Thursday, June 29, 2017


Folks, of course, I know that going to the Christ is like visiting an icon of Rio, but to reach the statue you will have to do some little sacrifices. Big lines when you are in the city during weekends or any day during high season, the ticket machine simply shuts down and no one can buy the ticket...traffic, the tram breaks in the way forcing you to walk long distances to the hill or simply frustrating your trip by going all the way down back to the Stations.

Lots of risks that you will have to consider and for sure, it is not the Guide's Fault, but this will seriously affect your time which most of the time is really short. 

In some cases, the very simple decision of going to the Christ will be a big problem. 

Rafa has a solution...hehe hehe :))))) In many places in Rio we can have amazing views of the Christ, not so far from the entrance we have a lookout where you can see all over the city and the Christ will be there to enrich your backgrounds. And Mirante Dona Marta will be there!

Trust me, I will take you to amazing places where the Christ will be always present. I am not saying I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE YOU TO THE CHRIST, please do not take me wrong, I am just saying that we have more options and we can optimize our time seeing more interesting things of Rio. 

Rio has amazing secrets and you will have a wonderful time seeing different places like some of the places below:

MARAPENDI WETLANDS...a very unique neighborhood in the west side of Rio, people live in this amazing treasure. It is an explosion of nature that very few people know! One of my favorite places in Rio.

The Christ is part of the Tijuca Forest, and in the forest, you can also spot the statue from different angles, just like I did when I took this little Buda and his parents to the Vista Chinesa.

So trust me your expectations and wishes when you come to Rio, I will give you fun, unusual places, laughs and many reasons for you to always return to Rio de Janeiro which is not a tourist destination for me, Rio will always be a home to all my guests!

Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

Thursday, June 15, 2017


MUCHISIMAS GRACIAS!!! I think this is the best way to start when we write about Argentineans. They are our neighbors. A plane from Buenos Aires takes 3 hours to land in Rio when it is very cold there...they find shelter under our pleasant autumn sun...they come to enjoy our forests and exploring our wild shores. 

Argentineans here are always fun and we get along so well, so laughs and funny moments are guaranteed!!!

It is always great to show my Rio and make them feel completely at home, and Rio helps with stunning views, the ocean all surrounded by green mountains and delicious refreshing coconut water.

Once you have an Argentinean Friend, you have a friend for life!

Oh well...when your work is pure pleasure, it is not really work, when you put your heart in everything you do, then everything is easy. It seems I am quite popular among the Argentineans, hahaha :) Marcela and Paola are my very good friends until today, and I visited them in Buenos Aires, but when they come to Rio our bellies simply explode with so many laughings. 

No doubt Brazil is their best and favorite playground. Argentineans are one of the top most frequent people that I welcome and the stories will continue forever. They are my good friends and for sure they will always have an ambassador in Rio de Janeiro.

Gracias Queridos, for helping my work better and better, thank you for all the inspiration that will make Rio even more fascinating not only for you but for all people I welcome with arms wide open!


Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner

Monday, May 1, 2017


It is very difficult for me to put so much happiness in words when I think about Ilha Grande. stop thinking about and JUST COME!!! I know the way to many paradises close to Rio and this island is my option number one!!!

Ideally, we have to spend at least one night there, but I am not that selfish so I can make this paradise for just one day...and we can do a lot of places. 

Thanks to my friend and TV Reporter Stefani Gamboa from Washington DC we had a glorious day, we rent a speed boat and could explore the hidden places of the islands like avid pirates and conquerors. 

This is always the result of our day in Ilha Grande, endless smiles, laughs and gorgeous pictures. Tropical beaches, amazing inlets where we can see Brazil exactly like the Portuguese saw our Nation 500 years ago. Lovely sparkling emerald waters, absurdly stunning Nature that will make you be sure that you are in a paradise far away from the crazy big cities. 

You have a life in New York??? I know, it is a fascinating city but some days in Ilha Grande will make you feel so much better that you will be back to your home with a different and "soft" mood. If we, who live in Rio, and we also have a wonderful city, we love going to Ilha Grande on the weekends, and our lives get sooooooo much easier after SOME HOURS IN THIS BLESSED ISLAND CALLED ILHA GRANDE. 

Getting there is easy but it will demand a little sacrifice: WAKING UP VERY EARLY, we have to leave here about 6:00 am to take the speed boat at 8:00 am in a village called CONCEIÇÃO DO JACAREI. I have made a little video showing the kind of transportation we take, and it takes only 20 minutes to cross, we get to the island before 9:00 am and we finish our activities by 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm. And we get back to Rio always after 9:00 pm. You will be tired in the end but think about that your heart will have different beats forever.

Well, now it is your turn to write to me and we can arrange such a different day in your trip to Rio de Janeiro. But think about to spend about 4 or 5 days so we will have time to discover the secrets of Rio that only curious and passionate locals have. Yes, I am a registered tour guide, but I really do not like to be called or considered a tour guide, I am your new friend in Rio who will be honored to have your presence here! I just want to make my land easier for you. It is your chance to be a traveler in Rio, not a single tourist. I am here to show you the SOUL of Rio. 

I am proud to have travel partners all over the World, so they will certainly recommend the best way to contact me, but you can also write to me directly, just drop me a line to or add me on WhatsApp which is +5521 98018 0510

Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner