Dear Reader, when you see my name before you come to Rio and you come to a conclusion that I will be your guide, I will do everything humanly possible to reply your request the sooner I can and I will give you lots of different itineraries and I will warn you that some times we need a lot of improvisations, we are always running against traffic, time and also I will feel your expectations and what you really like as a traveller and also we normally break the ice in the first two minutes so the tour will flow in a fantastic way.
So you may come across with different views of the city and the outskirts of Rio!
We always visit many OFF THE BEATEN PATH places like the wetlands of Marapendi. It is for sure one of my favorite places in Rio, it is a whole complex of 7 islands where 5 islands people live and 2 islands are preserved areas, the area is surrounded by green mountains and the mangrove gives us a wonderful opportunity to see all kind of birds and other animals such as the Capyvaras and Caymans; it is a different place if you compare to other spots in the city...local restaurants and absolutely interesting boat rides...Our best restaurant there is Cicero's right in front of the water, local ambiance and perfect to try the best dishes in the brazilian gastronomy, Cicero's specialty is BOBÓ DE CAMARÃO, that wonderful dish made with cassava cream and coconut milk with very generous pieces of shrimps and the snack with shrimp and garlic, to die for!!! :) Believe me or not, this region as one of the best food options in Rio in my opinion. Amazing and very creative snacks are waiting.
Yes, you will see Copacabana and Ipanema maybe with me or on your own because you are probably staying in one of those places, but I like making you feel unique and I will always show my people some spots which are considered "secrets of Rio, like the amazing beach of Joá, it is a spectacular place for our pictures and a place that few locals know here...
Niteroi is my funny playground and as you can see in the pictures of my Guests we do not follow any protocol, dress code or etiquette and I have to tell you that I have welcomed many VIP people, but as I say to everyone, each guest I have are my VIP people and here I will make you "dance according to the music", you came to Rio to have fun and and the tours are so informal.
Specially in Niteroi I feel like a child because I was raised there...it is my hood...it is the big surprise of every trip. People should see more of Niteroi, it is so great there!!!
By the way, big kisses to Paola my dear friend from Buenos Aires, all my love to Michael, my wonderful swiss friend, big kisses to Karol and Victor from our brazilian city Goiania and big hugs and all my honors to Marcone Lima, my very immediate tour guide who travels the country with me!
Okay dear Husbands, Partners, boyfriend whatever you are...please do be jeaulous or embarrassed...Meeting Rafa is like meeting an old friend, a cool relative that now you have in Brazil right after your first email to me. Before hand you will get to know something about me, so you know that you will not only have a tour guide, but you will have a friend forever!
Niteroi has a paragliding association which is opened for the public and I always say it is the highlight of our days. From there we can have heaps of fun and you can see all over Rio from literally ABOVE, this is where you can jump from the cliff (using a paraglider together with a very reliable instructor. Kate and I jumped in that day, also our friend from Argentina, Pablo and we had a ball!!!
Luciano is one of the best paragliding pilot in the area, super incredible instructor and my dear friend. He knows everything about air activities and he is a animal lover, he has lots of dogs that he takes care, he is a musician and one of the best air force pilot that Brazil ever had. He is our hero and a good friend of Niteroi.
I confess, it is hard to keep a diet in Brazil specially because even in the jungle we find people that gives you the best fresh snacks ever. I know one type that often sells his best pasteis with refreshing Sugar Cane Juice, I do not know the man's name though I always eat there for years...Shame on me, I know...but next I promise to dedicate a whole posting in my blog about this good fellow.
Here is the special surprise of Niteroi, PARQUE DA CIDADE which holds (and nobody knows) the most magnificent sunset in the whole state of Rio de Janeiro. This place is part of our newest national park called SERRA DA TIRIRICA, it is the city’s paragliding school where we have so many great friends, for us it is a pleasure to take you there!
Our guests are special people, our guests are always wonderful new friends that live in the heart forever, our guests mean the World for us, and here you can be sure that you will have nothing but fun...
Well, now you know...Impossible not to add Niteroi in your list...it is the Rio best hidden secret.
Rafael Torres Lopes
Tour Guide and Travel Planner