Rio de Janeiro Private Tour Guide

THE Rio de Janeiro private tour guide: experienced, professional and fluent in English.

Join the thousands of satisfied visitors who had me as their Rio de Janeiro private guide.

Madson was the first one we read about in our search and we booked without even looking into anyone else. We made an excellent decision! Our five hour tour was packed with interesting information about Rio and Brazil and Madson’s outgoing personality made us feel that we were taking the tour with someone we knew.” Priscilla J., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Here’s what you might experience by hiring me as your private guide in Rio de Janeiro

Imagine you wake up in your hotel room in Rio de Janeiro and think to yourself, “I can’t believe I’m in Brazil!”. Then, you go have a delicious breakfast and then proceed to the lobby to meet your tour guide. He arrives right on time, smiles at you and gives you a warm ‘Welcome to Rio’. Your Rio de Janeiro private tour is about to start and you feel reassured that you are in good hands.

Your tour guide breaks the ice and walks you to his minivan. You get in and realize that his vehicle features what was stated on his website — comfortable, clean, air-conditioned, and with plenty of room for your legs.

Your private guide heads straight to Corcovado. He knows you can hardly wait to see Christ the Redeemer statue up close and personal as well as the breath-taking vistas of Rio de Janeiro. On the way, your tour guide slows down and even stops wherever there is an interesting site for you to take a picture of. By the way, on a half-day guided tour you can easily take 50 photos of Rio de Janeiro. Charge your phone’s batteries!

You then visit other sites according to the program as well as some hidden treasures that only a local tour guide who has guided 8,000+ visitors in Rio de Janeiro can take you to.

Time flies and at the end of your Rio private tour your guide drops you off back at your hotel. You feel great, you had a wonderful day, you laughed, learned, and had a great time as a vacationer must do. Yes, your day was fascinating mainly because you wisely decided to hire a reputable, experienced, English-speaking tour guide in Rio de Janeiro!

What can I do for you as your private tour guide in Rio de Janeiro?

  • I will prioritize your safety above all and by all means;
  • I will organize the tour itinerary to avoid time-consuming hassles, queues, and traffic;
  • I will offer you a “seriously entertaining” tour of Rio — enjoyably informative but never pedantic.

Third trip to Rio and the first with my wife. Madson customized each visit based on our interests and I always feel like a local. We’ve been fortunate to visit 70 countries and Brazil is at the top, because of his company. His personality distinguishes him from other guides. We’re looking forward to returning for Carnival 2014!”Jerry Davanon, Scottsdale, AZ.

8,000+ visitors have embarked on a private tour of Rio de Janeiro with me

Happy Clients on a private tour of Rio de Janeiro
This is just one of thousands of Rio de Janeiro private tours…

Discover Rio de Janeiro on a Memorable Private Guided Tour!


Visit of Christ the Redeemer statue

Christ the Redeemer Statue Guided Tour (Corcovado)

Hassle-free Christ the Redeemer tour. Christ Statue is Rio’s most visited monument, situated at 710 meters (2,329 feet) above sea level on the top of Corcovado mountain. From there one can have a 360-degree view of the city. This famous tourist attractions is one of the 7 new wonders of the world.

Tour to Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro

Sugar Loaf Mountain Guided Tour

Visit with your top-rated private tour guide Rio’s second most visited monument: Sugar Loaf. It is a 396-meter (1,299 feet) high one-block stone from where you can have a panoramic view over Copacabana, Botafogo and Flamengo beaches besides downtown, Rio-Niteroi bridge, Guanabara Bay, and more.


Guided tour by the Lapa Arches

Rio de Janeiro Downtown Guided Tour

Guided tour of Rio de Janeiro Downtown. It includes a short stroll in Centro (downtown) and a drive in Lapa neighborhood (including its arches), a stop at Colombo Café (established in 1894!); a comprehensive visit to Sélaron steps, a quick visit to Rio’s modern cathedral (a church different from all the others you have seen), and a few other attractions along the way.


View of Rio de Janeiro - off the beaten path private tour

“My Rio de Janeiro” Guided Tour

This is my favorite tour. It’s a selection of neighborhoods, streets, sidewalks, squares, beaches, overlooks, and hidden spots. Some of these are not even known by the locals in the know! I strongly recommend this private tour IF you are interested in seeing sites other than the popular Rio de Janeiro tourist attractions.

10 reasons to hire me as your Rio de Janeiro tour guide

1. Experience: I am a proud tour guide since 2004.

I took a tour guide course in 2004 in Rio de Janeiro, and since then I have been working in the field. At some point in time, I have specialized in private city tours, covering the major attractions as well as the lesser-known sites. I have guided more than eight thousands visitors (!), from forty-five nationalities and from all walks of life. If you think a bit about it, those are huge numbers considering that private tours have on average between two and four people.

I have guided solo travelers (male and female), couples, families, groups of friends, co-workers. My tour guide service past clientele includes tourists on vacation in Rio de Janeiro as well as business people who managed to make space in their calendar to visit at least the two major attractions: Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugar Loaf. Many of those visitors had already taken private guided tours in other cities and knew the benefits of them, but some had decided to take their very first private tour in their lives in Rio de Janeiro, and apparently, they did not regret it.

2. Knowledge: I know Rio de Janeiro tourist attractions inside out.

On my records as a private tour guide in Rio de Janeiro, all my figures are either in the thousands or in the hundreds. In other words, I have guided people thousands of times to some attractions, and hundreds of times to others. The overwhelming majority of these visitors have taken my very own private guided tours.

Christ the Redeemer statue? I have guided visitors there thousands of times! Sugar Loaf Mountain? I have guided tourists there thousands of time! Sélaron steps? I have guided foreign visitors there hundreds of times (maybe thousands). Downtown Rio? Thousands of times! Maracana stadium? Hundreds of times! Favelas? Hundreds of times (when I used to do it). Panoramic beach tour? Hundreds of time. Guiding visitors to other tourist and non-tourist sites? Many dozens or hundreds of times! With all modesty aside, I am an expert in guiding visitors on private tours to a number of attractions in Rio de Janeiro. That is to say, I am a professional private tour guide.

I have guided, visited and seen these attractions in all conditions imaginable: crowded, empty, hot as hell, on cold days, raining cats and dogs, in a quick way, slowly, on foot, by car, towed (!), flying over, during major strikes and protests, on holidays, on weekdays, on weekends, early, late, during the day, at night, you name it! No wonder I have perfected my tours to a standard of excellence that I am proud of today. I know most Rio de Janeiro attractions worth visiting as the palm of my hand. I know the when’s and the how’s by heart.

3. Professionalism: I take my job as a private tour guide very seriously.

I am a professional private tour guide specialized in Rio de Janeiro. That’s my job. I was born to be a tour guide. Quality guiding services (more specifically, guided private tours) is what I offer to visitors who include Rio on their trip to Brazil.

Guiding is NOT something I do here and there, from time to time, as a side job. On the contrary, I am a dedicated private tour guide always aiming at providing a high standard of service. I take my duties very seriously and I keep myself updated on what’s going on in Rio de Janeiro and at the tourist attractions.

I know that for many visitors, a trip to Rio de Janeiro is a dream coming true and I understand that my responsibility during my private guided tours is high. I know that in many cases there is a lot of expectation behind that tour. Sightseeing is an important part of your trip to Rio de Janeiro and should be done in a proper way i.e. ideally handled by a professional. That’s how I think and I act accordingly.

4. Punctuality: The guided tours I provide start on time.

Rio de Janeiro is not world-famous for punctuality. Rio is famous for Carnival, New Year’s Eve fireworks, great beaches such as Copacabana and Ipanema, breath-taking vistas, iconic tourist attractions, beautiful women, and more, but not for punctuality.

There is a laid-back atmosphere in Rio de Janeiro, and for many locals (if not for most of them), “on time” may mean several minutes late. However, despite of being a local of Rio, I am always on time. In other words, the time that your Rio private tour is scheduled to start is the time that I will pick you up in the lobby of your hotel.

5. Safety first: I take all the precautions to provide a safe private tour of Rio.

I am very safety-oriented. That’s good news for you because in a large and sometimes chaotic city like Rio de Janeiro, being guided by a private tour guide who is safety-conscious is a plus.

My motto as a professional private tour guide is: I only take visitors to areas or sites of Rio de Janeiro that I feel safe. If by any chance I no longer feel safe to visit a certain attraction, I exclude it from my guided tours. In other words, I prefer to have a smaller tour package but that I feel are safe, than have a larger menu including some not-so-safe areas.

You will probably feel safe in Rio de Janeiro (as most tourist do), and you might feel even safer if you choose to visit the city on a private guided tour led by a professional and experienced tour guide.

6. English fluency: No risk of misunderstanding.

The overwhelming majority of the population in Rio de Janeiro does not speak English. The lack of locals fluent in English can be surprising, even in tourist areas such as Copacabana, or at businesses with an influx of foreign tourists such as certain cafés, restaurants, shops, and even at some tourist attractions.

Not all tour guides in Rio de Janeiro speak English. In fact, many guides work for agencies and tour operators that provide excursions only to Brazilians (i.e. guided tours and excursions to Rio de Janeiro City and Rio de Janeiro State, as well as to other destinations in Brazil). The bottom line is that considering the number of tour guides in Brazil, few can speak English very fluently. In my case, my guiding services grew in a way that I specialized in private tours for foreigners visiting Rio de Janeiro, and English is nowadays my second language.

I can assure you that I am proficient in English, which means that I am able to understand 99.99% of what you say without effort, and speak it in a way that you will totally understand me (great diction, pronunciation and grammar guaranteed).

One of the reasons for hiring a Rio de Janeiro private tour guide is to be able to make questions about a wide variety of subjects related to the local culture, the attractions, the people, Brazil, and much more. So, you can rest assured that our conversation will be smooth, with no misunderstandings that could in a way or another affect your Rio private tour, and as a result, your experience.

7. Efficiency: An unrushed yet efficient private tour.

I am, in a way, obsessed with efficiency and good time management. Bear in mind that time management it is not a quality that all tour guides possess. In spite of the fact that private tours are more flexible and customizable, Rio de Janeiro is a big city and a mindset towards good time management and efficiency is essential.

I am often praised by the end of the tour for how much I was able to pack in a few hours without necessarily rushing the group. To achieve that, I use a number of tricks, techniques and strategies to gain time, some of which are the result of trial and error in the past, but that today, leads to an unrushed yet efficient private tour of Rio de Janeiro.

8. Personality: A sense of humor to brighten up your tour.

I have heard from past clients several stories about unfriendly private tour guides they have hired on other trips around the world. Fortunately, Brazilians are, in general, friendly. So are Cariocas (residents of Rio de Janeiro). That is to say, the chances of hiring a reputable yet unfriendly private tour guide in Rio de Janeiro are rather low. However, better safe than sorry.

According to the hundreds of 5-star reviews I have received on my guiding services, many of them (if not the majority) mention my great sense of humor. With all modesty aside, I am proud of that. It is great to show Rio de Janeiro around and at the same time hear a laugh here and there along the way.

9. Own vehicle: Comfortable enough for a private city tour of Rio de Janeiro.

Not all tour guides in Rio de Janeiro have a private car and not all private guides have comfortable cars. In fact, Brazilian cars are of rather small size, compared to, for example, cars marketed in the United States. However, there are a number of SUV’s and minivans models in the Brazilian market, and I own one of them. Actually, it is already the 3rd car I have of the very same model since I started working as a private tour guide in Rio de Janeiro. It is comfortable for three large adults, or for four regular-size adults, or for a couple with up to four kids/young teenagers, as it is a 7-seat vehicle.

I shall mention that people say I am skillful driver.

10. Passion: I love Rio de Janeiro and guiding.

I have lived in Rio de Janeiro most of my life and I love the city (I am from Rio, but I have lived in different countries for some time in the past). You can easily feel that I love Rio on a private tour with me. I am passionate about the major tourist attractions as well as about the lesser-known spots that I go by myself in my free time.

Book Madson as your Rio de Janeiro tour guide

19 years of experience
Absolutely fluent in English
Well-organized guided tour
Private air-conditioned vehicle

You will not be disappointed – this is a top notch tour guide!”John M., San Francisco, California.