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

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