In Rio there are many places to get a great view over the city. Parque das Ruinas in the Santa Teresa neighbourhood is one of these places.
It’s not really a park, but rather the remains of a mansion that has been furbished with steel staircases and platforms, so that people can walk through the ruins and look out over Rio de Janeiro. The mansion apparently had six living rooms, four bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, a pantry, two breakfast rooms, a sewing room, and luxuries like a lookout point, a chapel, and even three bedrooms for servants. I could not make out all those spaces when we were there.Look at the pyramid shaped cathedral in this picture below! You can see Christ the Redeemer on his hill from Parque das Ruinas: To get to the park, you can take a bus to Lapa (a popular nightlife area) at the arches and walk up the famous Lapa staircase. When you reach the top, turn left and carry on walking uphill. It is a good bit of exercise to get to this viewpoint, but it is worth the effort! Ask people along the way if you are going in the right direction – people in Brazil are extremely friendly and helpful.The address for Parque das Ruinass is Rua Murtinho Nobre, 169 in Santa Teresa. It’s close by the Museum Chácara do Céu. The tram that used to run in Santa Teresa is no longer functioning and taxi drivers do’t like taking people all the way up the hill, so the best way is to take a bus or take the metro to Cinelandia station and climb the hill.
The mansion was owned by a heir, Laurinda Santos Lobo, who hosted lavish ‘salons’ (parties, I guess) at the house. Note: guidebooks say that the park closes at 5pm, but we arrived 5 minutes before 5pm and was still allowed to spend time there untill 5:30pm – there were no signs that the security guards wanted to close the place. There is a coffee shop. Entrance to the park is free! After spending time at Parque das Ruinas, we walked around in Santa Teresa. It appears to be one of the older neighbourhoods in Rio with cobblestone roads and charming buildings. Some areas are full of people and restaurants, while other areas seemed a bit quieter. This picture, taken from the terrace at the ruins, shows the Pao de Acucar in the background: