Private Essential Rio Experience

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Experience the sizzling culture of Rio on this private tour through its music, food, language and nature while visiting the most iconic attractions. It's so much more than a tour, it's a dive into the local culture.

Private Essential Rio Experience

This private and intimate "Ultimate Rio Experience" is so much more than a tour, it's an exclusive dive into the local culture just for you or your small group. Along with quintessential sights, your expert guide will teach you key Portuguese phrases, introduce you to the local flavors and musical sounds of Brazil, and share fascinating traits of the Carioca people, letting you in on the secret of their contagious joy.

You can choose to see exactly what interests you and go where you would most like to venture. Or, leave the day up to your local guide who can recommend an endless amount of sites to see and enjoy. This tour is completely customizable and the route can be up to you and at your own pace and on your own time.

As an example, you could start your Bom Dia (Good Morning) as you dive into Rio culture by making your way to the World Cup Maracana Stadium, home of the 2014 World Cup and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

You can see the Sambadrome stadium to view the stage for the city's glorious annual Carnival Parade. Drive to the heart of the city and get a look at Metropolitan Cathedral with its unorthodox modern style based on the architecture of Mayan pyramids.

Continue to the world's most beautiful staircase as you admire the intricate, colorful mosaic tile of the 215-step Selaron Staircase that was featured in the music videos of Snoop Dog and U2. Don't forget about the world-famous Copacabana or Ipanema, the beaches of Rio are some of the most breath-taking in the world. You could even choose to see the Copacabana Palace, with a prime location overlooking Copacabana Beach, Belmond Copacabana Palace is one of the best Rio de Janeiro hotels.

Take a break and relax with lunch at a local recommended venue from your knowledgeable driver. He can offer options with panoramic views to enjoy while trying the local and traditional cuisine (Lunch will be at guests own expense).

No trip to Rio would be complete without a visit to the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the 7 wonders of the world. Situated at the top of the 2,300 foot Corcovado Mountain, this pedestaled art deco statue of Jesus Christ stands 123 feet tall with 98 foot outstretched arms that symbolically hug the city and its residents below.

Or if you would rather see the famed Sugarloaf Mountain, board a glass-paneled cable car and have the opportunity for a bird's-eye view of the Guanabara Bay before saying Boa Tarde (Good Afternoon) to this magical city.

Reserve your private tour today and be assured you will enjoy the most unique tour you could have in Rio, as you will get to arrange your own itinerary.

Please Note: Your tour includes a guide and either a visit to Christ the Redeemer or Sugarloaf Mountain, it will be your choice. Transportation is wheelchair accessible. Guests must be able to walk on an incline and over unstable surfaces including paved, cobblestone and gravel surfaces at some sites that also require the navigation of steps. No wheelchair or walker access available at certain sites. It is recommended that you bring a light jacket due to winds on the mountain.

About Shore Excursions Group
Shore Excursions Group  logo
Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind: to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Our owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to deliver memories of a lifetime.

We are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. We understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, we provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe our expertise and approach set us apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. We focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, we are experts in delivering shore excursions.

Our Approach
We believe quality service is not only highly valued by customers, but ultimately leads to better experiences and higher satisfaction. Unlike the cruise lines and other tour companies that rely almost entirely on websites, we encourage customers to call us. We want to invest our time answering your questions, providing input, and selecting the excursions that best meet your needs.

Our Tours
Our goal is to provide customers a wide array of exciting, appealing, and enriching tours. For those customers who prefer to travel in smaller groups with more personalized service, we offer a wide variety of small group tours around the world. These tours generally range in size from 2-12 people compared to larger tours which can number up to 50 people. While exploring the destinations and ports on this website, feel free to search for these "Small Group Tours". For those customers interested in private tours, we offer many outstanding excursions that allow you to travel with your party alone and, in many cases, to fully customize your tour. Search for "Private Tours" if you are interested in this experience. Our "Scenic" tours provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth from majestic glaciers in Alaska to spectacular reefs in the Caribbean. Our "Cultural" tours allow customers to experience local customs, entertainment and culinary delights ranging from tribal dances in Alaska to an outstanding local meal in Santorini, Greece. Our "Active" tours offer a multitude of exciting and adventurous ways to experience our destinations. Our customers can kayak the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, hike to a spectacular waterfall in Hawaii, or bicycle through quaint villages in France. Our "City" tours allow travelers to see the highlights of great cities around the world with unique insights provided by our expert tour guides.

Our People
In our experience, exceptional travel experiences are almost always delivered by exceptional people. With that in mind, we utilize a comprehensive approach to select and employ the leading tour guides and tour providers around the globe. We hold our people to very high standards which we measure by our comprehensive Quality Control process and, most importantly, by our customer feedback, which we will actively seek from each of our customers.

Our Owners
Shore Excursions Group is owned by seasoned travel executives possessing extensive experience across many sectors within the travel industry.

Bradford J. Miller
Mr. Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, the World's leading luxury travel company. In that role, Mr. Miller was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences. Prior to joining Abercrombie & Kent, Mr. Miller held a variety of executive positions with Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises for more than a decade. These positions included Vice President of Guest Sales & Service, Vice President of Brand Development, and Vice President of Onboard Revenue (which included shore excursions). Mr. Miller also led Celebrity Expeditions, a collection of outstanding and unique tours around the World.

Michael Bonner
Mr. Bonner has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises. Most recently, Mr. Bonner was the Chief Operating Officer for The Scholar Ship, a Royal Caribbean program aimed at providing college students onboard educational programs in conjunction with enriching shore excursions around the world. Mr. Bonner also helped co-manage Viking River Cruises U.S. Operations, and he ran the corporate, strategic, and deployment planning functions at Royal Caribbean. While at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was responsible for forming Royal Celebrity Tours, Royal Caribbean's land-based tour operation in Alaska, which takes cruise passengers on multiple day tours through the interior of Alaska either before or after their cruises. Prior to working at Royal Caribbean, Mr. Bonner was a consultant for Booz Allen & Hamilton.
Starting At
$240.00 USD
Per Person
Tour Type
Group Size
Activity Type(s)
Cultural, Active, Scenic
Tour Duration
8 Hours
Activity Level
Tour Leaves From
Cruise Ship Pier
Food/Beverage Provided
Snacks, Beverages
Special Instructions
We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and sensible walking shoes. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are suggested. A light jacket may be needed while at the mountain, it can be windy.
Transportation is wheelchair accessible. Guests must be able to walk over paved, cobblestone, and gravel surfaces, some of which are at an incline at certain sites. Steps are required to visit some sites, this will not be accessible for guests with wheelchairs or walkers.