What our clients think about us:
“I always liked to travel solo, and never before have I considered a tour guide!
However, Renato is not your typical tour guide, Renato is your first friend in Rio.
A well educated, mannered, and trust worthy local who would show you not the “touristy” places, but some of the best scenes that Rio can offer, be it the highest peak in the forest, the mountains’ tops, or the stunning isolated beaches!
I initially contacted Renato to arrange for a tour to a place I felt inaccessible without the knowledge of a local, but I ended up spending 4 days with him!!
Renato saved me one of the most valuable things when you are in Rio; Time! and also gave me a huge added value, well worth paying for! He has the knowledge, he’s a very good driver, he’s a cool guy and easy to get along with, a good communicator, and your “must have” translator in a city where very few people speak English!
But above all, he is a friend who’s not there merely for the money!
Well done mate! keep it up!”
Ray D. – Manchester, England 01/09/2016
“Wonderful tours, personally guided by the excellent and sociable Renato who lives in Rio and knows all the best places. We were shown a level of hospitality far beyond our reasonable expectations, and along the way had a chance to find out about Brazil from the perspective of someone who is himself internationally well travelled and who understood our mindset.
There is no possible way that we ourselves could have found the places we were taken, and being chauffeured between destinations, leaving all the logistics to Renato, was properly being on holiday.
The photo opportunities were great too. We would like to thank Renato for all the personal attention he paid to us and for making our trip to Rio so memorable – we went there for the Olympic games but our greatest personal moments were on these tours. Thanks Renato”
Helen L. – Oxford, England 21/08/2016
“I am a seasoned traveler and Renato did an amazing job with ensuring we saw a different side of Rio. We were a group of 6 which makes things more challengeing and Renato made is seem easy. I’ve broken things down in 3 categories.
Organization/communication : Renato did an oustanding job constantly communicating with our group via what’s up days/weeks before the acutal tour day. On the day of the tour Renato was on time and acutually patiently waited for some friends that were a little late. Renato speaks great english and kept the tour moving gracefully to stay on time and get the best views.
Knowledge: Renato knows Rio very well and shares with you his insight of the area as well as what to do. Additionally, he focuses on safety and weather. In fact, Renato recommended switching the days of our 2 tours (hike & beach vs beach & hike) because of weather and it was totaly the right thing to do.
Places: Renato is not only a great person and tour guide but he truly takes you to places you would have never have found on your own. Even people that have lived in Rio for years couldn’t take you to these spots. What Renato and Rio Secret Spots will show you will change the way you look at Rio! THANK YOU RIO SECRET SPOTS!!!
Tony M. – Miami, United States 14/08/2016
We found Renato of Rio Secret Tours on social media and after seeing the amazing pictures he constantly puts up, our group decided to book not one, but 2 days of tours with him. It was well worth it! We are a big group of friends, and we were in town for the Olympics. We booked the West Zone Tour and the Rio Experience Tour (Morro Dois Irmaos).
We contacted Renato months ahead of when we were supposed to travel, and he was in constant communication with us up until our trip. His communication is great. And a big plus is that he speaks many languages so fluently (perfect English and Spanish). Once we arrived in Rio, we touched base once more and again, Renato’s communication was great.
Renato was also very attentive to making our trip as enjoyable as possible. He switched the days of our tours to ensure we got the most out of it, and had the best sun on days where we spent more time on the beach. We were very appreciative.
He arrived early to pick us up on both days. The transportation is very clean and comfortable, another major plus.
The tours themselves were so enjoyable. For the West Zone Tour, the highlight was hiking Morro Dois Irmaos. I do not hike, but I am active, so the hike was really enjoyable. Renato timed the hike perfectly, stopping us at places along the way to catch our breath and take great pictures. The view at the top is absolutely worth the hike! We were a bit unlucky in that it was a very cloudy day, but Renato was patient enough to wait with us for a break in the clouds. We were so excited to see the view. The rest of the tour that day was great as well – beaches and more viewpoints.
Our second tour was the Rio Experience Tour. It was a fantastic way to explore a different side of Rio. It is really a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to see the natural and raw beauty of Brasil. The beaches Renato took us to were only frequented by locals, and we were able to eat and drink at the beach. Renato made our time even better by bringing paddles, soccer balls, and towels. We then got to go to a natural pool that is created by rock formations along the coast, which was an incredible experience. This tour also includes a small hike, which we really enjoyed.
All in all, Renato is a fantastic tour guide. He takes you to places that you usually wouldn’t see if you went to Rio. He is attentive to the needs of guests and takes every step to ensure everyone is comfortable. When we visited the Chinese Viewpoint, he talked about the history of Jardim Botanico – something I really enjoyed learning. He knows a lot about the city he is showing off.
Best of all, Renato goes out of his way to make sure we get our pictures! He brings his own GoPro camera with all sorts of gadgets and takes great pictures of the group, free of charge. He sent us all the pictures by the next day – this really shows his attention to detail! I really appreciated that he takes these extra steps to document the tour for us.
I highly recommend Rio Secret Spots. We had a great time!
Stephanie M. – Miami, United States 23/08/2016
We are well traveled, we have used many private guides in the past and I have never written a good review, I have only written bad reviews in the past. However, our experience with Renato forces me into breaking my rules. This really says much about Renato!
Prior to our visit to Rio, I was in contact with 4 tour guides. After carefully screening every one of them, I selected Renato. His emails and correspondence to me was clear and concise. Renato and myself planned our 2 days of tours prior to our arrival to Rio. There was a total of 4 people in our group. We are not spring chickens, we range in ages from 42 to 55 years old. We are not athletes and not in the best of shape. On our 1st evening, he met with the 4 of us so we could have a meet and greet. The tours are amazing, you will see some of the most beautiful scenery one can imagine. I will not be redundant on the details, you can read the other reviews.
Renato will give you advice on how to maneuver on the paths or rocks to reach your destination. He will never hurry you and will give you help if you need it. If you question your physical ability, be sure to ask Renato about the type of hike so you do not get any surprises. We all did fine, however, I do not advise going on tour with a hangover. He has an excellent camera with wide angle capabilities and he will take pictures of you or your group and send you the pics (at no extra charge). He will also use your camera upon your request. Renato gave us a couple of restaurant recommendations, that were outstanding. We asked him to check into a few other things for us and he happily accepted the tasks. We do not speak Portuguese. If you are lucky, he might ask you to have a true Brazilian dinner experience with drinks with his family in Copacabana (for a small fee). We felt honored for this invite and gladly accepted. His family are good people.
If you are looking for a fun, knowledgeable, professional and capable guide, look no further, Renato’s your man! Renato is very reliable, always on time and ALWAYS does what he says he will do. Thank you again Renato for the memories! Ira and gang.
Ira T. – Daytona Beach, United States 06/06/2016
We did two days of tours with Renato and had an amazing time!! We were looking for something different than the typical tourists spots (Christ, Sugarloaf, etc) so we could experience the real Rio. And then we found Rio Secret Spots…
Renato is a local to Rio so he knows the city really well, has a lot of great recommendations and knows where the cool places are 😉 Renato was quick to respond and made us feel very comfortable during the initial email correspondence. From what I got from him, he was going to take care of us, which is exactly what we wanted to hear from a tour guide. After a few emails, we decided upon 2.5 days of itinerary. See below:
– Pedra Bonita Hike (awesome views of Pedra de Gavea and parts of Rio, not to be missed! About a 30-45 min hike depending on how fit you are).
– Joatinga Beach (This was one of my friend’s favorite beach. It’s more of a local beach so it’s not as crowded as Copacabana beach. Nice place to relax).
– Favelas (We took a bus up to a starting point of the Two Brothers Hike and it goes through the favelas. It was really great taking a quick peek and we always felt safe).
– Two Brothers Hike (My friends liked this hike the most and I think it had the most scenic views out of all of the hikes. This one was a bit more uphill than Pedra Bonita so keep that in mind).
– Handgliding (Renato went out of his way to organize handgliding for us with one of the Rio handgliding companies. He has a friend who is a handgliding instructor. It was perfect weather and it was great handgliding, would HIGHLY recommend this. I’m scared of heights but even then, when you’re up there you don’t get scared anymore. Pictures and videos were included too which was awesome to show our friends and family. Loved it!)
– Surfing Lessons (We had a really great surf instructor who was patient, funny and nice. Would do this again!! Started at 7am so there was no one on the beach and made it really easy to learn. There was also a photographer who took awesome photos for a fair price).
– Prainha Beach/Grumari Beach (This was my other friend’s favorite beach(s) as the drive to the beaches are SUPER scenic. Kinda looks like something out of a movie. These are more hidden beaches and when we went on a Monday, there was no one really there which was nice!! Water was nice, sand was nice, all good all around).
– Secret Pool (This was probably my favorite out of all of the things we did. This secret pool is even pretty secret to locals in Rio…the water is very clear and clean, just the right temperature and it’s quite beautiful. The hike down is short but steeper so make sure to bring shoes with good grip and not flip flops).
– Pedra do Pontal Hike (Great way to end the last day of Rio…in my opinion, this was my favorite place to take pictures at the top. The hike up is a bit more challenging so bring your A game!! But it is definitely all worth it, great way watching the sunset on the last day…I miss Rio even thinking about this!!).
Overall, awesome experience and after talking to friends who also went to Brazil and did different things from us, I can truly say that we were taken care of by Renato. He is really passionate about his work and wants to show tourism in an alternative kind of way.
Sylvan G. – San Francisco, United States 02/05/2016
Fantastic tour/guide and great knowledge of the local area. Enjoyed a great day out and was customised to suit our trip. Gave us great pointers as where to go and hot spots when back in Inpamema. Pick up from hotel/apartment and awesome experience. Thanks Renato you legend! We will be back!
Tom R. – Sydney, Australia 27/10/2016