Catete, Rio de Janeiro,
HOW TO GET TO THE MAZE:
Our patch is certainly the safest location in Rio. We are neighbours with the B.O.P.E., Brazil’s special police unit. Our guests can wander around any time of day or night and quickly feel part of the real Rio. The locals really enjoy your being here and when they have their frequent street parties, our visitors love to join in and practice their Portuguese skills.
There is a line of community vans (10-seater, white VW busses called ‘kombis’ here) which bring both locals and our guests up and down the hill. If you’re fit, it’s walkable too.
On our jazz nights they work right through the night. We are only 2 Metro stops from Downtown 3 Metro stops from Copacabana and 6 from Ipanema. From the airport there are expensive “Special” taxis and much cheaper yellow cabs. It is also possible to get an Uber, although they might not be willing to go all the way up but rather drop you at the bottom of the hill.
Airport: Right after customs, you will be offered the quite expensive “special” taxis. Yellow cabs are often a much cheaper option and plenty can be found outside the main entrance. All taxis have a meter. Just make sure it’s on. From Galeao it should be around R$40 – R$50 depending on traffic. You can also ask for a fixed price. There is a great overview on TripAdvisor: Rio Arrival and Departure
Some extra advise: Recently, some guests were told by the driver that he can’t go up the favela, because it’s too dangerous. He will of course conveniently offer to take you to a hotel in Copacabana or Ipanema. What he won’t tell you is that he will most likely receive a commission for that service. The Maze is located in one of the safest places in town. We would never deliberately put our guests in any precarious situation.
Rodoviária Novo Rio [bus terminal]: A taxi or an Uber should be around R$25. Across the street from the main terminal you can also find the terminal for public busses. Ask for Linha Troncal 4 via Catete. Tell the driver to drop you at Rua Lisboa / Rua Tavares Bastos. That is exactly where the white community vans (kombis) go up the hill. The bus will cost R$3.90 and the kombi R$3.50.
Metro: The clostest Metro stations are Catete and Largo do Machado. Catete is a bit closer. From there it is a 2 min walk to the corner of Rua Lisboa / Rua Tavares Bastos, where you will see a small bakery and white VW vans waiting to take you up the hill.
Kombis up and down the hill: The concept is fairly easy: R$3.50 up, R$2 down. Just get off at the very top of the favela and ask someone to show you the direction to ‘o Maze’.