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Ecstatic! The feeling or expression of overwhelming happiness or cheerful excitement. That’s exactly how I felt the first time I step inside a chopper, to tour one of the most stunning and awe-inspiring cities I’ve ever been to.

Rio de Janeiro.

Embraced by mountains and tropical rainforests and bounded by gorgeous beaches, the city whose name means, January River that was coined out of the first encounter of Portuguese explorers, who sailed on expedition in January 1500, and thought Guanabara Bay was a river; Rio de Janeiro has been continuously charming countless tourists and travelers from that day on. Rio is undoubtedly beautiful on land, but her most spectacular view is seen from above! From a privileged seat inside a helicopter, I decided to feast visually on Rio’s incredibly picturesque topography, consisting of lush green forests, world famous sandy stretches of Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema, and to fly around one of the two New Wonders of the World in South America – Cristo Redentor or Christ the Redeemer!

After reading reviews on travel forum online, I opted to take my Rio de Janeiro Helicopter tour via Helisight. I coordinated with them through emails a few months before my August 2015 trip to Brasil, Peru and Bolivia, and they were clear to state their no-advance-reservation-policy. Needless to say, I simply took their office address in Lagoa where one of their helipad is located, googled the weather in Rio on my preferred date of flight, and just walked in as per advice.

Here’s the photoessay of my probably once-in-a-lifetime-flight over Rio de Janeiro!
The waiting area outside the office of Helisight in Lagoa, Rio de Janeiro.
The chopper arrives in the helipad from a completed flight. docgelo_rio4
The staff greet and escort the passenger(s) before and after the flight. docgelo_rio5
An obligatory photo-op before riding the chopper. docgelo_rio6
And off we went over the adjacent lake. docgelo_rio7
Can you guess how many passengers I was with? Tee hee! docgelo_rio8docgelo_rio9
Leblon Beach!
Ipanema Beach!
Copacabana Beach!
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. docgelo_rio19docgelo_rio20docgelo_rio21docgelo_rio22
Then there He was! On top of Corcovado mountain. Cristo Redentor!
Christ the Redeemer at Corcovado mountain and Pão de Açúcar or SugarLoaf mountain.

(In order for the flight with Helisight to push through, there must be at least 3 out of 4 passengers per flight, otherwise, one may pay for the three seats particularly if he/she prefers to do so, or when one doesn’t want to wait for other passengers. For further information regarding Helisight Helicopter tours, kindly check their website for flight details and offered rates. THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED BLOG POST).

Massive thanks to Matador Network for sharing my photos on Instagram!

This South American Travel Blog Series includes :


  1. Incredible sights and shots.

    • Thank you! 😊

  2. As expected, great photos. Someday!

    • Thank you! 😊

    • Thanks, Joey! You’ll love Rio as much as I did.

  3. Grabe doc! Amazing pictures! Makikita ko din si Cristo Redentor in 2 year’s time! ^_^

    • Hi Milet! Thank you for reading my blog! Really appreciate it!

      Yes of course; your trip to Rio will happen if you make it happen! 😊

  4. Out of words with all your shots Doc! Simply amazing!πŸ™Œ

    • Haha! Maraming salamat! 😊

  5. Amazing, wonderful, GOD and Humans creations.

  6. Beautiful bird’s eye view of Rio. They are postcard-worthy photos.

    • Thank you so much, Doc! 😊

  7. it sends me goose bumps seeing that Cristo Redentor on my iG feed, truly it was majestic and it was an amazing shot.

    • Oh my goodness! Thank you! Your words, made my day! πŸ™‚

  8. I’m forever planning but never got there. My bucket list HAS THE WHOLE CONTINENT in my dreams. Will post this on my page. Nice one, Doc!

  9. nancy nancy

    Very inspiring article Doc Gelo! Just curious Doc, did you book the helicopter ride ahead of time ? the same with yoru iguazu helicopter ride? Thanks!

    • Hi Nancy. I think I mentioned in the post that Helisight does not accept reservation. It’s a first come first served basis.

      • nancy nancy

        oh, darn! i missed to read that part! thanks anyways! your photos were amazing, i enjoyed viewing them… looking forward to more of your travel posts! ☺️ cheers!

        • Thank you! Stay tuned for the follow up post soon!

  10. Yang Yang

    anong camera po ang gamit nyo doc?

    • Hello Yang. I used fuji xa2

  11. those photos are impressive!!! would love to do it someday πŸ˜‰ PedroL

    • Thank you! 😊

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