I'm a seasoned traveller and never normally use tour company's. However, we were staying in an airbnb flat in Ipanema, Rio in May/June 2013 and asked the host for advice how best to see the sites and he suggested a Rio City Tour and recommended we go over to the Terrasse Hostel where we could book. This hostel works with Inside Rio Tours. They do a range of tours and we chose the 5 hour city tour for R$170 (£55). This included visiting Christ the Redeemer, Santa Teresa, then the place where the carnival is hosted, Lapa Steps and Sugar Loaf. The price included entry to Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. It does not include any food or drinks, so i recommend you eat just before the trip & bring your own drink/snack, unless you want to buy along the way from one of the sites (expensive!). The staff members we booked with both spoke fluent English and were very helpful we were told we could book in person/phone/email up until the day before we wanted to go but needed to pay in cash before the trip starts. As we booked via Terrasse Hostel, we were asked to be there for 1.30pm for the start of the tour, however, Inside Rio Tours do pick up people from their hotels. Terrasse Hostel, Ipanema, Rua Farme de Amoedo 35, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The guide spoke English, Spanish, Italian and could also speak French, he was really friendly and knowledgeable and he looked after us all well. The mini-van was air conditioned and the driver drove safely. The guide even did little magic trips for our entertainment - all in all it was a fun experience and i would definitely recommend.
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