Places to Visit with a Rio Tour Guide
A Rio Tour Guide can take you to Sugar Loaf at the best moment of the day when you can take great photos (not all moments are great). Besides, a Rio Tour Guide can also make your visit much easier by taking you to this famous post card at the right time and buying the entrance tickets for you. Depending on the day and season (specially high), buying the entrance ticket to Sugar Loaf can turn to a big hassle and thousands of tourists face that every year.
Praia Vermelha (Red Beach)
DO ask your Rio Tour Guide to drive you to Praia Vermelha before buying your tickets to Sugar Loaf. While this beach is not famous internationally it is the Rio de Janeiro beach from where you can have a great and close photo of Sugar Loaf. Praia Vermelha is just a few steps from the cable car station (at sea level). A must visit in Rio.
Corcovado (Christ Statue)
It is better to visit Corcovado with a Rio Tour Guide. On and around holidays, in high season and on some other critical days a Rio Tour Guide can be your angel to visit Christ the Redeemer. Only a professional and experienced Rio Tour Guide can know what is the best time of the day to visit it, e.g. the less crowded and cloudless moments.
Maracana Soccer Stadium
A Rio Tour Guide can either take you to see a game or can take you to visit the stadium or both (but not both at the same time since the visitors area is closed during the games). A Rio Tour Guide knows and should let you know that watching a game and visiting the stadium are two complementary experiences.
By visiting Maracana off games hours you will have access to the turf, hall of fame and dress room.
A Rio Tour Guide can drive you to the Sambadrome, which is where the Carnival Parade happens. A Rio Tour Guide can also explain you how Carnival works. Although it is a quick visit, the Sambadrome (as well as Maracana stadium) is a bit far from the hotel area so is better to visit it on a tour.
Rio de Janeiro Cathedral
Rio de Janeiro Modern Cathedral is dull (for some visitors) from the outside, but impressive from the inside (for most visitors). A Rio Tour Guide can drive you there and combine that visit with a walking tour of the Rio de Janeiro downtown area. If you think that all churches look the same, then get ready to change your mind when you see this one.
Hey, that’s something you can easily visit on your own. You even don’t need your Rio Tour Guide! From Copacabana Fort you can have a great view of Rio and even eat a pastry or two at a Colombo Coffee Shop branch inside the fort area. Copacabana Fort is located at the end of Copacabana, just in front of Sofitel Hotel. Don’t miss that visit when in Rio de Janeiro.
São Conrado Beach
One of the ‘must visit’ places a Rio Tour Guide can take you to is São Conrado Beach, which is the beach where hangliders and paragliders land. Hanggliding is Rio is an unforgettable experience and you can decide on the spot whether or not you want to do it. A Rio Tour Guide can recommend you a reputable instructor to fly with you and, most importantly, land safe and sound!
Grumari – Rio’s Secluded Beach
If you have a few days in Rio you can ask your Rio Tour Guide to drive you to Grumari or Prainha Beach. It is one of the most beautiful and secluded areas of Rio de Janeiro. Although it is a 45-minute drive from Copacabana it is still worth-going specially if you don’t live by the coast back home and want to visit an off-the-beaten track area. By the way, Prainha Beach is the surfer’s paradise.
Modern Sound: Rio de Janeiro Mega Music Store
This is another place you can visit with or without a Rio Tour Guide. If you are willing to bring back home a nice Brazilian CD or DVD this is THE PLACE to buy it in Rio de Janeiro. The place itself is an attraction. Besides, there are concerts every day. Ask your Rio Tour Guide the concert schedule of the week. Address: Rua Barata Ribeiro 502-D Copacabana. Rio de Janeiro. 9am to 8 pm. Mon-Sat.
If you are generally lazy during your vacation, then a Rio Tour Guide will be very helpful. Leblon viewpoint is a very nice spot to take a few memorable photos of Rio, specially of Leblon and Ipanema beaches. Leblon viewpoint is the kind of place that is very close by car, but a bit far on foot (unless you are fit and in a mood to do it). Besides nice shots, it is at this famous Rio de Janeiro viewpoint where you can sip a healthy and refreshing a coconut milk.
Arpoador – Rio de Janeiro Surfing Hottest Spot
At one end of Ipanema Beach is Arpoador, another great spot a Rio Tour Guide can take you to for complementary photos of Ipanema and Leblon Beaches. Your Rio Tour Guide can drive you from Leblon viewpoint to Arpoador in just a few minutes. By the way, this is another spot to see Rio de Janeiro surfers showing off their skills and to see the sunset.
Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden
If you have only one or two days in Rio and want to visit also the Botanical Garden then a Rio Tour Guide will speed up the visit and guide you to the ‘must see’ places. A visit to the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden can take easily two hours. Accompanied by a Rio Tour Guide the visit can be done in as little as 40 minutes. On the other hand, if you have your own garden or love plants and flowers it is better to spend half-day there without your Rio de Janeiro Private Guide.
The Girl From Ipanema Bar
If you know this song by heart you shouldn’t miss a stop at the bar where The Girl from Ipanema song was written. A Rio Tour Guide can easily add this quick visit. You can just take a photo of the bar from your tour guide car or have a look inside and buy a t-shirt or stop for a Caipirinha. Just next to the bar is the Girl from Ipanema Store, owned by Helô Pinheiro, the girl from Ipanema herself! At her store you can find beach gear and other summer clothes.
Favela (Rio de Janeiro Slum)
A Rio Tour Guide can walk you in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. Since not all favelas are safe it is better to visit one with a Rio Tour Guide who can pick a safe one to show you. Since a favela is in general a labyrinth you could easily get lost if not accompanied of a guide or a local. For a safe and enlightening visit, hire a Rio Tour Guide. Learn more about Favelas in Rio de Janeiro.
Ipanema Shopping Street (Rua Visconde de Pirajá)
Your Rio Tour Guide can take you there if you want to buy something specific in order to gain time and proceed with the tour. However, you can also do that on your own and take a hurry-free stroll along the whole street. Most stores are closed on Saturday afternoons and on Sundays (as anywhere else in Rio de Janeiro). Therefore, the best days to visit it are weekdays.
Santa Teresa – Rio’s Most Charming Neighborhood
A visit to Santa Teresa is a must and a Rio Tour Guide who knows the area is the right person to take you there. Not all areas in Santa Teresa are safe. A safety-oriented Rio Tour Guide can drive you to it and walk you through the highlights not exposing you to risk.
Santa Teresa Tram
An experienced Rio Tour Guide knows that a ride on Santa Teresa old tram is also a must for some tourists. But it can become a nightmare depending on the time, the day and where you are taking it. A Rio Tour Guide that is used to take the tram will manage the process in a way to make it hassle-free. Very few tour guides are knowledgeable on that matter, so if riding on that tram is a must for you, do choose the right private guide! Don’t you know any knowledgeable guide to hire? Then learn about Madson, Tour Guide in Rio.
Selarón Staircase – One of Rio’s Most Original Artistic Work
A visit to Selarón staircase is another ‘must visit’, but then again safety is an issue. A Rio Tour Guide will drive you straight to the staircase. The staircase itself is safe, but the problem is that many tourists end up exploring on foot the not-so-safe area beyond the staircase. Get a Rio Tour Guide to visit Selarón Staircase as well as Santa Teresa and Rio de Janeiro Cathedral.
Lapa is the trendy nightlife destination. During the day, you don’t actually visit Lapa, you drive by and, preferably with a Rio Tour Guide. It is all about a quick stop at a spot where from the car you take a photo including the Cathedral, the Arches and Petrobras. This is it! No need (and not recommended) to walk around or explore it on foot. Your Rio Tour Guide can combine that stop with the sites mentioned on the previous paragraph.
Colombo Coffee Shop – Rio’s Oldest Coffee Shop
This is one of the most interesting places a Rio Tour Guide can take you to. The confectioner & coffee shop Colombo was established in 1894 and sells a great variety of salted and sweet pastries. It was also the place to go for a light meal, a sandwich, a coffee, a dessert and a chat in the Rio de Janeiro of a century ago. Do ask your Rio Tour Guide to take you there.
Telles Arch is located in one of the oldest areas in Rio de Janeiro and preserves the facades of its houses close to what it originally was. A Rio Tour Guide will much probably take you there if you are interested in colonial architecture and in visiting the old part of town. If you ever decide to visit that on your own do it on weekdays since on Saturdays afternoon and on Sundays the area is deserted and should be avoided for safety reasons. As matter of fact, most of Rio downtown (Centro) should be avoided on the weekends. Learn about Rio de Janeiro Safety Tips.
If you are willing to visit one more church in your life do ask your Rio Tour Guide to take you there. It is beautiful from the inside as well as imposing from the outside. It was Rio de Janeiro biggest church until the construction of the cathedral in 1960’s. The interior is a colourful mixture of marble sculpted columns, altars and statues. The church is roomy and it is frequently rented for upper class weddings.
São Franscisco Church
A Rio Tour Guide can take you to what probably is the most impressive Baroque church in Rio de Janeiro: São Francisco Church. Surprisingly, there aren’t many visitors! Check with your Rio Tour Guide if it is opened on the day you visit the Colombo Coffee Shop (another surprise: this church opens only four days a week!).
When in Rio de Janeiro do ask your Rio Tour Guide to take you to the Samba City. It is one of the most interesting places to visit in Rio, mainly between the end of the year and one week before Carnival. The Samba City is the place where the Carnival floats are built and dismantled. The closer to the Carnival you visit it, more interesting it is. Don’t miss that if you are in Rio de Janeiro during that time of the year.
Niterói is the city across the bay and it is a visit better visited with a Rio Tour Guide. The highlights of the visit are:
Crossing the 8-mile long bridge over Rio de Janeiro Bay
A visit to MAC (a project of 101-year old Brazilian architect)
A view of Rio de Janeiro from the other side of the bay
Since Niterói is half-hour drive from Rio it is better to visit with a Rio Tour Guide.