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Women travelers in Rio

urbana, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 posts
18 reviews
22 helpful votes
Women travelers in Rio

Hi fellow Rio travelers:

I'm still basking in warm memories of golden Rio, a city that far exceeded my expectations. I had heard horrible things about Rio but was put immediately at ease by guide Martha Vaconcellos who greeted me at the airport with a huge smile that never left her face. I had contacted her in advance of our arrival and had worked out the financial details for a tour of Rio (less than half the price of hotel bus tours) and, while I had expected a professional guide, I had no idea that I would make a new friend.

Martha is a lovely woman, an ideal representative of the friendly people of Rio, who self supports her two children. She had provided me with options for tours over the internet and so I was prepared to walk and take public transportation to get a real up-close view of the City. She was prompt and enthusiastic and off we went to take the subway (beautiful and exceptionally clean) to the Cathedral, to walk down St. Teresas and to take the funky tram to the Christ statue with Martha expounding on the history, the culture and social mores all the while greeting a myriad of acquaintances (I mean she knows everyone!) and pointing out architectural features, churches, exceptional pieces of art, samba bars, and so on. She made the magnificent City of Rio come alive.

We had no trouble getting into one of the oldest most exquisite downtown restaurants for lunch.

Martha is proud of her City, clearly loves her job and her enthusiasm for life bubbles over. With some notice, she can also act as a guide to Rio's nightlife. With Martha as your guide, you will have a truly exceptional time in Rio at a price far less than you would pay for a hotel tour that spends half the day picking up and dropping off guests at the various hotels.Also, you will feel safe and pampered. Martha knows Rio like the back of her hand and will keep away from unsafe areas. She did not ask for one penny up front only wanted to be paid at the end of the tour.

Please e-mail me personally cdiana2@insightbb.com if I can answer any questions. I will even send you pictures. In addition,

I had earlier met on two women at the hotel, the very nice Copacabana Plaza, and Martha didn't bat an eye, nor ask for a additional penny, when I asked them to join us for part of the tour. We all had a blast!

I recommend Martha to you without any reservation whatsoever. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions and for information on how to contact her personally.

M. Casey Diana, Ph.D.


Level Contributor
1,500 posts
2 reviews
5 helpful votes
1. Re: Women travelers in Rio

Would you mind telling us the cost/expense and duration of your tour ?

Denver, CO
5 posts
2. Re: Women travelers in Rio

Hi everyone, I just want to echo Casey's comments about Martha. She was our guide in thanksgiving when I went with my mom, her husband and a friend, and Martha was our guide for a favela tour. We thought she was so great that we ended up hiring her for two more days for private tours. We did Santa Teresa, the rainforest and Corcavado, and we basically just made it up as we went along. Martha has great connections--she got us into a popular lunch spot with no reservations, and we skipped the line on a couple other things because she is known. I have no connection to Martha-except that, like Casey, we feel we made a new friend. If you want, contact me at lorilorax@hotmail.com, or you can reach martha at martha.guideinrio@globo.com

As for women travelers, go, go, go to Rio. I've traveled all over the world by myself, including SEAsia. I was traveling with family in Rio, but I would not hesitate to go back by myself. Sure, there are dangerous spots in Rio, but I've lived in NYC, Washington, DC and now Denver, and there are parts of these cities that I wouldn't go into by myself or in a crowd. It's all a matter of being careful and not doing stupid stuff like wearing flashy jewelry or waving around wads of cash after you come out of the ATM. Martha can help with that too. For example, my mom bought some jewelry at a store, and Martha got us a cab back to the apartment we were renting. She advised us which cabs were safe. She really emphasized safety on the favela tour--I never felt like we were in danger at all. I also have great pics I can share--except for one of Santa Teresa, where Martha had a really cool surprise waiting for us. It was one of the highlights of our trip, but you will have to go on the tour to find out for yourself, because I'm not giving away the secret.

Have fun. Lori

3. Re: Women travelers in Rio

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