Getting around in Rio is easy: just get in a cab! 1 out of every 3 cars is a taxi (or so it seems). What’s more: it’s cheap. You can go from downtown to Ipanema for about R$20 (US$10). From Ipanema to Barra for about the same. Just remember to ask the taxi driver if he knows how to get to where you want to go before you step in “voce sabe chegar no …. “ pronounced “vo-say sa-bee shay-gar no [insert place here]…”. If he doesn’t know, take the next cab.
A safe and comfortable option if you are going to or from the downtown area is to take the “Frescão”, an air conditioned passenger bus that serves the business commuters. They go for R$5 and run more frequently during rush hours.
Renting a car is not a good option unless you have a Brazilian escort who will be driving you around. It does become helpful if you are planning on visiting Buzios, Petropolis and Paraty (cars are not allowed in Ilha Grande).
The classy option is always chauffeur service, available outside 5 star hotels. Although their rates start at R$70 an hour, some chauffeur services are also accredited tour guides, making them an excellent alternative to guided tours.
Marcelo Esteves (UK,ES)
Another option, if you master a little Portuguese or some Spanish, is to ride the vans on the beach routes. For R$4, you can go from Ipanema to Barra. Of course, if you are in a group of 4, you are better off taking a cab. Just signal a van that has the name of the neighborhood you are heading to, shuffle your way in and tell the driver when he should let you out.
Of course, there is also the subway, which is very fast and convenient for those traveling between downtown and Copacabana .
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