Sunday, June 3, 2018


Yes, dear reader, a long time no talk...ooops, I mean, no writa...but I am back to pay a tribute to our proud culture called SAMBA and we have one of the big symbols of Samba, a wonderful person, so diverse in his talents and the great representative of the Brazilian Culture, MR. Martinho da Vila. He is so important to us that when we think about Samba, we immediately have Martinho in our minds. 

Martinho is a poet, a songwriter and excellent musician, the ambassador of so many African rhythms, the one responsible to make Brazil and the Portuguese Africa so united, thanks to him we love the culture of Angola, Guine, Cape Vert and so many others.

Images are stronger than words in this case, check this youtube video below

Samba is in our heart since we are babies, it is part of our BRASILIDADE, as I love saying. We can translate brasilidade as "identity". Samba is known around the World as a symbol of Brazil and the soul of our Carnaval. I would say Samba is the icon of my identity, not only mine but of all the Brazilians. Samba became a UNESCO Heritage of Humanity, its roots came from Angola and Congo, and the slaves brought it to perform some religious rituals and soon it became a big influence in the country. 

Right now in Rio at the MAR, Rio's Art Museum, there is an exhibition about Samba, telling us the very beginning of Samba in Brazil until nowadays, when you come to Rio we should add this event in our agenda because you learn about our culture, folklore and so many wonderful traditions. Samba is for us what Jazz is to New Orleans, or Blues to Chicago, it is as important as Tango to Argentina. And I had the chance to meet the masters, one of them is Paulinho da Viola who generously enriches my knowledge explaining some important moments of our music cultural, I heard inside stories which I am so grateful. Here below you can see Paulinho performing:

No doubt Paulinho is the lively voice of Samba and has its place of our genius galleries such as Clementina de Jesus, Zeketi, Cartola, Dona Ivone Lara, and still alive masters of Samba as Martinho da Vila, Beth de Carvalho, Zeca Pagodinho, Martinalia, Ana Costa, Tereza Cristina

I am a big fan of Brazilian Music, and of course, I have to be where the music is, and she is one of the newest and most talented voices of Samba, Ana Costa, she has a DVD Album called Pelos Caminhos do Som that means INTO THE SOUND'S PATH...and it is a fascinating journey from the deep Brazilian rhythms to the drums of inspiring, so profound and full of love. Ana is always open to introduce our BRAZILIAN MUSIC to all over the World, so if you are reading thus humble blog, please contact us and we will find a way to take with us so many BRAZILIAN MAGIC to your country, she had performed in Africa, Barbados, Cuba and so many other countries, and I want your country to enjoy her samba and let's organize a huge BRAZILIAN PARTY. 

Here I am sharing her complete concert below:

Brazilian Carnaval is contagious, and you know me...LET'S PARTY!!! hahahahah, it is a honor to defend our culture wherever I go in the World and welcome my guests introducing our joy, our open hearts, when you visit Rio, it is not only a visit, it is diving into the soul of Rio de Janeiro, the picture translates my love for BRAZIL and deep pride of all my friends, Ana, Cacá, Marcone, Thamires, my adorable folks that I love, and my gratitude to belong to this "continent" named Brazil.

Tour Guide and Travel Planer

Thursday, April 5, 2018


This picture is just possible if you take a boat and sail close to the coast of a very dear city called NITEROI. Wonderful and hidden angles can be seen there. And guess what...Niteroi is very present in my tours, by land and by the sea. 

I was born and raised in Niteroi and I am always here to make your stay in Rio very special, going to places where regular tourists never go because they do not know that such a chance exists. The sun is a good friend of Rio and when we have sunny days, we will enjoy places that you will never imagine to explore. 

This is what happens when I take my guests to Niteroi, unique photos, breathtaking views and lots of fun!!! Niteroi is the place, and it will enrich your day when you arrive in Rio. 

Lots of history with forts built on the entrance of Guanabara Bay in 1565 and since that time people fall in love with. It is time to fill your heart with passion for Brazil and Niteroi is one of the ways to this "BRAZILITY"

Remember that you will find a passionate tour guide, but much more than that, I am your friend in Rio!


Tour Guide and Travel Planner

Monday, March 19, 2018


Dear Reader, life is so tough in Brazil that I decided to earn some tips as a "car watcher".... hahahaha, I am joking of course! :))) But it is just to celebrate the job of some friends I have in Niteroi that I know for ages, and they really have an eye on the cars parked close to the MAC Museum, they lent me part of their uniform when I welcomed my Chicago's friends, Tom, John, Curt and Mike, my new friends from Illinois, we had a blast in Niteroi. 

In Rome do like Romans so they say...Well, this is not Rome, and we are not Romans...hahahah :)

Coconut Water is very popular in Brazil, and I want my guests to "experience" everything, Niteroi gives us several options of fun, places, views and to visit places where just locals go. Touring with Rafa is not touring with a "tourguide", it is like playing with your "cousin" who is passionate to show Rio through the eyes of a local, but not a regular are lucky to meet someone really in love with the land and proud with his culture. 

Love for my work, fascination for people and respect for the traveler fellow, in this case, it is my new friend and great guest Curt from Chicago. Keep discovering new places like Niteroi and in Rio, you will always have a friend. 

What really matters to me will be your big smile, great conversations and lots of interesting info that will always make Brazil a special place.


Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner