Friday, November 20, 2015


Brazilians have big hearts...and I do not ignore this heart is big to welcome you, to welcome two people, to welcome three people, to welcome 10 people, hundred, thousands, hahahahah I am joking...but for sure we can handle big groups. From December to March some great travellers coming to Brazil by Ship usually write to me asking if I can give the same fun, the same energy and the same amazing places for their groups. I simply say yes...We usually meet our groups in Rio, but we can go to Salvador and show you the best of the Baianos; we can go to Buenos Aires and show the best of the tango city; we can go to Montevideo and show the criollo spirit. So if you think to bring your friends or if you want to start with a big group, count on me, count on Marcone. We are used to welcome people, we love people so the same fun our friends in Brazil had, we are ready TODAY to give you a spectacular time. 

And of course you must be asking, how Rafa will take these people everywhere in Rio or wherever port he will meet the groups??? 

Okay...I will have the vans available that will give you good space, air conditioning and good for 12 people each van. But if you have 18 people willing to have a great experience in Rio??? No problem, we will use two vans and we will have two guides. 

I am lucky to have a wonderful team all trained to make Rio your home, so do not worry about space, just come and we can handle it. 

Now you know that our tour guides and especially myself will be the friends who will welcome you with arms wide opened. Your happiness when you see Rio is what feeds my passion for what I do. Thank you very much in advance for your confidence and friendship!

Tour Guide and Travel Planner

Monday, November 2, 2015


I think it is time for you to add Niteroi in your list when you citi Rio...stunning views, great people and the finest food ever. A fascinating place to discover, I am sure you will have amazing photos...places that you will see new perspectives of Rio and you will know that you deserve to stay more days to find out unique neighborhoods, great beaches and new adventures. 

My favorite place is not doubt the paragliding school in Parque da Cidade is a highlight in every tour. 

It is not far from Rio we can easily go to Niteroi crossing the bridge, Niteroi has the most beautiful beaches in the Bay Area. Guanabara Bay will give you amazing views and Niteroi has our MAC MUSEUM where you do not need to visit the museum itself (really nothing interesting there) but the surroundings and the landscapes are incredibly gorgeous. 

We take all our guests and friends to Niteroi because it is a wonderful way to see Rio with no tourists, local daily life is waiting for you. I personally spent 20 years in the city and I am honored to know Niteroi as the palm of my hand. Visiting the place fun is guaranteed, and coconut water will be our best friend during our hot summer! :)

Copacabana??? Is that really the beach you want to see in Rio??? Well...I have a different opinion...

I am always here to introduce you one of my passions in life: NITEROI

And Niteroi is just next door, all you can do is writing to me and you can visit Niteroi, you can spend the whole day in the city and you will love it.

Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

Friday, October 30, 2015


Viração Hill - Niteroi
Niteró this a place you would choose when you travel to Rio??? I am sure you would never think about...okay...big mistake that I will never let my guests make...lately almost all my guests become friends of mine, so when you have myself as your guide, you know that you are going to visit a new good friend...yes, me! :) But lets talk about Niteroi...all you have to do is crossing a long bridge over Guanabara Bay and will visit an amazing place.

Every city has a symbol, Rio has the Christ...New York, the Statue of Liberty and Niteroi has a museum that gives amazing views to the Bay, a museum that carries the signature of a World Famous Arquitect, Oscar Niemeyer. He was the one who projected our capital BRASILIA...(you see, the capital of Brazil is not Rio!!!) and Oscar just like me, loved Niteroi, many of his work is done . 

Niteroi deserves to be visited, actually a whole day to see all the great surprises this city has to offer, I personally lived in Niteroi for 20 years, it is my hood, my hometown, one of the reasons that I have to include Niteroi in my tours is exactly a way I found to be in touch with this lovely city.

We had lunch there, we ate the best of Brazilian Food in a very local place...A MINEIRA...the best chance for you to try a Feijoada and great barbecue.

Just make sure you have my tours, make sure that I will be your guide or any of my associates because you will probably end like this, hahahaha :) Just joking. I was honored to welcome Dina and Taylor from Ontario, Canada...More great people to my stunning collection of everlasting friends that Canada gives to me! :)

A tour in Rio is not only visiting classical places, taking normal pictures, or visiting the city in a bus. A real tour in Rio has to do with experience, action and tasting the local flavor no matter where you go, So I choose the colors, the tradition and the quietness of Santa Teresa, the best way to see the amazing hidden neighborhoods of Rio. Santa Teresa holds the history of Rio, Santa Teresa shows you the deep portuguese influence in our lives and architecture, a day full of art, laughs and fun. Santa Teresa is always in our plans. 

There you can visit an old house which now is a cultural center, this place is called PARQUE DAS RUINAS...a good stop for a coffee or a tea watching a speechless view to the Sugar Loaf.

Once you are in Santa Teresa, you are soooo close to another famous landmark of Rio, one work of art made by just one person, a real character that once lived in Rio, the chilean artist Selaron that was patient enough to make a huuuuge mosaique between this historic district of Santa Teresa and Lapa. So sad that Selaron is not there to share the happiness of my guests visiting such a wonderful place. But Selaron gave us his legacy and it is there for us to visit. It is a very present part of my tours. The official name is ESCADARIA DO SELARON. is a place for smart people, a place to see the different colors of Rio, a place where all the tribes are mixed...also it is the Selaron's Stairs...a cool place to drink beer, a cool place to eat. A day in Santa Teresa and Lapa is like feeling the soul of the city. Our full day will need a lot of improvisation, changes in the city will make some of our plans to modify, so we need to be flexible, and flexibility can take you to Lapa!

Too bad we just had one day, but at least I could give an idea about Brazil, not only Rio, but an idea that Brazil is a fascinating country where one of the best attractions is its people...And I am waiting for you to introduce this country, a Rio that will convince you that the city is not what you see on tv or what your friends always say to you, that Rio is dangerous, not a place to visit, YES WE SHOULD VISIT TO HAVE THE BEST TIME OF OUR LIVES. 

We visit a local community that we usually call it as Favela, every favela has a name, Tavares Bastos, a place where people are proud of the hood, a place where we see children playing every where. Just remember that thanks to the Favela we have our Samba, thanks to the Favela we have our best football players. 

As we are talking about gratitude, my warmest thanks and best regards go to my canadian friends Dina and Taylor that made my day simply marvelous.

Meeting this great couple just tells me that I am in the right path...provinding great emotions and making friends. It is all about passion for what you do, it is all about enjoying your work. 

So please, dear Reader, do keep myself busy...thinking about a tour in Rio??? Well, count on me and write to

Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner