Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Eu firmemente acredito que um dia no Rio para a gente conhecer por inteiro seria focar na natureza com um pouquinho de cultura...nos feriados e nos fins de semana, ou se vai ao Cristo primeiro ou se vai ao Cristo bem a tarde, eu prefiro de manha, tento que começar o tour as 8 da manha, assim se evita filas. 

Cristo é sem duvida a certeza de que até Deus te abraça quando voce visita o Rio. Assim somos todos nós de braços abertos, recebendo a todos, sem importar se voce é rico ou pobre, sem se importar qual religião voce pertença, seu sexo e sua cor. Importante que no Rio de Janeiro a sua unica obrigação é ser feliz.

I trully believe when you have just one day to see Rio, the Christ is the only MUST GO OPTION, and one day in Rio we have to focus on our endless nature and some culture, in the weekends or holidays we should go to the Christ first or late in the afternoon, so I strongly think that we should start this tour at 8:00 am.

No doubt that coming to the Christ is the same as having God embracing you when you visit Rio for the first time. Here, the Cariocas welcome you with arms wide open, no matter if you are rich or poor, no matter what religion you belong to; no matter what sex options or color. Here in the city the only obligation is keep yourself HAPPY!

Depois de ver o Cristo, agora a gente passa a conhecer a cidade a fundo, começando pela orla, do Leblon a Copacabana, conhecendo os lugares mais badalados e na moda na cidade, e rapidinho se afastar e tomar o ar puro da Floresta da Tijuca, uma coisa que os cariocas adoram fazer, e que voce vai ter a chance de conhecer tudo igualzinho como a gente gosta de curtir a cidade!

After visiting the Christ, we start to see the Real side of the city where the locals mostly enjoy to go...a ride from Leblon to Copacabana and then a quick escape to our forest, the biggest urban forest in this Planet, the famous Tijuca National Park, a chance for you to enjoy the city just like the locals.

Santa Teresa e as escadas do inesquecivel Selaron...viver nossa cultura, disfrutar do nosso dia a dia nos lugares mais boemios e tradicionais da Cidade. Santa Teresa com seu jeito desleixado e preguiçoso onde se sente o tempo andar bem devagar, uma especie de Lisboa Brasileira. e as cores do louco do Selaron que com sua utopia conseguiu transformar boa parte da historia da Lapa. Tenho Saudades do meu amigo Selaron.

Santa Teresa and the stairs of Selaron, the best way to live our culture, and enjoy the Carioca's day by day in two of the most behemian and traditional places in the city. Santa Teresa with its vagabond and lazy way of enjoying life where the time passes slowly, a sort of Brazilian Lisbon's vibe; and the colors of our crazy Selaron with his own utopia could change part of the history of our old district of Lapa. I miss my good and old friend Selaron.

Terminar o dia explorando os segredos de Niteroi, indo a lugares que poucos visitantes conseguem chegar. Abrir o coração e deixar essa Cidade Sorriso invadir sua vida com as melhores lembranças de sua viagem ao Rio, a Baía de Guanabara tem cantinhos que revelam lugares unicos. A Avenida Litorânea em Boa Viagem, os traços do nosso maior arquiteto Oscar Niemeyer com seu MAC, Museu de Artes Contemporaneas e o nosso Parque da Cidade onde gratuitamente voce é testemunha de uma das paisagens mais lindas do Brasil.

Terminar o tour em Niteroi é fechar o nosso dia com chave de ouro!

Ending the day exploring the secrets of Niteroi, going to places less visited; just open your heart and let this Smiley City enter in your soul with the best memories of your first trip to Rio. Watching the Guanabara Bay and the whole city of Rio in front of you with unique corners in the Coast, studying the traces of our famous Architect Oscar Niemeyer with his Contemporary Museum and visiting our most spectacular viewpoint of Parque da Cidade where you can simply take pictures of one of the most impressive views in our country.

Closing the page of our journey book in Niteroi is for sure ending our day with a gold key.

OBRIGADO por ler meu blog, obrigado por visitar o Rio e sempre querer conhecer mais da cidade, podem sempre contar comigo.

Thank you for reading my blog, thank you for visiting Rio and always longing to see more of the city, you can always count on me.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I know dear Reader, you came to my blog looking for various tour information and you are not wrong, you will find all my thoughts and ideas about places in Brazil, what to do in Rio and all my steps as a tour guide in Rio de Janeiro. But...this is my personal space to express and share facts of life and also a good way for you to get to know even better, so you will be very familiar with me and our tour will be a great success.

All the people who know me, they figure out that I am a CAT PERSON, and we have a cat, her name is Kikinha. Most of my guests become very close friends, and we are always in touch. Linda and Pat came to Rio for the first time more than one year ago when we lived in Copacabana. She was introduced to Kikinha and she took a picture of her.

Time passed, we moved to another neighborhood, we came to Tijuca, no so far from the beach and way better quality of life, and suddenly FEDEX came into our front door with a package. And Linda, our very dear friend from MASSACHUSSETS, who is a very talented painter gave to us one of the most important gifts of our lives...a painting with Kikinha's portrait.

I love paintings and I am a great fan of many painters I know, and I am so honored to have Linda Lee as an important part of my life, and also she is part of Marcone's life.

Marcone and I took this picture exactly in the day we got the package with this marterpiece. Linda knew how to catch Kikinha's attitude with perfection. I have to confess that when I opened the box, I instantly got in tears...a real confirmation that my work brings me so many incredible moments when we welcome spectacular people!

And guess what???? LINDA CAME AGAIN!!!! And I know that she will always be present in our home, in our lives and in our hearts...She is a Rio's frequent visitor and every trip we go do different places in this vast country called Brazil. I always wanted to have a picture with Linda and her painting...Criation and Criator all together in a photo with me and Marcone in our own home. Three feelings, pleasure, honor and prestige to have such a wonderful friend, together with ANOTHER wonderful friend Pat.

They came here in Tijuca before the second part of our our way to Guapimirim and Teresopolis. August 2014 was marked as a very important month of the year.

Thank you Linda, for your everlasting joy, your sweet presence and solid friendship.

Last but not sweet and caring friend Pat, Linda's business and travel partner and faithful friend, also came for the second time. And we had a blast...And dear reader, this pictures is for you to see that we always choose amazing places. We had our picnic with all the privacy in the world...endless nature, Linda, Pat and myself!!! What else can we ask for????

Having Pat in our home, sharing the adventurous days with her company and sharing all the best wine and beer and also for Dinner is a BLESS. I get a lot of life inspiration just for the fact that she is near!!! For the second time we had the great honor to see her again, and more will come in this blog because we have many things to tell...the our adventures in Paraty and Guapimirim!

I love you both and deeply thanks for everything you have done to us!


Rafa Torres
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

Monday, August 18, 2014


Impossible to translate in words endless beauties, very hard to express all the love I have for this land. Maranhão for me means ADVENTURE. Yes, Brazil has to remain forever in your mind and I am here to make it right! I know that Brazil has several places to make you fall in love with this land! I try hard to give you all this passion when you visit my Land.

Maranhão is not in the famous lists of PLACES TO GO in South America. But I want to be the only one to recommend you to spend days exploring this new destination in Brazil. 

This destination is called LENÇOIS MARANHENSES. Starting with some days in a remote village called SANTO AMARO. This little tiny spot in Maranhão will give you one of the most fascinating places in the World.

When I think about Maranhão my heart smiles. Maranhão keeps the big surprise that Brazil can offer, and it is time for the World to figure out. Long deserts full of sparking blue lakes, a place that preserves the real amazon identity. Everything is there for you to realize that our planet is deeply marvelous! Maranhão is the place for intrepid travellers, it is a destination for nature lovers. The Amazon and the tropical beaches of our virgin north east coast meet there!

Maranhão is a mix of two region...NORTE (North) and NORDESTE (north-east) so it is very rich in diversity, culture and geography. One part is the Amazon where I love exploring the flooded forests of Alcântara and Cururupu, another part glorious ocean beaches like Raposa with a fantastic chain of mangroves, Caburé that is bathed by a incredible river called Preguiças and the Atlantic Ocean, so many beauty to die for!

One of the paradises of Maranhão is called LENÇOIS MARANHENSES...After Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls...this region is the most beautiful spots in Brazil in my opinion and Canada and USA has not discovered this land yet!

I always go there for visiting some relatives, friends and also searching for new tour destinations, as you know I work in all over Brazil and I give special attention to Maranhão as it is a very unknown place also for brazilians. 

I am very passionate for Brazil, I am so lucky to be part of this wonderful country and so happy to be able to share so many places and knowledge with my visitors, thanks to this I have wonderful friends from all over the World!!

This trip to the wild north east coast can be extended via 4x4 cars where you will get to know amazing cultures, incredible gastronomy and of course lots of diverse attractions of this magnificent country called Brazil. I have lots of local partners in the EMOTIONS TRAIL that can make your life easier when travelling in places in Brazil where guides like be are necessary, the language barrier will not be a problem when myself or any of my trusted guides will be there waiting for you!!!

This adventure can take between 3 and 8 days exploring the inmost part of the brazilian coast. This tour will remind you a NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC experience. You can start this dreamt journey in the historic city of São Luis, capital of Maranhão State and end in the colorful and happy city of Fortaleza.

Count on me and my tourism partners in this new travel possibility. I am always ready to keep Brazil part of your travel plans!

Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner