There are some places in the world where a personal guide is not only an enhancement to the appreciation of the location visited, but also a vitally useful tool in making the most of one’s limited time. Rio de Janeiro is such a place, and Lysis Machado is such a guide.
Of course, Rio’s Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon beaches and neighbourhoods are world famous and easily explored. The casual visitor usually leaves this part of the town only to visit the Christ The Redeemer statue atop Corcovado Mountain. The surprise is that Rio de Janeiro is a very sophisticated, cultured, and cosmopolitan city that offers much more than beaches and caipirinhas. The city centre is packed with beautiful old buildings as well as striking new ones that reflect the entire history of Brazil from its time as a colony of the Portuguese Empire through its reign as the seat of the same empire to the capital of modern Brazil (until 1960) and now the capital of Rio de Janeiro state. Rio’s many museums offer interesting exhibits, its restaurants serve delicious meals, and its nightlife is vivacious until the wee hours. Beyond the traditional tourist areas, though, Rio is a bit difficult to navigate, and the city’s reputation for crime and unsavoury activity is not completely without warrant. For these reasons, Rio is an ideal place to engage the services of a professional local guide who is on top of all that is new and interesting in the city and who also knows where and when to go around town.
Lysis Moreira Machado is a longtime guide with years of experience proudly taking visitors around her city. Lysis (pronounced LEE-zees) takes her clients around Rio in her car, often stopping for interesting visits to places that guidebooks and websites don’t reveal. Rio is very spread out and traffic is a nightmare, and with public transport somewhat intimidating to the out of towner, a private car is the best way to see the city. With Rio’s taxi prices on the high side, the cost of a few hours with a private guide is not much more than the taxi transport would be alone, with the added benefit of having someone explain the sights as they go by and who can permit twice as much accomplished in half the time.
Yes, it is so much easier to navigate Rio from the passenger seat. Aside from her friendly, positive attitude typical of many cariocas, Lysis also has the gift of persuasion. This comes in handy when encountering overzealous museum staff, parking attendants, cashiers, administrators, and others who eventually see the light according to Lysis Machado. In a country where things don’t always go according to plan, it is also reassuring to have someone like Lysis on side who has a Plan B when Plan A goes awry.
Lysis Machado may be contacted directly in Brazil by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at +55 21 2235 4907. A request to Melbourne-based South America Travel Centre can also put into place a visit to Rio, Lysis style.