Insider's Guide to Rio de Janeiro

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Mark B

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
May 2012

Our arrival transfer didn't turn up and left us at the airport trying to find a transfer to our hotel!
Our departure transfer was okay, however we had to walk 15 minutes to a hotel for pickup which was a bit difficult with our suitcases!


2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2011

Not a good experience. The shuttle did not show up @ 9:00 and we wait for another hour @ 10:00. The driver did not find other 6 passengers and ran around the terminals several times till almost 11:00 a.m. We wasted almost two hours that should be taken us @ 9:00 a.m.

Gcastillo Costa Rica

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
May 2011

Pick-up driver was not at the convened meeting point. Tour operator logo was not visible. Return driver was excellent. I still highly recommend this instead of airport taxis.

Richard S USA

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
April 2011

First of all, they tell you to go to a meeting point at the airport once you get out of customs. Well, the meeting point is right by a food stall. There's no desk indicating where to go nor is there a company representative waiting there directing you where to wait. Just by asking around did we figure out that you just sit on the chairs and wait until the driver shows up.... which in our case wasn't for close to an hour after our arrival time. The return trip to the airport was OK.

Betty H

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
February 2016

We arranged this prior to our trip to avoid any confusion and it still was very stressful. On both legs..pick up at airport and transfer back to airport---the pickup was late. We sat for about an hour upon our arrival and was told by the tour information desk that they were always late--lots of fun after an overnight flight.. We were ready to get an alternative transfer back to the airport as they were late again and knew the plane would not wait for us but they finally came. If you should use this service, you need to add much more lead time than recommended.

Angela S

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
June 2015

I'm usually a huge fan of viator and its services and heavily rely on them when traveling outside of Europe. It was difficult getting a hold of the tour agency via e-mail had no problems with them during my other tours in Brazil. First they couldn't find my booking, after they found it, they didn't tell me at what time they would pick me up. So I followed all the instructions on the voucher and just waited for anyone to show up I waited for an hour. The driver didn't speak a word English and the van was disgusting. My flight back to Europe was 3 days later. I asked the tour agency via e-mail again when they would pick me up for my flight on Monday morning on Saturday. I didn't receive an answer e-mail, call etc. at all. I took a taxi to the airport. They only replied to my e-mail informing them I'd take a taxi to airport, telling me that they didn't reply because it was the weekend and why I was complaining because I had no problems with them for the other tours.
I recommend taking a taxi - cheaper and more reliable

Harlan B

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
March 2015

never showed up. The Information people had t call, and we were kept waiting over an hour.
had airline schedule changes, which I emailed them. Still not good. Wished I would of taken a Radio taxi.

James S

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
February 2015

My flight was delayed so the driver didn't wait and I had to take a taxi.

Perry R

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
December 2013

This is the 1st time that I've had a problem with a local shuttle via Viator while traveling. On the trip from the airport to my hotel not only did the driver try to take me to the wrong hotel then with the attitude that I didn't know where my hotel was but they did it again on the return trip to the airport. I was constantly on the phone with them trying to explain where my hotel was located while they talked to me as if I was wrong and didn't know where I was. This constant explaining while 'roaming' on my AT and T phone service tripled my phone bill for that month. When the guy at the shuttle office finally decided to listen to my directions, they sent a large new bus to take me to the airport. But what I had to endure was ridiculous.

Anita P

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
September 2013

The driver was 45 minutes late on the depature leg. When he finally arrived, the seats were taken up mostly by the luggage of other travelers. We were packed like sardines and it was miserable. Eould definitely not recommend this to friends and associates.

Duddana W

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
August 2013

Waited 3 hours before I was picked up.

Alex A

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
August 2013

Rather disappointed on arrival. We waited in arrivals for one hour. We eventually found out that pick up is from the departures section. Not much sense but that's the way it is. After waiting for a further 45 min in the departures the driver finally showed up. Our return pick up was OK.

Malcolm W

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
June 2013

I bought the round trip. When i arrived at the airport no one was there. When i rang the supplier i was told that as I was going to an apartment they would not take me as they only took people to hotels. I had told the Viator booking that I was going to an apartment but they must have missed either that or the fact that the contractor only services hotels. I had to take a taxi.

Kyle J

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
June 2013

I love Viator and rely on them, particularly when I am traveling out of the Country. This is the first time I've had a problem. I would NOT recommend the shuttle transfer. I waited at the airport for 3 hours, and after 2 phone calls to the local provider of the shuttle, they still did not show up. And when I called to schedule my return to the airport, they told me they couldn't take me because they didn't have room. Even though I pre-paid for the service! Viator should consider working with a different local company.

Rajendran N

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
April 2013

We arrived at 1030 in Rio. We asked airport information desk after waiting an hour and couldnt get any info. I called the number provided and was toldthe van was on its way. We waited till 1230 before the van arrived.The driver had no cue where our hotel was and didnt speak a lick of English. He took us to the Golden Tulipin Copacabana and insisted that was our hotel. Me and my wife refused to get down there as we were booked at the Royal Tulip in Sao Conrado.He made some calls an was ranting in Portugese and kept using my wifes name as it was easier to pronounce. I kept telling him the booking was done in my name. After another half hour he finlly realised there was a hotel by the name of Royal Tulip. He had to get directions from someone on the phone on how to get there. We were appalled. This man shouldnt be driving tourists around. Very BAD first impression of Brazil. We reaached our hotel at 1430, almost 6 hrs after we landed.
Our return back to the airport was a horrendous and frightening one. The driver picked us up at 1830 from the hotel. Our flight was at 2330. He was in a tremendous hurry and was driving at breakneck speed, changing lanes while talking feverishly on his cellphone. I yelled at him several times to slow down. He took no heed and continued barelling down the road. We thought we were going to die in a wreck in Rio and said our prayers. When we got close to the airport he asked us which terminal and we said Terminal 2.Our fellow passenger also was going to 2. Guess where we were dropped? Terminal 1. He dropped us off and raced away like he was late for his wedding.
Terrible drivers both times. Do you think we tipped either of them?? Negative. They gave us a lousy taste of Brazil and its people. Dont think we will ever visit Brazil again. These people should be fired ASAP.


1 star rating: I do not recommend this
February 2013

Always late and quite rude drivers. Better take a taxi, believe me.


1 star rating: I do not recommend this
January 2013

from the airport to the hotel: 15 minutes late, plus the driver had some "personal" detour with some friends!

from the hotel to the airport: the driver arrived 1 hour earlier!!! Nevertheless, we were ready, so we went down to the hotel reception in 5 minutes, but the driver has left already!!

Khie Chen Indonesia

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
October 2012

The shuttle not ready at arrival gate.
After half an hour we are looking for the shuttle, some one help us to call the office, and they confirm to pick up at departure gate in 10 minute.

Gregory L

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
August 2012

The shuttle service was terrible. The instructions regarding the arrival pickup location were incorrect. The shuttle drivers were unsafe...driving while talking on cell phones (illegal in Brazil). Upon departure, there was no flexibility in arranging for a desired pickup time. The designated pickup time did not allow enough time to safely get through check-in lines and customs inspections for international flights. I was greatly disappointed and would never recommend this to anybody.

Danton S

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
July 2012

It is amazing that the itinerary is so different from what the dispatcher meeting point was. I am so disappointed at how late and unorganized the roundtrip shuttle transfer.

Andrew P

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
May 2012

Not so good. The pickup point is very sketchy. there are three proposed pickup spots in the airport and they were all questionable. Calling to confirm pickup is a long distance call and the language barrier (Portugese only) makes the call take quite long. The driver was not there for 75 minutes from the agreed time. we were waiting helplessly in the airport for all that time. We did get to our hotel though but after 11 hours oof air travel it needed to be more clear and reliable.

Trudy A Australia

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
January 2012

No one was at the airport to meet me because my flight was late. Asked a stranger at the airport who could speak Portugese to ring the shuttle for me to find out what was going on. Was told the shuttle would be back at x time and would pick me up then if I wanted to wait - this was another 1 1/2 hour wait. Not impressed.


1 star rating: I do not recommend this
October 2011

Unknown location at the airport. Although I had given my flight details previously I still had to wait an and a half to be picked up!! Horrible

Anna T

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
March 2011

When I arrived at GIG airport the driver was missing. I spent about 20 minutes trying to find him and it didn't help that he didn't have a sign with my name so it was pure luck when I found him. Unfortunately he spoke no english so it was difficult trying to get him to give me my return slip to confirm what time the transfer would be picking me up at the end of my trip and just told me to sort it out with the hotel instead! So the day before checkout I told them this and of course they said it was not their responsibility and had to ring the tour operator to find out why they would tell me such nonsense. Anyway they managed to confirm my pick up time was for 7pm the following day but the tour operator forgot to pick me up and weren't able to get someone to pick me up until 8.45pm! Worst transfer service ever.

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