By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Cidade Maravilhosa has captured the hearts and minds of travelers for decades, and now that the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics have passed successfully, the city looks forward to their increased tourism appeal. One travel company set to help visitors explore the best of Rio is “Jinga Experience”, which was launched by three American-Brazilian brothers in 2015.
The boutique travel and tour business was founded by Alexander, Evan and Nick Farr, who are the children of a Carioca (from Rio) mother and a father from New York City. The team prides itself on providing a smooth running operation with American efficiency and service levels, with the Brazilian warmth and style that Cariocas are famous for.
Brothers Nick and Evan first arrived in Rio de Janeiro in the fall of 2010, but did not settle here until 2013. In early 2015, they finally convinced their third brother, Alexander, to move from Istanbul and join them in Rio de Janeiro. “There is just an energy about this country that we haven’t felt anywhere else. It’s hard to put your finger on it, but when you feel it, you know,” says Evan Farr, co-founder.
Together they started their first venture, USA Rio English, a small private English teaching business that provides students of all levels and professions, with direct contact to native speakers. After stabilizing the language-course company they set their sights on a mutual passion of theirs: Travel.
The Jinga Experience team’s focus developed into what Evan Farr expressed in their mission statement. “The soul of Jinga Experience is where our two cultures connect. American minds with Brazilian hearts. American ambition with Brazilian rhythm. Jinga Experience is American professionalism with Brazilian swag.”
Farr explained, “Jinga Experience stays true to its identity and only offers experiences that reflect how we [the brothers] prefer to travel. […] small intimately sized groups, local guides, avoiding lines and huge groups of people at all costs; and have an experience that is unique.”
Adding, “[We] stay away from the typical places Rio is known for and focus tours on those local gems that Cariocas may know of but those who are traveling may not. […] Allow us to take you somewhere where you haven’t heard of, where the experience will be more interactive and memorable.”
With a focus on hiking, adventure and cultural excursions, the team does not suffer from a lack of options. Also Jinga Experience says they strongly believe in the ideals of ecotourism and looks to actively participate in the development and improvement of local social projects and the favela communities it visits.
Now that the Olympics are over, Even Farr shares his thoughts on how he predicts the tourism business to be. “We have high hopes for tourism in Rio de Janeiro and Brazil now that the Olympics are over. The wonderful thing about Rio de Janeiro is a travel company does not need to fake or exaggerate how naturally beautiful and culturally exciting it is, the city does that on its own.”
For Jinga Experience, their goals in the short term are focused on their niche of creating unique memories. “Within the next year the company is looking to expand the multi-day trips to other special places in Brazil, such as the lesser internationally known Chapada dos Veadeiros, to the beaches of Bahia, among others.”