The most magical way to explore the Marvelous City is by helicopter. The best company in Rio to fly with is Helisight. There are nine different flights ranging from R$150 (USD $60) to R$875 (USD $365) per person. The accept cash and credit cards (including American Express). There are also two heliports, Sugar Loaf and Lagoa. We DO NOT recommend using the Sugar Loaf heliport unless you plan to make a day of visiting Sugar Loaf Mountain and don’t mind a little chaos. We DO recommend using the Lagoa heliport. There are no lines, no traffic and the area around you is calm and absolutely beautiful! If fact, you can see Christ the Redeemer from the heliport in Lagoa.
Rob and I took a tour that brought us from the Lagoa heliport, down Ipanema, around the corner to the infamous Copacabana beach with the grand finale being the twice around circling of the most famous “new” wonder of the world Christ the Redeemer. It was one of my favorite experiences in Rio. Here’s a little video of our helicopter flight.
Here are a few tips for your helicopter trip:
#1: All flights are for a minimum of 3 people. If you can’t find anyone to go with you then you can wait 30 minutes for them to sell the remaining seats. If they can not sell the remaining seats then you can fly without paying for those seats yourself. If you want a private helicopter and are unwilling to wait the 30 minutes, then you must pay for the third seat.
#2: Bring your camera and video camera. You’re able to take as many pictures as you want.
#3: Make sure it’s a clear day. In Rio often there are low hanging clouds. You want to get the most out of your helicopter ride and visibility is key, especially when circling Christ the Redeemer.
#4: Which ever package you choose, make sure it includes Christ the Redeemer. You’ll fly so close you’ll think you can touch the statue!
If you DO plan to use the Sugar Loaf Heliport then know the following:
#1: Arrive very early and get in line to take the cable car to the first rock station. This is where the heliport is located.
#2: The tickets for the cable car are NOT included in your helicopter price. They are about R$20 per person.
#3: There is often a lot of traffic getting to and from Sugar Loaf. During high tourist periods, plan a little extra time.