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Trip Report 3.5 days in Rio

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My trip report is slow in coming--so much piled up while I was gone. But I hope to get this up before I forget the details.

I had 3.5 days over Brazil's National Day to visit Rio for the first time before heading to Sao Paulo for a conference. The travel down was stressful due to the approaching hurricane and the inability of airline agents to reroute me successfully to avoid MIA. I made it through on the last night the flight took off. On the return, I called and rerouted successfully through DFW because my return flight had only made it out 1 day and was 6 hours late. Then the computer rebooked me through MIA because of a delay. I spent hours again trying to connect with a human and eventually rebooked again through DFW delayed, then my original flight took off on time via MIA. My time in Rio was much less stressful.

I'm more of an outdoors person than a city person, but I like architecture, history, and learning about local cultures, so Rio sounded interesting. I am female traveling alone and don't speak Portuguese--little Spanish. I thought I would visit the top easy sites via taxi or on standard group tours and hire a private guide for some more personalized touring for a day or two, but after emailing with 3-4 guides, discussing options, etc. I decided to hire a private guide with airport pickup/dropoff included for a very reasonable price. It was a great decision. I can't say enough about how great Meilin Mares Guia was. She is a multilingual (I think English, Portuguese, Spanish, French) Rio native who became a tour guide 10 years ago, She knows the city, the history, the culture, the traffic and she plays percussion for samba. She was professional, reliable, flexible enough to adapt and change my itinerary when new ideas arose, and good company. I strongly recommend her for individuals, families, and groups. I know she prefers families so she has a chance to get to know the people and tailor activities to their interests, which isn't always possible with a large, diverse group.

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