AIRPORT TRANSFERS MADE EASY!
You do not have to make your airport transfer arrangements beforehand. Just as you go past Customs and Immigration, there are taxi stands, and the attendants always find a way to make themselves noticed (waving their hands or yelling taxi to anyone who bothers to listen). You can prepay at these stands your ride to town on a special taxi. From the airport to Ipanema or Copacabana they charge a flat rate, around US$30 one-way. Special taxis are comfortable and air-conditioned. They are equipped with radios, so drivers always know the fastest way to reach your destination.
You may alternatively take the lower-priced yellow taxis, and even wait for the air-conditioned bus. Yellow taxis run by the meter. Though most drivers are quite reliable, keep an eye on street signs pointing to your destination if you start to suspect they are running in circles to keep that meter ticking. The disadvantage of buses is that they do not drop you off at the door of your hotel, so you may have to walk a little dragging your luggage around town.