Emma
EmmaPortland, USA"Oi, hey! I’m Emma, I have dual citizenship for Brazil and the USA, and I have been living in Rio since 2011 (with a brief pause in 2012 to study in Scotland for 9 months). I am in love with this city. "

Emma

Gallery

About

Oi, hey! I’m Emma, I have dual citizenship for Brazil and the USA, and I have been living in Rio since 2011 (with a brief pause in 2012 to study in Scotland for 9 months). I am in love with this city. I really feel as if I have found myself here, and I have already lived in a handful of other countries so I guess I’ve tried out a few places :) I was alphabetized in Spanish, spoke English growing up, learned some basic French in school, and learned to write in Portuguese when I was 18. I’ll be sharing bits and pieces of my world right here. I am in love with Brazilian culture, dance, music, and art. I started a blog for fun a couple of years ago, so if you want to check out my photography and tips on Rio click on the link below! https://simbora.co/


Hobbies

Yoga, Surf, Dance, Vegetarian Cooking, Beach, Photography, Hiking, Playing music


Occupation

Graduate Student


Languages

Portuguese, English, Spanish, French


Interests

  • Sports
  • Nature
  • Photography
  • History
  • Shopping
  • Food and Drinks
  • Local Culture
  • Art and Architecture
  • Music and Dance
  • Outdoor

My prices

  • Full day USD $312.0
  • Half day USD $156.0
  • Virtual friend USD $65.0
Prices include all fees and taxes.
Prices shown are for 1 person. An extra 30% will be added for each additional person joining the group.

Local experience

When I travel, I love exploring the more off-the-beaten path places and would hope to show the same to anyone visiting Rio. The possibilities of activities to do in this city are endless, rain or shine. If the weather is good in Rio a typical tour with me could include tagging along for a yoga lesson, riding around the lagoon by bike in the AM to enjoy the beach, grabbing lunch at an open air market and cooling off in the afternoon at a local waterfall. If the weather isn't in your favor, a local tour could include spending the whole day seeing fantastic museums, wandering through the cobblestone streets in the heart of downtown Rio, and drinking cappuccinos at the oldest coffee house in town. I also love delicious food and pride myself on knowing the best vegetarian/ veggie friendly restaurants in the city.


Badges

7 Reviews



Imported from

Emma

Emma

Emma will definitely help you realize what you are seeking, when in Rio! In my case, I wanted to get some Yoga, Samba and Awe-Inspiring hiking in. Checked the box on all of them, but truth be told, the entire experience was so much sweeter than I ever imagined. Emma is super bright, beautiful and spiritually gifted woman. She is a wonderful person, likely to keep you smiling all day and night, as you might explore a Favela for a home cooked meal, after hiking to one of the most breath-taking views of Rio De Janiero, or she might invite you to witness some authentic samba, where musicians share their passion with the world or maybe even a night on the town, where friends join together, a stone's throw from the beach, to share their stories... Her presence in and out of the Yoga studio makes you feel at peace with everything that is going on around you. If you need anything at all, somehow she finds the time to get you back on track, pronto! Her attention to detail and making sure that you're feeling good about your local experience, in general will surely make you feel loved, as much as one of your closest friends might do for you and that my friends is worth its weight in gold, especially when you are far away from home! All I can say is that your vibes definitely attract your tribe. If you are fortunate to connect with Emma, you will surely feel that you have done a few things right in this life:) https://www.tripadvisor.com.br/ShowUserReviews-g303506-d2417009-r470715787-Rent_a_Local_Friend-Rio_de_Janeiro_State_of_Rio_de_Janeiro.html#


May 2018
Rating



Imported from

Emma

Emma

My wife, Jean, and I visited Rio de Janeiro via cruise ship in February, 2018. We decided not to purchase the ship one day bus tour which was very expensive and would require touring in a bus with 60 other fellow passengers. We opted for a customized, private tour of Rio using "Rent a Local Friend" as our personal guide. We selected Emma Platais who Has a Brazilian Father and American Mother. Emma speaks perfect English and is a font of knowledge when it comes to Rio. We contacted each other via email prior to the cruise and requested a one day itinerary inclusive of all the Rio "Must Sees" for first time visitors. Emma designed a custom itinerary that included Sugar Loaf, Christ the Redeemer, The Beaches, Copacabana Fort, the Botanical Gardens, the Favelas, and the Olympic stadium. Emma organized all tickets that had to be pre-purchased and we traveled through Rio in Ubers which were less expensive than the taxis. A Bonus was Emma took us to a place that served the BEST Cappuccino I have ever had anywhere in the world. We also requested that Emma arrange reservations for a Brazilian steakhouse after the tour was completed. She made reservations at Fogo de Chao which is situated on the waterfront with a magnificent view of Rio. Emma met us at the passenger terminal and was waiting for us at the 9:00 am appointed time. She did not accompany us to the top of Sugar Loaf or the Christ the Redeemer statue but was always waiting for us at the designated meeting place upon our return. We felt completely safe with Emma even though Rio de Janeiro can be a somewhat dangerous city to visit. Emma was our guide from 9 am through 6:30 pm at which point she dropped us off at Fogo de Chao. Emma left us at the restaurant but not before discussing with the manager who we were and how we needed to be placed in a taxi that would return us to the cruise terminal. Highest Recommendation is hereby given to Emma. https://www.tripadvisor.com.br/ShowUserReviews-g303506-d2417009-r563140935-Rent_a_Local_Friend-Rio_de_Janeiro_State_of_Rio_de_Janeiro.html#


May 2018
Rating



Imported from

Zoltan Castillo

Zoltan Castillo

In my case, I wanted to get some Yoga, Samba and Awe-Inspiring hiking in. Checked the box on all of them, but truth be told, the entire experience was so much sweeter than I ever imagined. Emma is super bright, beautiful and spiritually gifted woman. She is a wonderful person, likely to keep you smiling all day and night, as you might explore a Favela for a home cooked meal, after hiking to one of the most breath-taking views of Rio De Janiero, or she might invite you to witness some authentic samba, where musicians share their passion with the world or maybe even a night on the town, where friends join together, a stone's throw from the beach, to share their stories... Her presence in and out of the Yoga studio makes you feel at peace with everything that is going on around you. If you need anything at all, somehow she finds the time to get you back on track, pronto! Her attention to detail and making sure that you're feeling good about your local experience, in general will surely make you feel loved, as much as one of your closest friends might do for you and that my friends is worth its weight in gold, especially when you are far away from home! All I can say is that your vibes definitely attract your tribe. If you are fortunate to connect with Emma, you will surely feel that you have done a few things right in this life:) https://www.tripadvisor.com.br/ShowUserReviews-g303506-d2417009-r470715787-Rent_a_Local_Friend-Rio_de_Janeiro_State_of_Rio_de_Janeiro.html#


May 2017
Rating



Imported from

Anna R Johnson

Anna R Johnson

I could not have wished for a better trip to Rio! Emma was so knowledgeable, welcoming, kind and generous with her time! Not only was I able to visit many sights, hikes, restaurants and bars around Rio, Emma also provided fantastic recommendations for my future travels around Brazil. Emma is a mother-tongue English speaker and also speaks fluent Brazilian Portuguese, which made me feel extremely safe in her hands and she was able to help me with a particular incident involving nearly having to pay a HUGE fine for a bicycle! (THANK YOU!) All in all I would recommend Emma to everyone travelling to Rio. I was so welcome in her city, and it felt less like a trip and more like I was living there with close friends. Thank you for a fantastic time Emma. https://www.tripadvisor.com.br/ShowUserReviews-g303506-d2417009-r450972839-Rent_a_Local_Friend_Private_Tours-Rio_de_Janeiro_State_of_Rio_de_Janeiro.html#


Jan 2017
Rating



Cressida Pidgeon

Cressida Pidgeon

I could not recommend Emma enough. Apart from her being fluent in English and Portuguese, which was very helpful when we tried to book appointments, restaurant tables etc, she is super sociable and just lovely, instantly making you feel at home. During our stay in Rio, she always had an event to invite us to or a fun recommendation in and around the city. Through her we also met her Carioca friends, meaning I felt I had a very authentic experience of rio. Emma is a wonderful human being!


Jan 2017
Rating



Jack Wakefield

Jack Wakefield

Emma was an absolutely brilliant tour guide for the day - being half American and half Brazilian she can speak both languages completely fluently but since she has lived in Rio pretty much her whole life there is no trade-off for a lack of knowledge or culture; she is 100% carioca!! We had the most awesome time seeing the sights, generally more of the out-of-the-way stuff that the city has to offer but she also gave us advice on how to approach the more mainstream activities (like ways to get up Cristo Redentor to beat the crowds etc) and also fun hikes and stuff both on the outskirts of the city and further afield. She is great fun, always up for a laugh and truly delightful company - couldn't recommend her highly enough. Enjoy!!!


Jan 2017
Rating



Shannon Keating

Emma

Great friend to have in Rio!


Jan 2017
Rating


Explore Portland With Emma


Tour of City Center by Foot

Tour of City Center by Foot

Walk through downtown as you learn about the history of the city! We will start at the Municipal Theater in Cinelândia, walk towards the Imperial Square, visit the Candelária, and then walk back through the bustling streets towards Confeteria Colombo (the oldest coffee house in the city). Here we can have traditional Portuguese and Brazilian pastries, as well as the best cappuccino in town!


Hike Dois Irmãos

Hike Dois Irmãos

Hike up to the mountain top known as Dois Irmãos (the two brothers in English) from the base of the Vidigal favela. We will take local transport up to the top of the trailhead, and proceed to hike about 1hr and 30 min to the top! Once up there, you will have stunning views of Barra da Tijuca, Ipanema, Copacabana, and the Lagoa. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring water and a snack!


Waterfall Hike

Waterfall Hike

We will begin our walk in the residential neighborhood of Horto. Once we reach the beginning of the trail, we will hike about 30 minutes to get to the waterfall Cachoeira da Imperatriz. After an initial cool off we will continue on the trail to dip in some natural pools a little further up. Bring good walking shoes, a bathing suit and towel, insect repellent, water, and snack.


Tips and traps of Emma


Bar do Gomez

Eat & Drink

Bar do Gomez

This classic bar is a great place to spend some time while visiting Santa Teresa. It was once an old groceries shop and is decorated by original antique pieces throughout the place. Order a draft beer, or try some cachaça and snack on classic Brazilian appetizers such as bolinhos de bacalhau (fried codfish balls), cooked aipim (cassava root), or delicious pasteis.

Medium ($$)

14h-00:00 hours

R. Áurea, 26 - Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20240-130, Brazil


JoJo

Eat & Drink

JoJo

Located at the back of the Botanical Gardens - I recommend spending the afternoon there, and leave through the other exit onto Rua Pacheco Leão to enjoy an early dinner or drinks. Make your way up the street about 10 minutes and you will see the restaurants on the right hand side. JoJo has great food and a cozy outdoor seating area!

Expensive ($$$)

18h-2:00 hours

Rua Pacheco Leão, 812 - Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22460-030, Brazil


Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB)

Art & Culture

Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB)

The CCBB is one of Rio’s classic museums, and is located in Banco do Brasil’s ex-headquarters down in the center of the city. Past exhibits have included Dalí and Picasso as well as prominent Brazilian artists, in a gorgeous classic historical building.

Cheap ($)

9h-21h hours

R. Primeiro de Março, 66 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil


Pedra da Gávea

Sport & Outdoors

Pedra da Gávea

Known for its breathtaking views and steep hike to the top, Pedra da Gavea is a must see if you are up for the adventure. It is the highest point in the whole city, and the hike is about two hours, if going at a steady pace. There are boulders, tree trunks, and an inclined rock wall along the trail. Once there, you will be able to see across the bay to Niterói and the whole surrounding area.

Cheap ($)

Dawn til Dusk hours

Pedra da Gávea - Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro - State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


La Carioca

Eat & Drink

La Carioca

La Carioca specialty is the traditional Peruvian classic, ceviche, or raw fish marinated and cooked in lime juice - but there are plenty of other options available too. I recommend ordering the Ceviche Mix, and the Pulpo Andino. If you are feeling adventurous try the Leche de Tigre! The pisco sours are highly recommended, or the sangria jars. The desserts are also delicious, you can’t go wrong!

Medium ($$)

18h-00:00 hours

Rua Garcia d'Avila, 173 - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22421-010, Brazil


ZaZa Bistro

Eat & Drink

ZaZa Bistro

This place has a funky interior design and a wrap around porch where you can sip caipirinhas and people watch as locals return from the beach. My favorite area is the second floor, where you take off your shoes and sit cross legged on big cushions surrounded by dangling fairies hanging from the ceiling. It has an eclectic mix on the menu and has been inspired by Mediterranean and French cuisine.

Expensive ($$$)

12h-18h , 19:30 - 00:00 hours

R. Joana Angélica, 40 - Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22420-030, Brazil


Praia da Joatinga

Sport & Outdoors

Praia da Joatinga

My favorite (not so secret) beach, tucked away in the neighborhood of Joá. If you go on a weekday, the beach will almost surely be just yours! Watch out for the tides though, because com high tide the beach disappears and you have to stay on the rocks! Take a cab to the gated community and just say you are going to the beach.

Cheap ($)

Dawn til Dusk hours

R. Lasar Segal - Joá, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22611-100, Brazil


Naturalie Bistro

Eat & Drink

Naturalie Bistro

Naturalie Bistro is located on a sleepy street in Botafogo. The inside is spacious and lined with dark wooden tables and chairs, a chalkboard with the day’s specials, and the shelves are filled with an assortment of glass containers full of different grains. The menu has a variety of vegetarian options including Brazilian feijoada, Indian curry served in coconut shells, salads, and small entries.

Medium ($$)

11h-18h hours

R. Visc. de Caravelas, 11 - Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil


Bar do Mineiro

Eat & Drink

Bar do Mineiro

Established in 1992, this bar serves classic Brazilian food and is always bustling. The interior is of white tiles and decorated with lots of quirky knick-knacks. Order their renowned Feijoada that comes with couve, rice, farofa, and oranges. I recommend arriving there early to get a table, since it fills up quickly!

Medium ($$)

12h-00:00 hours

Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 99 - Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil


Confeteria Colombo

Eat & Drink

Confeteria Colombo

One of Rio’s oldest cafés, Confeitaria Colombo was founded by two Portuguese immigrants in 1894. Since then, it has created a lasting name for itself by producing top quality pastries and gourmet specialties. I would recommend waiting for a table in order to enjoy the antique splendor of the floor-to-ceiling mirrors. It’s a great place to stop by and escape back in time to a bygone era.

Medium ($$)

9-19h hours

R. Gonçalves Dias, 32 - Centro, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20050-030, Brazil


Cultivar

Eat & Drink

Cultivar

The small, hole-in-the-wall café serves the best pão de queijo in all of Rio! And their heaping servings of açai can be blended with banana or granola, or both! You can also buy organic products such as honey, tea, snacks, and other goodies. Always packed with families, locals, and tourists grabbing some pre-dinner snacks.

Cheap ($)

8h-20h hours

Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 124 - Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil


Feiras

Eat & Drink

Feiras

I love the bright colors, the smell of fresh cut flowers and fruits, and the overlapping sounds of vendors calling our prices at the open-air markets, or feiras (fey-rahs). They can be spotted all over city on designated days by their striped stands, known as "barracas" (bah-ha-kas); that are put together in the early morning hours and usually are taken away after lunchtime.

Cheap ($)

7h-14h hours

Praça Santos Dumont - Gávea, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil


Pedra do Sal

Music

Pedra do Sal

Located at the foot of the city’s oldest favela, Providência, Pedra do Sal is a historic landmark. The “salt rock“ marks the place where slaves would bring salt off the ships to dry on the smooth surface. Today, that same surface, provides samba lovers a chance to relax and listen to the roda de samba, or “samba circle”. Come ready to enjoy the local scene and hear some great music!

Cheap ($)

Monday and Friday night sambas starting at 19h hours

R. Argemiro Bulcão - Saúde, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20081-040, Brazil


Parque das Ruinas

Photography & Views

Parque das Ruinas

If you love stunning views as much as I do, then Parque das Ruínas is a great stop! There are no lines, few tourists, and it is located on a quiet street in the beautiful neighborhood of Santa Teresa. The historic mansion was once an important meeting place for renowned artists of the early 20th century. Its structure has been preserved and it now serves as a cultural center for the city.

Cheap ($)

9h-17h hours

R. Murtinho Nobre, 169 - Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 20241-050, Brazil


Feira de São Cristóvão

Events

Feira de São Cristóvão

When I think of the famous Feira de São Cristóvão, nothing else comes to my mind other than florescent lighting, minishorts and high heels, family dinners, dangling dried fish, cachaça, accordions and musical triangles, pink strobe lights, and half of Rio de Janeiro all getting cozy under one tent. Go on a weekend night, get lost in the maze of small tents and shops, and belt out some karaoke.

Cheap ($)

15h-20h hours

Campo de São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil


Tucum

Shop

Tucum

One of my favorite stores in Rio! Tucum is filled with jewelry and goods made by different indigenous tribes from Brasil. A portion of the proceeds goes back directly to the tribes to help support their craft and art.

Medium ($$)

10h-20h hours

Rua Paschoal Carlos Magno, 100 - Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil


Comuna

Eat & Drink

Comuna

A multifunctional place where art, great food, and music come together, Comuna is one of the most happening places in Botafogo. The food is of the best quality, and everyone I know raves about their burgers. If you prefer the non-meat options like I do, I recommend the veggie burger, spring rolls, sweet potato fries, and fried pastries with cheese or veggies. They have fun cocktails too!

Medium ($$)

18h-2:00 hours

R. Sorocaba 585, Botafogo


Ferro e Farinha

Eat & Drink

Ferro e Farinha

Ferro e Farinha has become one of the most popular pizza spots in the city, and for a good reason: the pizza dough and ingredients are of the highest quality and baked to crispy perfection. I love the different combinations, and highly recommend the white pizza served with spicy honey and goat cheese. The place is small and there is almost always a line, but it is totally worth the wait.

Medium ($$)

19h-00:00 hours

R. Andrade Pertence, 42 - Catete, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22220-010, Brazil