Half-Day Tours in Rio de Janeiro on Day 1 & 2

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By hiring me as your tour guide to Rio de Janeiro, you can book up to two half-day tours according to your interests and budget.

The tours are totally private. Once you book it, it will be only you and your travelling companions.

Please explore this page, decide which 5-hour tours you would like to book, and fill in the form on the left to check my availability the days you will be in Rio.

The two half-day tours to choose are:

1st half-day tour: Rio Top 3 (5 hours)

♦ Christ the Redeemer statue (atop Corcovado Mountain)
♦ Sugar Loaf Mountain
♦ Selaron steps

2nd half-day tour: The Modern and Old Rio (5 hours)

Other options to add and/or replace

♦ Beach tour (1 hour)
♦ Maracana stadium (1 hour 30 minutes)
♦ Helicopter tour (1 hour)
♦ Street art tour (1 hour)

The time duration indicated on all tours is approximate. It includes car ride to get to the attractions, the time spent visiting them, and the car ride back to your address in Rio.

We had read the amazing reviews before we booked our tour with Madson, but he exceeded our expectations in every way. He was the consummate professional, with extensive knowledge of every place we wanted to visit. Perhaps most importantly, he was able to save us hours and hours of waiting in line by knowing the best time to visit each spot. If we had tried to do our trip alone, it probably would have taken 3x as long. Madson deserves the credit for making our time in Rio so enjoyable. I recommend unequivocally.”
James Gantsoudes.

1st Half-Day Tour: Rio Top 3

Christ the Redeemer Statue Tour

Tours in Rio - Corcovado Tours in Rio - Christ Statue Tours in Rio - Christ The Redeemer Tours in Rio - Statue of Christ
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It takes two hours to visit Christ the Redeemer with Madson’s Tours in Rio!

That’s a tour in Rio not to be missed and better visited with your Rio de Janeiro tour guide. Recently elected one of the 7 new wonders of the world, Christ the Redeemer 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 Rio de Janeiro.

Approx. time required to visit Corcovado: 2 hours (car ride + minibus shuttle + visiting it). Admission fee: 41 reais (approx. US$ 14; 13 €; 10 £).

Sugar Loaf  Tour

Tours in Rio - Sugar Loaf Tours in Rio - Sugar Loaf Cable Car Tours in Rio - Sugar Loaf from Aterro Avenue Tours in Rio - Sugar Loaf seen from Flamengo
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It takes two hours to visit it with Madson’s Private Tours in Rio!

Sugar Loaf is Rio’s second most visited monument. It is a 396-meter (1,299 feet) high one-block stone from where you can have a panoramic view over Copacabana, Leme, Botafogo and Flamengo beaches besides downtown, Rio-Niterói bridge, Guanabara Bay as well as others highlights of Rio de Janeiro. You have to include it in your private tour of Rio!

Approx. time required to visit it: 2 hours (car ride to get there + 4 smooth 3-minute rides on cable cars + visiting it).

Admission fee: 76 reais (approx. US$ 25; 23 €; 19 £).
Better visit Sugar Loaf with your private guide Madson.

Selarón Steps Tour

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It takes one hour to visit it with Madson’s Private Tours in Rio!

In 1990, Chilean-born Jorge Selarón began covering with tiles a 215-step stairway that connects Lapa to Santa Teresa. It was an obsessive and exhaustive work and he eventually covered the entire set of stairs with tiles.

His unique work of art has featured in many famous magazines, newspapers, travel shows, documentaries, commercials and video clips such as Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful”. 

Approx. time required to visit it: 1 hour (car ride to get there + visiting it)

Note: As I have personally met the artist hundreds of times, I can tell you a lot about the site.

2nd Half-Day Tour: Modern and Old Rio

Tours in Rio - The Modern Cathedral from inside Tours in Rio - Petrobras headquarters inside-sao-bento-monasterys-church-rio-de-janeiro-brazil church-of-sao-bento-monastery-downtown-centro-rio-de-janeiro2
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It takes five hours to visit it with Madson’s Private Tours in Rio!

Visit to the following places:

• Drive along important avenues of downtown, getting an overview of it;

• Visit to Rio’s modern cathedral (a church different from all the others you have seen);

• Stop at the Sambadrome (where the Carnival parade takes place). Quick look at the customes used by the locals in the previous Carnival. Possibility of putting on one of the costumes for a few minutes for a photo right where the parade takes place.

• Short or long stroll in the business district as well as in the historic part of downtown (with colonial-style Portuguese buildings as well as modern ones along the way);

• Visit to the 19th century Colombo café (one of the oldest in Rio). Stop for photos, refreshments and snacks. Closed on Sundays.

• Drive along Lapa arches and parts of Lapa neighborhood, which was one of the first residential areas of Rio;

• Three to five other sites, streets, and attractions may be added to the tour depending on the day of the week, time of the day, traffic, and pace of the group.

Approx. time required to visit them: 5 hours (car rides + a few stops + a 10- to 50-minute stroll [the length of the stroll will depend on a variety of reasons such as age of the group, day of the week, and weather]).

Better take the Modern and Old Rio Tour with Madson, your Rio de Janeiro private guide.

Other options to add and/or replace

Rio de Janeiro Street Art Tour

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It takes one hour to see dozens of cool murals with Madson’s Private Tours in Rio!

Tour exclusively by car to see many cool murals painted on the walls of Rio de Janeiro. As the murals are scattered around the city, we don’t spend one full hour non stop covering them. Instead, I insert a number of murals between the attractions we visit. Bear in mind that due to the traffic behind us I can not always completely stop the car for you to take photos. Instead, I slow down for you to shoot. You need to be a fast photographer not to miss the murals.

Approx. time required to see them: 1 hour (car tour; photos are taken from the car).

Note: No information about the art or artists is given. This tour is not informative, it is visual.

Tour of Maracaña Football Stadium

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It takes two hours to visit it with Madson’s Private Tours in Rio!

Brazil is the only country 5-time football world champion and Maracanã was the world’s biggest football stadium of its glory days, with an official world-record attendance of 199,854 in the 1950 World Cup Final against Uruguay. It is a very interesting visit even if you are not a football fan. The main Rio de Janeiro stadium has also hosted the 2014 World Cup final (Germany 1 x Argentina 0), and has hosted the 2016 Olympic Games opening ceremony.

Walking tour inside the stadium includes visit to the dressing room, field, bleachers and more.

Approx. time required to visit it: 1 hour 30 minutes (car ride to get there + the visit itself).

Admission fee: 50 reais (approx. US$ 14; 13 €; 11£)

Better visit Maracana stadium on Madson‘s private tour.

Rio de Janeiro Beaches Tour

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It takes one hour with Madson’s Private Tours in Rio!

Guided tour (by car) of the main beaches in Rio: Leblon, Ipanema, Arpoador, Copacabana, and Leme. Opportunity to see and photograph locals enjoying a day on the beach… surfing, jogging, walking, playing football or beach volleyball or just getting suntanned to show off their tan at Rio’s vibrant nightlife. Photo-op stops.

Approx. time required to visit them: 1 hour (car tour + photo-op stops + possible drink/snack stop).

Note: This tour is for 1) those who have only one day in Rio and wouldn’t have time to see the top 5 beaches on their own, 2) those who prefer to explore Rio only on a guided tour, and 3) those who will be carrying expensive photographic equipment on the tour and are not willing to go around with it after the tour.

Helicopter Tour

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It takes one hour to do it with Madson’s Tours in Rio!

Besides visiting the city by land you can also do it by air. It is a short but very intense and unforgettable experience. I strongly recommend it. It is the only way to take a picture of Christ the Redeemer statue from above it. I can book a flight for you on site, right near the helipad, and wait for your return with a « That was something, Madson !!! ». The minimum tour time is 7 minutes and the maximum is 60 minutes. The most popular is the 12-minute tour.

Approx. time required to fly over Rio: 1 hour (getting to the ticket office + paying + reading the instructions + waiting for the helicopter + waiting for your turn + the flight itself [12 minutes])

Price: 690 reais (approx. US$ 193; 172 €; 134 £) per person for a 12-minute tour of beaches and Christ the Redeemer statue. A cheaper option is available but may not work logistically, as the departure is from a further away helicopter pad. It depends on how many people in your group will fly, if it is peak or low season, and our itinerary.

Important: Minimum of 3 passengers required; you may need to wait for another passenger to close a tour, or pay for the empty seat and take a private helicopter tour. This tour can not be booked in advance and it is subject to the weather conditions and aircraft availability.

Forms of payment accepted: cash (reais, euros or dollars) and major credicards. Paid on the spot.