Private Rio: Highlights of the City

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
  • duration 6 hours
  • tour type Group
  • minimum participants 2
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Ends Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Enjoy epic views of Rio from iconic sites like the Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Explore the bohemian district of Santa Teresa and shop for locally made souvenirs
  • Visit the famous nightlife hot spot of Lapa (to help you plan your evening later on!)
  • Climb the colourful Selaron Staircase, a stunning mosaic created over a span of 23 years
The Private Rio: Highlights of the City tour starts and ends in Rio de Janeiro. The Private Rio: Highlights of the City is a sightseeing tour that takes 6 hours.

Take in the best of Rio de Janeiro in just one jam-packed afternoon on your own private tour! You’ll see every one of the Marvelous City’s highlights, from the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue to the colourful Selaron Staircase, with a local guide all to yourself. You’ll also explore districts like bohemian Santa Teresa and nightlife-loving Lapa. Finish it all off with an epic sunset view over Guanabara Bay and Copacabana Beach from atop Sugarloaf Mountain. 
This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers.  
5 - Excellent
Based on 802 reviews
Ms. Kirsten's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Ms. Kirsten
  • On Feb 26 2016
“We went on the Temple and River of Kings Urban Adventure in November 2015. Our wonderful guide Wawa took us on a local bus to the Grand Palace, a huge complex of royal residences, temples, and bureaucratic buildings in the heart of Bangkok, which we explored for a couple of hours. It was desperately hot and unbelievably crowded - in one sense not at all pleasant, which is the only reason I marked "overall experience" as less than Excellent - but a brilliant immersive experience, and as a tourist, we couldn't very well begrudge the other tourists! Wawa is very knowledgable - she's also very funny - and the architecture and culture are wonderful to explore. Next we had a break from the crowd on a long tail boat on the Chao Phraya - the river of kings. This was a lot of very noisy fun, though it was hard to hear Wawa's commentary. Next, behind the Grand Palace, Wawa escorted us to the beautifully maintained Wat Pho with its spectacular Reclining Buddha. Finally she showed us Wat Phra Kaew, with its fascinating architecture, its sacred Emerald Buddha (which is actually jade), and ubiquitous cats, before making our way back to our hotel. Bring: - culturally sensitive clothes (no tank tops - 3/4 or long sleeves, knee-length or below skirts for women, or long trousers - don't make my mistake and wear 7/8 trousers! - and trousers for men) - reasonable footwear - sandals ok - you'll need to be able to take them on and off if you want to go into the temples - camera - hat - sunscreen - bottled water - some change for gratuities - patience with the crowd! Approx 4 hours, and quite tiring”
Matt's review for another Urban Adventures tour
5 - Excellent
  • Matt
  • On Dec 22 2015
“I signed up in the off season, and it was the only one in the tour. Thomasz was very knowledgable and even offer suggestions/information about the town not directly related tot he Pintxo crawl. Highly recommended.”
Ms. Emily's review for another Urban Adventures tour
4 - Very Good
  • Ms. Emily
  • On Jan 18 2016
“We had a really great time. They promise that it was a hard paddle for a small section, not just our incompetence! The guys were fun and kind and it really felt like an adventure in our own backyard.”

You’ll start your private Rio de Janeiro tour with a visit to the most iconic spot in the city: the Christ the Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Mountain. We’ll head through Tijuca National Park to the mountain top, where you’ll experience the most amazing views of Rio (and get to snap the most epic selfie shots). You’ll discover first-hand why this site is one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World.

From there, we’ll make our way back down the hillside and towards the historic, artistic, and bohemian district of Santa Teresa. This neighbourhood was the first wealthy area in Rio de Janeiro and houses some of the most interesting shops in town. We’ll stop into a few places for you to see some locally made items and fulfill your souvenir shopping needs. 

Our next stop is at the modern Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral, designed by architect Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca and inspired by the Mayan pyramids. The stained-glass windows are a gorgeous work, reaching out all the way up to the ceiling. 

Your private Rio tour then goes on to the area of Lapa, famous for its nightlife, bars, and tambourine sounds that play throughout the night ‘til dawn. And of course, it’s impossible to visit Lapa and miss the Aqueduct, the main gate of the neighbourhood that is now used as a bridge for the Santa Teresa tram. Before we leave the district, we’ll stop by the world-famous Selaron Staircase, a colourful mosaic in Brazilian colours and featuring tiles sent in by tourists from over 150 different cities around the world. 

And we’re still not done! Lastly, we’ll move onto the Urca neighbourhood, where we’ll ride the cable car up, up, up to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain for jaw-dropping views of Guanabara Bay and Copacabana Beach — the perfect way to cap off an amazing afternoon in the Marvelous City!

(If you’d prefer to travel as part of a regular group experience, please book our Highlights of Rio group tour.)

This tour is priced for a minimum group size of two travellers. A solo traveller may still book this private experience but will be charged the base rate for two travellers.

  • Roundtrip private transportation from/to the designated pick-up and drop-off points
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Entrance fees to the Christ statue area and Sugarloaf cable car.
  • Food and drinks
  • souvenirs and personal shopping
  • tips/gratuities for your guide.
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Cancellation for this Private Rio: Highlights of the City tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.


Full payment of 249 USD is required to confirm this tour.

Travel Insurance

Private Rio: Highlights of the City tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Private Rio: Highlights of the City tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Meeting start point :

Hotels/hostels in the southern area of Rio: Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Botafogo, and Laranjeiras. For other areas, pick-up is from Copacabana Palace Hotel (Atlantica Avenue, 1702). We will notify you in advance of the pick-up time for your location.

Meeting end point :

Hotels and hostels located in the southern area of Rio: Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Botafogo, and Laranjeiras neighbourhoods. For other areas, the drop off is at the Copacabana Palace Hotel (Atlantica Avenue, 1702).

If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.