The beautiful up-market residential neighbourhood of Gavea is quickly becoming one of Rio de Janeiro’s most desirable districts.
Among the features that make Gavea an oasis of peace and natural beauty in one of the world’s most lively, bustling cities is the Parque de Cidade. This environmental conservation area is open to the public, and residents and visitors alike can recharge their batteries by walking along its wide, tree-lined pathways or by relaxing on its wide green lawns.
Gavea is located in the south zone, or Zona Sul, of Rio de Janeiro, between the equally popular Leblon and Jardim Botanico neighbourhoods. The latter is of course named for its beautiful botanical gardens, which can be reached via a ten minute bus ride from any part of Gavea. Leblon meanwhile is a wealthy district with access to some of the city’s finest beaches.
Gavea itself is known as a student district, home to the Pontifica Universidade Catolica, a prestigious catholic private university that attracts well-off students from across Brazil and the world. The Rio de Janeiro American School is also within Gavea’s boundaries. When not studying, these young people entertain themselves in the Baixo Gavea, the bar and restaurant quarter centred on Praca Santos Dumont and the Street Jose Roberto Macedo Soares. The prosperous students have lent this area an aura of bohemian glamour and popular venues include Bar Hipodromo, Bar do Alemao and Gorata de Gavea. Praca Santos Dumont also hosts a lively antique market every Sunday with over eighty stalls.
High property values
Gavea saw property values soar over the past five years, outstripping even the impressive general trend across Rio de Janeiro during that period. One reason was the announcement of a new metro station in the district, due to open ahead of the Olympic Games in August 2016. Though plans have now been delayed until December of that year, this has hardly dampened investors and property buyers’ ardour for Gavea. Indeed, it has arguably helped it remain the city’s favourite secret sanctuary for a few months longer.
Rental prices have recently dropped all across Rio, and Gavea is no exception. It is now cheaper to rent an apartment in Gavea than it was in 2013. However, despite monthly rents falling 6.7% since December 2014 this is not an inexpensive area in which to live and Gavea remains on the same aspirational level as neighbouring Leblon and Jardim Botanico.
The local shopping mall, Shopping du Gavea on the Street Marques de Sao Vicente, is one of the city’s largest with over 220 retail units. The district is also known for its wide range of restaurants and other culinary options. A famous attraction is the breathtaking Hipodromo da Gavea racetrack, built in 1926 and known colloquially as the Jockey Club. Races still take place there every weekend, and gambling on the outcome at the club is still a widely followed pursuit.
Housing in Gavea tends to be upmarket and luxurious and the area is relatively safe and secure. Most residents are wealthy Brazilians rather than overseas buyers, which adds to its reputation as a highly sought after location in which to live.