The first of the city’s “pacified” (police-controlled) favelas, Santa Marta is one of the few that is safe and accessible to tourists, with tours aimed at raising awareness and funds to help improve the safety and living conditions of Rio’s ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2014

The tour took us to Rocinha Favela, as opposed to Santa Marta advertised in the website; but not that I know the difference between the two.

Nevertheless, it was a very good experience to see the conditions of living in the favela. We were taken up to the top of the hill in a open-top jeep, and walked our way down through the small narrow rugged footpaths. The footpaths / streets were relatively clean, although not tidy, but not smelly like the Rio city area.

The locals there genuinely looked friendly. The tour guide told us it was quite safe there, with police stationed at strategic locations. I was carrying my SLR camera around my neck taking pictures frequently which is something I couldn’t do in the Rio city area.

The jeep picked us up at the bottom, and then drove us pass Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana beaches before dropping us off back at the hotel.

Overall it was great. If there is any improvement needed, it’s the tour guide who should probably wear a coloured cap to distinct himself so that we could spot him easier. It was difficult at times to spot him in the crowd.

Doing what: Favela Tour in Rio de Janeiro

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

Wonderful tour. Great guide. Highlight: visiting the Santa Marta favela and mingling with the residents at a bar watching Brasil v Mexico.

Doing what: Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour: Santa Teresa, Corcovado Mountain and Santa Marta Favela

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

The highlight of the tour was Santa Marta. A great way to see a favela while giving back to its community members with the opportunity to purchase local-made crafts and goods. Very safe. Fascinating history of Michael Jackson and celebrity visits to the favela, and friendly and welcoming locals. Our tour guide Daniel was very knowledgeable. The Santa Teresa trolley hasn't run since 2011 so that is a bit misleading. Much of that neighborhood is under construction and not spectacular, but still worth a visit simply for the sight of the spectacular tile staircase, "Escadaria Selaron." Christ the Redeemer also a must-see. Overall, our guide, driver, and tour group were all very friendly and it was a great day.

Doing what: Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour: Santa Teresa, Corcovado Mountain and Santa Marta Favela

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This was a great tour and I would recommend it to anyone traveling to Rio de Janeiro! We got to see so much in one day. This was the only tour that covered all the highlights of Rio that we really wanted to see. It was an excellent way to get a snapshot of the city and it's culture. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and spoke english well. The tour of the Santa Marta Favela was very interesting so make sure you include this in your tour.

Doing what: Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour: Santa Teresa, Corcovado Mountain and Santa Marta Favela

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2014

Very professionally organized, very knowledgeable and friendly guide, good pace.
The trip to Santa Marta is really something you ought to do while in Rio, it gives you perspective.

Doing what: Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour: Santa Teresa, Corcovado Mountain and Santa Marta Favela

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2012

Great morning out. The guide "Margo" was a local who really loved the Santa Marta neighborhood so that was great and we felt very safe walking around. It was great to understand the history and background and what is beig done to help the locals moving forward. Only negative was it was a little short at 2.5 hours

Doing what: Favela Tour in Rio de Janeiro

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2014

Good itinerary. Santa Teresa was good. Lunch was at a pay by weight buffet place, which was pricey (and would prefer more local food). The favela tour was OK but was a bit disappointing as we visited the most "touristy" favela in Rio - the Santa Marta. Overall was quite OK, with Daniel the tour guide being quite informative. However, still a bit pricey.

Doing what: Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour: Santa Teresa, Corcovado Mountain and Santa Marta Favela

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
August 2014

i signed up for a tour of the Santa Marta favela and they took us to the Rocinha favela. Also, the reservation said we would bed picked up at 8AM but they didnt arrive until 8:45 AM. So, they were almost an hour late to pick us up and we were the first to be picked up. we made about 4 more stops before we began the tour of the favela that only lasted about an hour. this tour is not really worth 60 dollars. if you want to see a favela you can just walk into the Vidigal or the Rocinha favela during the day and see for yourself. you can also take a moto taxi or a cambi (little white vans at the bottom of the favela) to take you to the top to see the views.

Doing what: Favela Tour in Rio de Janeiro

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
June 2014

it was definetely not worth it the money, very overpriced!
the time at the Corcovado was too short, the visit to Santa Teresa neighborhood was a waste of time, nothing really to see; the Santa Marta favela was quite interesting, that's all!

Doing what: Rio de Janeiro Combo Tour: Santa Teresa, Corcovado Mountain and Santa Marta Favela

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