Hilly Santa Teresa has some of the most coveted places to stay in Rio, the best of which are restored mansions from the neighborhood's gentrification in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Though it costs quite a lot to get an ultra beautiful room at places such as the Santa Teresa Hotel, you can find budget places in Santa too, which is a student travel favorite as well as a fine choice for romantic travel.
Santa Teresa has had its share of challenges in the last century, from periods of decline to the growth of favelas and, a little over a year ago, the worst of all accidents with its famous tram, which will only return, with new cars and system, in early 2014 (according to the latest reports).
At peak times of this high season, you will need to negotiate urban space jsut as the locals do, as the lack of the tram has caused a growth in the number of cars (which often park on the sidewalk). But people tend to agree that the magic of Santa Teresa is worth it all.
Photo (view full-size)courtesy of Santa Teresa Hotel.