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Seeking recs for reliable guide in Rio de Janeiro

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We (myself, husband 60+ and 30+ son) will be in Rio (our first trip to South America) for 3 days in early May- Arriving early May 3, departing late May 5. We have a hotel in Ipanema but keep hearing about safety issues and have been advised to tour with a guide to ensure safety.

We will probably spend one day near the beaches--son on the beach, husband and me walking along near them. The other two days we'd like to see the city --both at ground level (primarily centro but possibly also Santa Teresa) and also from Corcovada. We may also want to see the Botanical Garden.

For which of these pursuits would a guide be best advised? I'm assuming that we can go to the Botanical Garden on our own (or with a local woman we know) and also take the trip to Corcovada without a guide. Right? Would we be best advised to use a guide for both the beaches (seems like we'd not be doing much but walking, stopping, drinking, looking, so the guide would be more of a guard than a guide--or do I have the wrong idea completely?) and the centro/santa teresa areas--the place it seems most useful to have a guide IMO--or am I wrong again?

Anyway, for however much guiding we decide we need, can anyone recommend a good one? Or should we seek out walking tours instead? If so, again, would appreciate recommendations. Thank you.

BTW, prior to our time in Rio we will be in Buenos Aires for 8 days. Although I know we have to be careful there as in any large city, I have not had the dire warnings for it as for Rio and we are planning to tour unaccompanied. Wise?

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