One of those word-of-mouth venues that you simply have to go and experience for yourself, The Maze is the project of Engishman Bob Nadkarni, perched up in Tavares Bastos favela on the hillside overlooking Catete. Starting life as Nadkarni's art workshop, it soon became his family home, then an inn in the truest sense of the word, its ramshackle, warren-like innards the stuff of a children's story, constantly added to and built upon to accomodate more rooms, each new floor revealing a stunning view of the city below.
On the first and third Friday of the month, The Maze hosts the long-running jazz nights that first helped make its name, with the second Friday of the month given over to a more experimental rock-funk affair by the name Labirinto. Entry doesn't come cheap any more, and nor do the drinks, but you won't find another place quite like it anywhere in the world.
Most taxis will make the climb (albeit reluctantly in some cases), but the regular VW vans (R$3) head up every ten minutes or so from the corner of Rua Tavares Bastos and Rua Bento Lisboa, leaving when full. Moto-taxis (R$4) - licensed motorbikes - wait on the same corner, but are not for the fain-hearted, especially on the way back down.