My girlfriend was doing research for our trip on Trip Advisor and heard about using a private tour guide was the best way to see Rio de Janeiro. She sent me 3 links to choose from and asked me which guide was my first choice. I chose Manu because I liked Manu Peclat's pictures and suggested itinerary and he seemed like a nice friendly guide. My intuition was correct. Not only was Manu friendly and personable, he showed Rio with much love and enthusiasm and was an amazing photographer. I'm really picky about how photos are taken. He had taken a photography class and enjoys taking pictures. He had great angles and took amazing photos with us in them. It was so nice to not have to worry about how the picture was centered or ask if it can be retaken the way I wanted. He knew exactly how and where the best spots for photos. He knew how to set the camera for the best lighting.
Besides being a great photographer, Manu was very knowledgeable. My girlfriend was impressed that he was able to answer every question she had. Since he was a teacher, he knew his facts. Having lived in the U.S. before, he spoke very good English, so it was very easy to understand everything he said. With his colorful and fun personality, Manu made the day so much more fun while learning about the beautiful city of Rio.
He also knew where and what to eat. The food in Brazil is really good. But we got to eat at a peaceful cute artsy cafe in colonial Santa Teresa and had delicious smoked turkey ciabatta sandwiches with sun-dried tomato sauce. There's no way anyone could have that personal experience with a big tour group. In downtown, being a popcorn lover, I noticed the popcorn vendor right away and was hoping to get some. Sure enough, without having to say anything, Manu got us popcorn, which was different but still very good. It was a light caramel popcorn on the bottom half and regular popcorn with real BACON, yes, bacon and not bacon bits on the top half.
It was a beautiful day, seeing the postcard views from Sugar Loaf and paragliders and hang gliders soaring around Christ the Redeemer, which Manu pointed out was rare to see under normal wind conditions. But Manu made our day in Rio even more special and perfect. Thank you, Manu, for such an amazing tour of Rio de Janeiro and allowing us to really enjoy Rio and its many beauty. You made it so much more fun and easy to see this beautiful city. Thank you for showing us the Carioca way of life!
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