Thanks to Helisight‘s panoramic air tours, you and your friends can discover a hidden Rio unknown to even the hippest Carioca. Those who frequent Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas will be familiar with the sight of group tours launching from the helipad, but this isn’t the only launch spot. You can start your tour at Morro Dona Marta, in front of the Corcovado mountain, or from Morro da Urca, just off the first stop on the cable car. Choosing the launch point will also determine the particular flight, which can last anything from six minutes to an hour, as well as the price, which can range from R$ 240 to R$ 1,400.
Jeovanna Maria, 29, a culinary student from Espirito Santo, has lived in Rio for seven years and chose to fly from Morro da Urca: “It was my sister, my best friend, and me. After a nice walk, pausing every so often to see the monkeys, take in the view, and snap some photos, we got to the launch pad. It’s worth the trip just for the view from here alone, even if you just go back down afterwards. But we decided to go up in the air. Aboard the helicopter, I had butterflies in my stomach and was thrilled to see the city from up high, especially since it’s so dynamic and different from your typical airplane flight. It was really special. We were approaching the Cristo statue, pretty impressive in itself, when the pilot asked us if we had ever seen the toe. Just imagine! Of course, we never had. The view of the statue is always from below looking up. So he flew right over the Cristo’s foot, which, it turns out, is incredibly detailed. We flew back and finished the day at the Mureta de Urca, watching the horizon and all agreeing that Rio de Janeiro is beautiful from practically every angle.”
Bianca Lima Dufour, 27, a nurse, took the flight from Lagoa and explained how she overcame her fear: “I just thought it would be great to have a different view of the city. At first I was afraid of the helicopter, because it would sway and give me vertigo. Still, it goes slower than a commercial flight and the fear turns into delight, especially since you get so close to everything. Flying around the Cristo is especially amazing. I teared up a bit from the emotion of seeing it so close up.”
Helisight offers unforgettable panoramic views for Mastercard cardholders, leaving from Heliponto da Lagoa and flying over the Jardim de Alah, Ipanema, Forte de Copacabana, Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas, Cristo Redentor, and Leblon. The trip costs R$ 407.50 per person and can carry up to four passengers. Is there any better way to start the new year than with a fresh look on the world?