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“Feel like a native in Rio with Rafa”

Rafael Torres Lopes Tour Guide
Ranked #4 of 487 Tours in Rio de Janeiro
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 28 March 2012

We were two couples traveling on the cruise ship Oceania from Buenes Aires to Rio. We only had two days in Rio and I booked with Rafa Torres after finding him on Trip Adviser. We couldn't have had a better guide. The first day we got to the Christ before the crowds and pretty much had it to ourselves. We visited the famous Escadaria Selaron and had lunch at a por kilo restaurant, which is a self service restaurant that allows you to sample all the traditional Brazilian foods. The most exciting part of the day for me was visiting a small fishing village in Niteroi, and walking through the favela there, something most tourist never get to do. That evening he took us to a club in the Lapa area that was one of a kind! You'll have to go on his tour to find out, I'm not giving away all his secrets! The next day was just as fun with visits to the Botanical Garden and the Marapendi Channels, and the famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana etc. etc. He also took us to the airport, with no charge, imparted a wealth of information, took pictures which he sent to us, and promised to keep in touch. I feel like if any of my friends visit there I can recommend him to help them in any way. I have encouraged him to get a secretary to handle his bookings because he is so busy, it sometimes takes time for him to respond. Do not be discouraged, but do book early because I know he is booking for next season already.

Thank LisaC1035277
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 March 2012

After 4 fabulous days in Buenos Aires and 10 days on a cruise ship visiting various ports in Brazil, we had a full day left to spend in Rio until our flight left late that night. We had already visited the famous spots in Rio but wanted a different perspective of the area. Rafa wasn't available for us but he arranged for Marcone who created a wonderful tour to Niteroi, a quaint fishing village, an art museum, a special stop to watch para gliders and a fun supper in Rio along wiht many other treasures. The 6 of us were very comfortable with all our luggage in the large transport and driver he brought to guide us around. Marcone's sense of humor, grasp of English and the area made it a very memorable trip for all of us.

Thank Susan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

We had a great time when we went to Rio! Rafa organized a ride from the airport for us to our hotel. The day of our tour we got to see many places in Rio that we would not have been able to see on our own. Also found a few secret spots on his tour to do later. Rafa was very informative and even took us out for a night on the town after the day trip. We were in South America for 2 weeks and wanted to see more! He referred us to another guide he works with in Iguazu, Mike. He even assisted us in getting tickets there last minute. Over all we had the best experience with Rafa and we would suggest if your going to do South America contact Rafa first! He will look out for your best interest and always pointed us in the right direction!

Thank JD R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

Overall, a good experience but the guide provided was not Raffa himself but his associate Vanessa who is a Canadian resident doing this on a part-time basis without real knowledge of the city.

Other cautions :

1. Be very specific of your expectations. If you want six- star service with restaurants to match, say so or you will get a very local approach which, though charming, may not suit your needs. Beware of street food - on marshland tour, we were offered purchases of some frozen treats locally made which in retrospect have associated health risks ( not sure this was thought through)

2. Check on mobility challenges - We were shuttled up to see Christ the Redeeemer which required a lot of stairs. Taking the train wou,d have cost more mo ey but avoided some of the stairs (not offered as an option and we were also not aware of this)

2  Thank Lynne_in_Muskoka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2012

We had several hours to spare in Rio passing through and arranged with Rafael to meet his good friend Diana Persi. Diana picked us up at the airport and our priority was the Corcodova, the Christ. Before we went up, she took us to a helipad to get the best view of the Christ for pictures and a 360 degree view of Rio, pointing out all the areas to us. We then went to the Corcodova, up close. Afterwards, she drove us to several areas of the city showing us an area that was changed by a man who tiled the steps, we had lunch and walked at Copacabana Beach, went to Impanema Beach and saw much of Rio inone day. She made us feel warm and welcome, taught us much about the history of her city, spoke English very well. We had such a great day together I invited her to Washington DC to see our city.... Rafael did a great job putting us together. I know if you spend some time with either ofthem, you will have a great time in RIO! We did!

1  Thank Meryl M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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