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Taxis in Rio + iPhone

New York City, New...
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Taxis in Rio + iPhone

I'm going to Rio on Friday and have rented an apartment. What is the best way to book a taxi from airport to ipanema? Would it just be at the airport? Do I ask for meter or negotiated fare? Do I tip? Should I just write down the address and show it to driver and he'll have no problem getting there (I don't know any Portuguese) (I don't care about getting some expensive luxury car service)

How cheap are taxis in Rio? Would I be better off with tour or doing Christ Redeemer/Sugar Loaf on my own?

Also, in regards to iphones, I know it's bad to flash them, but would you just recommend leaving them at home and not carrying them with you? Would really only want to use it out in the open for taking photos and in the event I get lost

Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
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1. Re: Taxis in Rio + iPhone

My advice would be to book a radio taxi at the airport because peace of mind is very important when you first arrive at an unfamiliar destination.

Immediately upon exiting the customs clearance area at GIG, you will find three or four booths for the radio taxis. Just speak with any one of the attendants and pay for your taxi (cash or credit card). Process takes about three minutes. (Ask for a discount, and you can get around 10% off.) Now that you've paid your fare you won't have to worry about a driver overcharging you or deliberately taking a detour to run up the meter.

You’ll be given a slip and told where to meet your driver outside of the terminal. You then hand the driver the slip, tell him the name of your hotel, and you are immediately on your way. It’s really very simple.

Radio taxis are for the most part new, clean, and the drivers, many of whom speak some English, are professional and trustworthy. You pay a bit more, but you do avoid the usual hassles.

You can pre-book a radio-taxi return at the airport when you first arrive. Before you are ready to be picked up at your hotel, it’s best to call the radio taxi number to confirm your prearranged time and place for your departure.

Taxis in Rio:


Do the tours on your own.

Corcovado Information:

Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., the train leaving every half hour.

Ticket price for adults: R$46


Sugar Loaf Information:

Hours: the ticket office opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 7:50 p.m.

The park always closes one hour after the ticket office.

The cable cars depart every 20 minutes or whenever full capacity is reached (65 passengers).

Ticket price for adults: R$53



Take your phone with you, but be careful.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
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for Rio de Janeiro
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2. Re: Taxis in Rio + iPhone

"What is the best way to book a taxi from airport to ipanema? Would it just be at the airport?"

Take a cab from the airport. There are two cab services. One is known as "radio taxi" and the other one is just the regular yellow cab. Radio taxis are pre-paid inside the terminal (credit cards accepted) and yellow cabs will be waiting outside the arrivals area. Differences? Radio cabs only work at the airport, take cards, are more expensive and are a good option for late night and for those with lots of luggage (they can provide a larger car). Yellow cabs are less expensive (20% - 30%), don't usually accept credit cards and provided that they have a company name on their side, they're just the same thing. Lots of reports on that here on TA. Make your choice.

You never tip cabs in Rio and the yellow cabs in the city run on the meter. The only local custom is to round values - eg. if your ride is R$ 10.85, it's very likely that your driver will expect to receive R$ 11. The same if the ride is R$ 11.10. You can give 11 and in 90% of cases drivers won't ask for the exceeding 10 cents.

Take your iphone with you, but don't flash it; just use it and put in in your pocket/bag. If you go to the beach, make sure your belongings stay with someone while you go to the ocean. You'll see that ocean waters in Rio are cold, so people usually chill on the sand and just dive sometimes. So it's perfectly doable to keep it with your friend/partner. In major attractions, it's pretty OK to use it.

One last piece of advice is related to a scam at the airport HSBC ATMs. Please read this thread: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g303506-i1199-k648… That said, make sure you exchange your money after you settle in your apartment, by going to a nearby exchange booth or to a bank lobby ATM (Banco do Brasil, Citibank, etc). If you need money for your cab, exchange only the necessary at the airport, as exchange rates there are bad, just like everything in airports are more expensive.

Adelaide, Australia
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3. Re: Taxis in Rio + iPhone

We were there in September and both carried iPhones most of the time and didn't have any issues. Just don't flash them around. A few places have free wifi which we found very useful.

4. Re: Taxis in Rio + iPhone

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