What does Rio have to offer beyond the beautiful beaches and big booties? There's too much to fit into one post, so let's start with the charming and wonderful area of Santa Teresa. The famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema may distract you away but if you want a different experience away (even if for a few days) from the beach scene, you have to give Santa Teresa a try. 

We stayed in a gorgeous hotel called Sant Martre - the gated accommodation looked somber as we hopped out of the cab but as soon as those gates slid open, the green treetops covered the cityscape transforming us to a mountainous yet tropical paradise. Generally, anywhere you go in Santa Teresa will have mind blowing views of Rio, since it's up in the hills but imagine waking up, eating breakfast, swimming and lounging with this view. It was a short 5 minute walk to the main part of the neighbourhood where you'll find bars, restaurants and 10 minutes down the road you'll find the famous Escadaria Selaron. 

Where to stay: 

When in Santa Teresa, look no further than Sant Martre Hotel, as mentioned above, it's just fab. The staff are friendly and helpful, especially with recommendations for things to do around Rio. They guided us to some amazing blocos, as well as tourist hotspots. As you see from the photos, it's located in a perfect place with amazing views - the pool overlooks the city and luscious jungle topped landscapes. The standard double room is fairly small but clean and there are several room types to choose from plus they have recently added in an outdoor hot tub next to the pool! The breakfast selection consists of breads, jams and eggs, plus, their avocado tree drops down fresh avo's that you are welcome to pick and spread on your toast! 

Where to eat: 
Cafecito is just downright delicious. I had the beef kebab, which was so juicy and flavoursome, I'll be dreaming of it for years to come. It was served with farofa, which added texture and I tried it with a platter of vegetables and a green salad - which was the perfect refreshing accompaniment with a heap of flavour too! Climb the steps to the top floor to enjoy your lunch in a garden-esque terrace. And of course, try the caiprinhas!

Espirito Santa is another great place. Tucked away on the streets of Santa Teresa, the quirky decor makes you feel like you're in a proper local joint. I went here during my first trip to Rio and was eager to come back since I knew the food was delicious. We tried the banana moqueca accompanied by rice and beans. Yum!

Aprazivel is a little bit more pricey and comes up as one of the top places to eat in Santa Teresa. Their moqueca is amazing and the atmosphere and views are beautiful! I also tried the palm hearts and escondido, which is a wonderful dish of cassava puree, topped by a shredded meat (either beef or chicken) and topped with cheese. It's all of my favourite things in one little pot. 

Plus for refreshing and must have acai bowls, head to the small place opposite cafecito, they have massive bowls of the stuff, perfect for the scorching weather. It's a hard place to spot since it has no shop sign and pretty much tucked away so keep your eyes peeled!

What to see: 
Parque das Ruinas is a lovely little building perched on a hill that provides a panoramic view of Rio. It was once an old mansion, with added contemporary features to it during renovation; it is now an art gallery with the occasional outdoor concert.
Escadaria Selaron aka the famous steps used in Snoop Dogg's music video 'Beautiful.' These are gorgeous and it's a nice walk up/down them and a must see.
Metropolitan Cathedral and Arcos da Lapa are both right next to each other and in my opinion , whilst they're not the prettiest sights (the cathedral, I swear, is identical to the Dr Who darleks), they're so close to the steps, you might as well take a peek. 

It's such a great neighbourhood for even simply exploring and you'll definitely notice how it comes to life in the evening. You're sure to find a street party close by on the weekends and Lapa is really famous for its nightlife, which is very closeby too. The beautiful cobblestone streets are picturesque and the views will continue to wow you. Just be prepared to walk up a lot of hills!



  1. How beautiful!! Sant Martre looks like a gorgeous hotel. Rio has been on my bucket list for the longest time, I cannot wait to visit one day soon :)

    1. I deffo urge you to go, it's beautiful, vibrant and fun! You'll love it :)

    2. P.S OMG your blog is amazing. Basically, goals haha <3


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