden was connected to the Alto da Boa Vista on a road carriageway, opened by the influence of Lord of Bom Retiro and the implementation and maintenance was contracted to Thomas Cochrane. Records chronicle of the city that, in this work, we employed workers coolies brought from Macau, China, to develop farming rice, but not having shown any ability for agriculture, were utilized in the construction of the road. This region presents a striking coincidence of Chinese presence, which began with the arrival of planters of tea at the time of Dom João VI.


After the failure of this crop, according to Brazil Gerson, the Chinese would have spread “the diapers Tijuca.” In 1844, a map of the area recorded a building called “House of Chinas.” Probably a remnant of this early experience. This vocation probably explains why the mayor Pereira Passos in 1903, with project architect Luis King), built in mortar copying the bamboo on the banks of this road, the pavilion Chinese View. Further up, on the same road the Chinese View a location prepared to serve as a resting point on frequent tours of the imperial family was named Emperor’s Table.


9. Largo do Boticário

The Largo is a famous corner located in the neighborhood of Cosme Velho City of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. PM can access by a narrow alley – by Alley Boticaria – passing over a small bridge bout the Carioca river. The area is characterized by the exuberant vegetation of the Atlantic and the mansions neocolonial.O style name and is derived in Alley off Joaquim Luís da Silva Souto, Boticaria Tinh your establishment right on Old Street, now First Street March About the center in Rio Boticaria, very good and successful Tinh than among their customers real Family, Buy Land zone to the Cosme Velho and the Mute-wide and around 1831. In 1846 there lives the Marshal Joaquim Alberto Silveira de Souza, frequenter of the court and godfather Birth of Machado de Assis.


Feature in The tenure COMECA off and be given in the 1920s when Edmundo Bittencourt, Founder Morning Post newspaper to buy about Land and COMECA construire and neocolonial style homes. The vacancy was continued neocolonial us decades of 30 and 40 by Rodolfo diplomat and collector of art Siqueira, who was an architect and lives in Amador wide between 1928 and 1941 and by Sylvia de Arruda Botelho Marida Paulo Bittencourt and his heirs to the Morning Post . Some of these homes have been remodeled with and participation of modernist architects Lucio Costa and Gregori Warchavchik using authentic materials from the Colonial demolitions through the City.


10. Corcovado Cristo Redentor

Corcovado, meaning “hunchback” in Portuguese, is a mountain in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 710-metre (2,329 ft) granite peak is located in the Tijuca Forest, a national park. It is sometimes confused with nearby Sugarloaf Mountain.


Corcovado hill lies just west of the city center but is wholly within the city limits and visible from great distances. It is known worldwide for the 38-metre (125 ft) statue of Jesus atop its peak, entitled Cristo Redentor or “Christ the Redeemer”.

The Corcovado is one of the hills of the city of Rio de Janeiro, famous in Brazil and around the world for its Christ the Redeemer statue 38 meters tall.

Christ the Redeemer is one of the main symbols of the country and offers a unique panoramic view of the city of Rio de Janeiro. In 2003 the works were completed installation of elevators and escalators in place. Before, it was necessary to overcome 220 ​​steps to enjoy the scenery. On July 7, 2007, the statue of Christ the Redeemer was elected by a vote of the New 7 Wonders of the World. The poll was sponsored by the UN, however, without having an official character.

8b_rioscooter_cristo The Corcovado Mountain has 710 meters tall and is located in Tijuca National Park. The Corcovado is located west of the city center, but still can be seen from long distances.


11. Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is located on top of a hill, by the centre of Rio, and is famous for its winding, narrow streets which are a favourite spot for artists and tourists. The neighborhood originated around the Santa Teresa Convent, built in the 1750s on the Desterro hill. At the end of the 19th and early 20th century it was an upper class borough, as testified by its magnificent mansions, many of which are still standing.

In 1896, the Carioca Aqueduct, a colonial structure that used to bring water to the centre of Rio, was converted into a viaduct for the Santa Teresa Tramway. The historic tram line (bonde in Brazilian Portuguese) used to be a popular attraction among tourists. Five people were killed and at least 27 were injured when a tram derailed in August 2011 and the service has been indefinitely suspended since then, but an order has been placed for new tramcars with which the service is planned to resume. Santa Teresa ceased being an upper-class neighbourhood long ago, but it has been revived as an artistic hotspot. It is home to several artists and art studios and galleries. The offer of restaurants and bars is also varied.

santa teresa rio scooter

12. Lapa

Lapa is a neighbourhood in the city of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. It is located in the centre of Rio and is famous for its historical monuments and nightlife.The neighbourhood is home to the Arcos da Lapa, an impressive aqueduct constructed in the mid-18th century by colonial authorities. Another important historical attraction is the Passeio Público, the first public park of the city, built in the 1780s.

Since the early 1950s, Lapa has been known for its lively cultural life, concentrating many restaurants and bars where Brazilian artists and intellectuals used to meet. It was, and still is, famous for its many restaurants, bars and clubs where the various forms of Brazilian music can be appreciated, like the Asa Branca bar and the Fundição Progresso. The Sala Cecília Meirelles, an important venue for chamber music, is also located in Lapa.


The neighborhood of Lapa, Rio de Janeiro, known as the cradle of bohemian Rio is also famous for its architecture, starting with the Arcos – known as the Arcos da Lapa, constructed to act as conduit in the days of colonial Brazil and now serve as a signal for the cable cars that climb the hill of Santa Teresa.

The Carioca Aqueduct is considered the architectural work of greater importance of Old Rio and one of the main symbols of the city. The impressive Roman-style building is 17.6 meters high, 270 meters long and 42 arches that connect the neighborhood of Santa Teresa to Morro de Santo Antônio. The Carioca Aqueduct was built in 1723, during the colonial Brazil, and was intended to lead water from the Carioca river height Morro do Desterro, on Santa Teresa for the Morro de Santo Antônio. The work would help solve the problem of water shortage in the city. Problem that was already old. Studies to bring the waters of the Carioca river to the city began in the early years of the seventeenth century, but the works of installing water pipes in Rio de Janeiro did not start until a century later.

In recent times the landscape of Lapa has been significantly amended. Where was the Square of the Brazilian armed forces (a square attached to the arches) today there is a huge Circo Voador. Arches Street, which crosses the aqueduct, was via a building occupied by trees, including the Progress Casting, which is now a venue. The neighborhood is born at the end of the south, where the road of glory becomes Rua da Lapa. Also on the border of Santa Teresa, climbing its slopes and the small neighborhood of Fátima.


In an attempt to rescue the vocation of the residential district was created the Movement “I am from Lapa”. Inspired by the famous advertising campaign “I love NY”, who helped revitalize the American city that was in decline in the 1970s, the movement seeks to rescue the pride of saying “I’m from Lapa “. With government support and participation of the majority of shops in Lapa, the “I am from Lapa” was spread around town, but with few effective achievements in the area of security, rehabilitation of the homeless and combating crime, old complaints from residents public authorities.

With the population density in other regions of the city and increased traffic, the neighborhood, which holds the headquarters and administrative buildings for many large companies (Petrobras, BNDES, etc..) As well as numerous commercial buildings of high standard on Chile Avenue (Ventura I and II, etc..), has also attracted the attention of residents of the north, south and west of Rio de Janeiro, eager to live close to work, downtown, escaping from traffic jams. Therefore newly launched residential projects providing comprehensive infrastructure or structure apart-hotel (Viva Lapa, Cores da Lapa, etc..) Have exhausted their sales in full release, which clearly shows the pent-up demand for housing in standard high in the neighborhood.


13. Escadaria Sellarón

In 1990, Selarón began renovating a dilapidated steps that ran along the front of his house. At first, neighbours mocked him for his choice of colours as he covered the steps in fragments of blue, green and yellow tiles – the colours of the Brazilian flag. It started out as a side-project to his main passion, painting but soon became an obsession. He found he was constantly out of money, so Selarón sold paintings to fund his work. It was long and exhaustive work but he continued on and eventually covered the entire set of steps in tiles, ceramics and mirrors.

Running from Joaquim Silva street and Pinto Martins street, officially known as Manuel Carneiro street, the steps straddle both the Lapa and Santa Teresa neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro. There are 250 steps measuring 125 metres long which are covered in over 2000 tiles collected from over 60 countries around the world. No sooner than one section of the steps were ‘finished’, Selarón started work on another section, constantly changing it so that it was an ever evolving piece of art. Selarón considered the work as “never complete and claimed that “This crazy and unique dream will only end on the day of my death”.


Originally, tiles for the work were scavenged from various construction sites and piles of urban waste found on the Rio streets. But in later years most of the tiles were donated by visitors from all around the world. Of the 2000+ tiles, 300-odd are hand painted by Selarón depicting a pregnant African woman. Selarón didn’t comment on this except to say that it was a “Personal problem from my past”.

Laterly the work spilled over to steps at the foot of the Arcos da Lapa.

Jorge Selarón was born in Chile in 1947. He traveled, lived and worked as a painter and sculptor in over 50 countries around the world before arriving and deciding to settle in Rio de Janeiro in 1983. He began renovating the steps on a whim in 1990. Many times, his phone was cut off and he was threatened to be evicted from his house due to being unable to afford the living costs. He sold many paintings and accepted donations from locals and travelers to continue his work. Since 1977, Selarón claimed to have sold over 25,000 portraits, all featuring the same pregnant woman which mostly funded his work.[3] It was a labor of love for the artist who resided in the same house by the steps he lived in when he started the work. He was mostly unfazed by the attention given to him by curious onlookers and tourists alike. He was constantly spotted at the steps working by day and treating drunken revelers to fascinating anecdotes by night.


Selarón was found dead January 10, 2013, on the famous Lapa steps. His body was found with burn marks.


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