Rio de Janeiro Favela tours
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I visited Rio's biggest Favela called Rocinha. These informal settlements provide housing for over 200 000 residents. I was intrigued to see how a location like this survives without any governance. Yes, these communities are neglected by the government which is sad. To my surprise I saw so many businesses and so many friendly and happy people. Keep in mind that the community supports itself. The Favelas are full of narrow streets and maze-like alleys. If it's your first time visiting you will probably get lost. Something that stood out to me immediately was the incredibly steep hills. Favelas are usually built directly into steep hillsides. Motorbike taxis are the most common form of transportation around the Favela. My visit certainly altered my perspective of certain negative stereotypes associated with Favelas as I personally just viewed Favelas as extremely violent no go zones. Yes, gang presence can't be ignored but there are honest, hard working citizens in the Favela.

I'll just say the favela of Rocinha is perfect. The Carlos Travel Guide is great, perfect, natural, so easy. Carlos thank you for your pleasant time and it was an honor to meet such a great man. You people have to visit the favela of Rocinha because it definitely has a heart and soul. Because he will get to know you and the other side of Rio de Janeiro.

Felipe was my guide and he made this tour a really immersive experience. His English is very good and provided a great insight into past, present and future of Santa Marta. His story is a root cause analysis of the problems more than anything else and I really appreciated that. Great tour that I would recommend to everyone.

Favela Santa Marta Tour with a Local Guide Reviewed by Matthew, 03/12/2020

We would highly recommend this favela tour to anyone interested in understanding the inhabitants’ side of the story. While it was very informative, it was also very respectful to the favela inhabitants and did not intrude on their privacy. Filipe was an excellent guide and his English and Spanish are just as good. Thanks!

Favela Santa Marta Tour with a Local Guide Reviewed by Jack, 03/07/2020

Good journey through the favela. Allowed us to just spend time there and get a feel for the area rather than lots of talking about the how and why it existed. Our guide Felipe was excellent and very knowledgeable, particularly when asked questions. The tour takes about 3 hours rather than the 2 that are advertised.

Favela Santa Marta Tour with a Local Guide Reviewed by Eanna, 03/09/2020