I am a huge fan of TripAdvisor, but I don't understand why Marcio has so many five star ratings. I will tell you my own experience which was dramatically different from most others. I booked Marcio for a day with my family in Rio, but I honestly would not recommend him to anyone. While he does speak great English, he lacks a hospitable personality and is not very knowledgeable about the tourist attractions or history in Rio. He rarely offers any information about the city, and getting the small bit of information he does have out of him is like pulling teeth. He took us around the city logistically flawlessly, but wouldn't honor our requests of which sites to see. He was on a sort of "auto-pilot" mode. After insisting that its best to go to the Christ Redeemer statue with a guide (you can manager just fine without), we were hurried down the mountain after he pointed out the parts of the city we could have seen for ourselves from the information provided on the sign at the top. After that, he drove us through the Santa Teresa neighborhood, and suggested some places for lunch. Marcio just doesn't have the proper personality to be a great tour guide. He didn't smile once all day, and was just a bit of a drag for visitng such a beautiful and bustling city such as Rio. When we had specfically asked Marcio to take us on a tour of the downtown area, he said two times that it wasn't possible because there was no parking. There is a metro system in Rio, and I'm sure paid parking lots, but instead of offering the other options, he simply ignored our request and took us to another church instead (since it did have parking, lol). When we got there, he didn't have any information about it! Luckily, we drove past the samba stadium, and I asked him to stop, and we had fun taking pictures in the samba outfits. He showed a little enthusiasm and information about Carnival in Brazil, but that was the extent of the knowledge he was willing to share with us. Overall, it wasn't a wasted day and he's one of the cheapest english speaking guides in town, but I wouldn't recommend him. Take you chances with someone else and you might actually have a tour guide who is happy to take you around and show off the best sides of Rio. Our last 4 days in Rio without a guide were fantastic and I absolutely love the city.
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