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Review Highlights
Michael Serruya was an excellent guide

We had Michael as a guide through Tours by Locals for a whole-day private tour of Rio. He was... read more

Reviewed 31 May 2018
Karen R
New York City, New York
Emma Platais is Simply The Best!

My wife, Jean, and I visited Rio de Janeiro via cruise ship in February, 2018. We decided not to... read more

Reviewed 27 February 2018
John H
Boca Raton, Florida
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29 - 34 of 46 reviews
Reviewed 22 March 2013

After reading trip advisor reviews, my colleague and I decided to try Rent a Local Friend for our visits to Rio and San Paulo. This was definitely the right way to go.

In Rio, we toured with Flavia for 2 days and got the full immersion experience. She is a delightful young woman and her fantastic English and knowledge was only exceeded by her driving skills (no joke, take up the option to have her drive you around to the various destinations). We felt that we saw all of the highlights at a comfortable pace. She took us to great restaurants and tailored the tour to our interests (my colleague is an MMA enthusiast and we visited a shop that sells work-out clothes only in Brazil). We couldn’t imagine a better companion for Rio.

In San Paulo, we toured with Polyana for a day. We used the subways (very clean and we felt safe) and walked. We did walk a lot (our choice) as it was a great way to work off the jet lag. Again, we felt we really got a good sense of the city – from the top of the bank building to the markets to Bat Man Alley (where we saw some great graffiti art). Polyana was another delightful young woman (I just realized I’m dating myself) and a very knowledgeable guide. She also was very responsive to our interests and we had lunch at a terrific place.

Both my colleague and I feel that we did indeed make local friends. I often hire guides when I travel and these two individuals were among the best I had. I’m hoping this service expands to other locals.

Date of experience: March 2013
1  Thank ssands
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 13 March 2013

Laís is the most lovely person you would have ever met in your life. Having her walk me around Rio was so much fun and informative. Rio is such a wonderful place and having Laís doing the tour in her city made it much more awesome. She paid careful attention to all my needs made sure i was happy with the tour all along the way. If any one is looking into the option of a local friend in rio Laís comes highly recommended.

Date of experience: March 2013
1  Thank basil_jenifer
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 23 February 2013

Rent-a-Local-Friend is a tour organization that allows a traveler to see the local culture through the eyes of a local. The itinerary is customizable according to the traveler’s preferences.

I found out about Rent-a-Local-Friend while perusing the web, and thought it would be a great idea since I was traveling alone. The great thing is that you get to choose the person with whom you feel you will be the most comfortable and compatible. However, it is not guaranteed that particular person will be available to give you a tour.

Speaking of which, the person I chose wasn’t available, so I was given another guide, Glaucio, and really there could not have been a better choice!

As soon as it was confirmed that Glaucio would be my guide, he promptly started communication with me, asking about things/activities that I would be interested in seeing in Rio. I chose the full day tour because I wanted to take in as much Rio as possible while with someone who is knowledgeable about the city.

My day in Rio with Glaucio was fantastic! It was the best day of my time in Rio. We visited the Tijuca Forest, the Botanical Gardens, the Centro, the beaches, and many many other interesting sites around the city. I really wanted a walking tour, and that’s exactly what I got. I feel like I got to see more of the people and culture of the city because of that. Glaucio also showed me how to use the metro and bus system. For the rest of my time in Rio, I had no travel getting around on my own.

I LOVE to walk and was a little afraid that my love of walking (endlessly) would be too much for Glaucio (or anybody for that matter), but he never complained. The goal was and is to make a tour based on the preferences of the traveler, so I got exactly what I wanted.

Glaucio was such a wonderful guide, and he is passionate about his city. He seemed to know everything about the history, culture, and economy of Rio and about Brazil in general. I was very impressed. He’s also a very nice and considerate guy, very professional, polite, honest, all with a sense of humor.

After the tour, Glaucio marked some other places/sites on the map that might be of interest for me to visit. All of his suggestions and recommendations I took, and that made my time in Rio more fulfilling.

Rio de Janeiro is gorgeous. You may only have one chance to visit. There is so much to see and do there. So don’t wait your time idling around. Look up Glaucio and you will not regret your time in Rio! It’s really hard for me to imagine a better tour guide than him!

Date of experience: February 2013
5  Thank Morazan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 28 December 2012

This November my mum and I did a 4h walking tour with Flavia. I had no time to get an overview of Rio in advance so having someone to walk around was perfect for us. Flavia was a wonderful guide who took us to all the places we were interested in. Unlike the Lonely Planet states, Rio turned out to be a very safe and easy-to-explore city. We felt safe at any time and had a lot of fun, especially seeing places you would never see from a tour bus :) Flavia speaks english perfectly and knows a lot about Rio - actually anything we wanted to know. Booking someone over rentalocalfrind.com is worth every real, and I hope many others will be able to do such tours! If you like walking a lot, I totally recommend such a tour!

Date of experience: November 2012
1  Thank feldhase_27
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 17 December 2012

I brought my family with me on a business trip and Alex was the perfect guide for the days when I was working. I previously had great experience with Rent a Local Friend in Sao Paulo and Brasilia so I felt secure booking them for my wife and daughter. I did spend the first half day with them, just to make sure. After that, Alex showed them the landmark attractions as well as local ones. He was extremely flexible and understanding as plans often change with a 2 year old is in tow.

Date of experience: January 2012
1  Thank T_Dang
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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