By Lacy Edney, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Nestled between Flamengo, Glória, and Santa Teresa, Catete is small and easy to miss, but is truly a hidden treasure for anyone exploring the heart and history of Rio. On the border between Zona Sul (South Zone) and Centro, this cozy neighborhood is certainly better known to Cariocas then your average expatriate, adding to its charm.
Well connected by ample bus routes, Catete is also easily accessible by its namesake Metro station, as well as the Largo do Machado stop on its southern tip.
Since colonial times, Catete has been an important neighborhood, and still boasts many historical buildings as well as shops along its shaded streets. The neighborhood’s has a rich cultural history is centered around Rua do Catete.
Starting in 1897 Palácio do Catete was the headquarters of Brazil’s Republican Presidency until it was moved to Brasília in 1960. Since then, Palácio do Catete has been renamed Museo da Republica (Republican museum) and now offers various cultural programs and exhibits including concerts and plays, as well as beautiful gardens and a much-loved playground.
The nearby Flamengo beach, although not recommended for swimming, is great for playing volleyball, futevôlei, and beach tennis. On the weekends, families gather to enjoy the sun and play in the sand, providing a very warm and inviting environment.
There are also many outdoor activities to enjoy at The Aterro do Flamengo park. This park boasts over one million square meters of biking paths, soccer and tennis courts, and running tracks.
Rua do Catete and Rua Bento Lisboa are the two main streets running through the little neighborhood. The small side streets that run between these two main arteries offer serene tranquility with tree lined lanes and appealing apartment buildings.
Real estate prices in Catete have risen slightly with the overall increasing value of real estate in Rio de Janeiro, but not so explosively as its Zona Sul neighbors Copacabana and Ipanema, where prices have risen over a soared in the last few years. To buy a comfortable one-bed apartment in Catete, expect to pay between R$300,000 and R$500,000.
A two-bedroom lies in the R$550.000 to R$800,000 price range, although there are some cheaper finds. A three-bedroom will cost between R$600,000 and R$900,000 in some cases.
For renting, a one-bedroom apartment costs R$1,500 per month, a two-bedroom costs round about R$2,000 and a three bedroom apartment will go for about R$3,000.
The construction of Quartier Carioca condominium on Rua Bento Lisboa has brought a large number of new apartments to the neighborhood. This condominium has a swimming pool, cafe, cinema, restaurants, and open common areas.
Since its opening four years ago, these apartments have been in high demand, and prices have increased significantly. At the time of writing, the price of a two bedroom apartment at Quartier Carioca is R$775,000.
Although not among the most popular neighborhoods in Zona Sul, its location, rich history, cultural emphasis, and reasonable prices make it a suitable option for those seeking decently priced real estate.