There is a moto-taxi service and a line of community vans (10-seater, white VW buses called ‘kombis’ here) which bring both locals and our guests up and down the hill. They wait next to a small bakery at the corner of Rua Bento Lisboa / Rua Tavares Bastos.
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. If you’re fit you can also walk up the hill but with luggage it’s better to take a kombi. On our jazz nights the moto-taxis and the kombis work right through the night. On week days, the kombis usually stop around mid-night.
From the 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$50 – R$60 depending on traffic. You can also ask for a fixed price. If the taxi driver wants to bring you to a different hotel, insist on getting to The Maze. Its a well known trick to get commission from the other hotel.
From 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 buses. Ask for Linha Troncal 4 via Catete. Tell the driver to drop you at Rua Lisboa / Rua Tavares Bastos. That is exactly where the community vans (white kombis) go up the hill. The bus will cost R$3.90 and the kombi R$3.50.
From metro stations Catete or Largo do Machado:
We are only 2 Metro stops from Downtown, 3 Metro stops from Copacabana and 6 from Ipanema.
The closest 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 Bento Lisboa / Rua Tavares Bastos, where you will see a small bakery and the white VW vans waiting to take you up the hill.