Rio de Janeiro
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Rio de Janeiro Meet the Locals

Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha Favela Walking Tour with Local Guide

1. Rio de Janeiro: Rocinha Favela Walking Tour with Local Guide

Start your favela tour with a pickup from one of the meeting points in Copacabana or Ipanema beach. Journey to the Rocinha Favela for the start of a walking tour at approximately 2:20 PM. Follow your local guide through the favela and learn more about what it is like to live there. Rio's favelas are a big part of city life, and the non-intrusive tour aims to educate you in a way that pays respect to the locals. In addition, part of the cost of your tour is contributed to the community to help them build a better future. Get a different perspective about life in Rio de Janeiro, and benefit from insider tips from a local guide.

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Favela Santa Marta Tour with a Local Guide

2. Favela Santa Marta Tour with a Local Guide

Take an opportunity to catch a glimpse of life in the favelas on this guided tour. Your guide is a local from Santa Marta, who will be able to share you with you an authentic perspective of the beautiful favela they call home. Using the Santa Marta cable car, your guide will take you to the top of the favela. From here you will get to witness one of the best panoramic views of the city. Spot Christ the Redeemer, the Sugar Loaf, Praia de Botafogo, Lagoa Rodrigues de Freitas and the entire district of Botafogo. Then explore the streets and alleys held dear by both residents and the many famous visitors to Favela Santa Marta alike, from Queen Elizabeth II to Michael Jackson. Stroll through the favela, seeing the best sights and stopping at many of the local artisan shops along the way.

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Rio De Janeiro: Half-Day Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

3. Rio De Janeiro: Half-Day Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

Explore Rio’s largest favela on a half-day walking tour of Rocinha, the largest favela (shantytown) in South America. Organized by local, English speaking guides and favela hosts, the walking tour is respectful and non-intrusive to the residents. Subject of the movie "City of God," Rio’s favelas have fallen victim to unfortunate stereotypes. In order to correct this, and show you the true Rio de Janeiro, the favela tour will let you see and experience how daily life happens away from the sensationalist headlines. While other favela “zoo-tours” drive around in jeeps, you will get to walk the streets in small groups (average of 10 people) and meet the locals to hear their stories. Learn the history of the favela and its social and economic challenges. The tour cost also includes a monetary contribution to the favela community.

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Rio de Janeiro: Vidigal Favela Tour and Two Brothers Hike

4. Rio de Janeiro: Vidigal Favela Tour and Two Brothers Hike

Experience the mystique of the Vidigal favela and discover a peaceful community that emerged in the city around 1940. Get stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean from one of the most interesting locations in Rio de Janeiro. Start your hike in Vidigal, and experience the favela like a resident. Use the transport system that circulates the neighborhood and rub shoulders with the locals. Follow your guide in a group through the forest and head to the first viewpoint. Look down at the favela of Rocinha and see one of Latin America's largest slums. Continue to the next viewpoint for a breathtaking view of Pedra da Gávea and Pedra Bonita. See Corcovado in the other direction before going to the summit of Two Brothers hill (Morro Dois Irmaos). From there, it's possible to see all the famous beaches of Rio spread out before you, including Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana. Hike for approximately 4.5 hours to turn your favela tour into a true adventure. Experience the warmth of the Vidigal community and get a better understanding of the social divisions in Rio de Janeiro. 

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Rio de Janeiro: Four-Bar Pub Crawl with Extra Activities

5. Rio de Janeiro: Four-Bar Pub Crawl with Extra Activities

Discover Rio’s bustling nightlife on a unique pub crawl through the neighborhood of Lapa. Stop at several bars, clubs, and parties and meet friendly people as you explore the marvelous city of Rio. Each night, walk from bar to bar before ending at a club. The pub crawl finishes at 00:30 AM in a club where guests are welcome to stay until close. If you wish to go home, your guide will advise you on how to get back to your accommodation.

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Rio de Janeiro: Tijuca Forest Waterfall of Souls Hike

6. Rio de Janeiro: Tijuca Forest Waterfall of Souls Hike

Experience a mediated opportunity to connect with nature and experience nature’s healing powers. Learn ancestral knowledge and the keys that open the way for freedom and peace from a local guide, through accessing natural powers and learning about natures’ green spirits. Grow faith in nature, through its timeless and borderless deities. Brazilians carry beliefs that originated on Afro-indigenous faith which strengthens many in everyday life. Discover how knowledge within this faith is shared through generations, its original source present in natural elements, represented by different orishas or indigenous entities. Begin the experience with an introduction to the guide and spiritual healing powers of the forest. Try a breathing exercise, stretches, and open your heart through acknowledgment before beginning. Enter the trail to the waterfall, and at the first stream enter, cleanse, and refresh. Reach the “Cachoeira das Almas Fall” and stop to grab some snacks, enter the falls, take pictures, and chill out. Take a different route to close the circuit and visit the painters’ escape garden and lake and the “Mayrink Chapel”. Finish at the parks’ gate and stop for lunch or dinner. In cases of physical limitations that prevent walking longer distances, these trails can be removed from this experience and the route to the waterfalls can be done by car. After visiting the falls, head to one of the two restaurants near the park or in the Tijuca neighborhood for a traditional afro Brazilian dish.

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Rio de Janeiro: Private Full-Day Highlights Tour

7. Rio de Janeiro: Private Full-Day Highlights Tour

Visit Rio's top attractions on this guided tour. You will be picked up at your accommodation by your professional, English-speaking guide and start the full-day adventure by visiting one of the 7 wonders of the modern world: Christ the Redeemer. You will travel through a rainforest to reach it then, after a photo op at the awe-inspiring statue, you will head to visit to the Maracanã Stadium to see the site of the 2016 Olympics. Then, on to the Sambodromo where Rio’s Carnival competition takes place. You can take photos with the costumes and learn from your guide about Brazilian Carnival culture. Your guide will take you through the historic centre to discover Colombo Bakery, opened in 1894, it still preserves its Art Nouveau decor. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro is next up, a masterpiece of modern art famous for its unusual architecture, then the Lapa neighborhood -where the old aqueduct Lapa Arches is located. The final locations will be Selaron Staircase – 215 colorful steps, one of the most fascinating and original staircases in the world - and Sugar Loaf mountain. You will head here by takeing the cable car from Urca hill up to the top. This unique rock formation also offers a fun way to reach its summit, enjoying views out over Rio and its surroundings. This truly is an all-inclusive tour, one wherein you can experience the best of the city.

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Rio de Janeiro: Pub Crawl in Lapa

8. Rio de Janeiro: Pub Crawl in Lapa

Join the best pub crawl in Rio de Janeiro and discover the real nightlife of this marvelous city: Samba, street parties, and caipirinhas. Shake up your Rio visit with a four-hour pub crawl in the Lapa neighborhood, enjoying fun and easygoing night full of music, drinks, and new friends from all over the world. Play drinking games and taste test cachaça, the main ingredient of caipirinha. Visit three bars mostly frequented by locals, and it’s very likely you'll learn some samba steps, as well as the night, goes by. This is topped off with several drink discounts and a VIP entrance to all of the bars.

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Rio: Botanical Garden, Tijuca Forest, and Parque Lage Tour

9. Rio: Botanical Garden, Tijuca Forest, and Parque Lage Tour

Following a pickup from your hotel, the eco-tour will first explore one of the world's largest urban forests, Tijuca Forest. Stop to visit some important points of interest such as the Taunay Waterfall, Tijuca National Park Visitor Center, and the Chinese Lookout. If you wish, you can take a short walk through the Atlantic Forest as well. Next up, you'll go to Jardim Botânico, the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, one of the most important botanical research centers in the world. At this attraction you can visit important points such as the Orchid Garden, Pestle House, the Sensory Garden, the Central Fountain, and the other fascinating diversity of Brazilian and foreign flora. Finally, you’ll go to Parque Lage to take the photographs of one of the most charming mansions in Rio set to the backdrop of Christ the Redeemer. The mansion is also equipped with a coffee bar, bistro, and art exhibitions.

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Rio: Christ, Sugarloaf, Selerón & Sambadrome Full-Day Tour

10. Rio: Christ, Sugarloaf, Selerón & Sambadrome Full-Day Tour

Make the most of your time in Rio de Janeiro with an 8-hour city tour. Throughout the duration of this experience, you'll discover the city's most iconic attractions whilst enjoying the company of a bilingual local guide and a small group of no more than 14 people. Enjoy a lively day filled with popular attractions such as the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Maracanã Stadium (outside), the Selarón Staircase, and the historical downtown district. You'll also encounter both the Sugar Loaf and Corcovado mountains, along with the Christ the Redeemer Statue and other sights. Later, discover the bohemian Santa Teresa neighborhood, which is home to a collection of local boutiques and galleries.  Enjoy fast-track entry with monument tickets included (for non-private options only). You'll also be awarded time to purchase lunch at a reputable all-you-can-eat buffet steakhouse restaurant, and will be returned back to your tour starting point at the conclusion of your tour.

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What people are saying about Rio de Janeiro

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 844 reviews

Our guide Edmundo was very experienced, friendly, patient and kind. The tour was very informative and Edmundo showed us every corner and explained everything. We felt very safe with our guide. We were a very nice group.

This was one of the best tours. I felt safe and the experience was amazing and the view was picturesque. It opens your mind about the fevalas. Alberto was the coolest guide. I had to do the tour twice!

The favelas are part of Brazil and immersing yourself in their breasts for a few hours is really a must to understand their history.

Edmundo was fantastic and we highly recommend. We took our 10 year old son and we felt completely safe the entire time.

Our guide had so much knowledge about the favella and did a great job educating us on life there.