4 star rating: Recommended 34 Reviews

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  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Duration:  4 hours (approx.)
Venture into a Rio de Janeiro favela (the Brazilian version of a shanty town) on this half-day educational tour. See the day-to-day lifestyles of locals who live in Santa Marta, one of Rio’s many dense favelas. With a local expert guide, you’ll travel inside the favela, interact with locals and gain a new understanding of Brazilian society.


  • Guided educational tour of the Santa Marta favela in Rio de Janeiro
  • Walk through a favela and interact with the local community
  • Complimentary hotel pickup and drop-off included

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

I think this is a great way to learn about how a small percentage of people in Brazil live -- and a portion of the cost of this tour goes to the Santa Marta favela.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Favela Tour in Rio de Janeiro

Favela Tour

We are sensitive to the issues and concerns surrounding favelas and we understand that this tour may not be suitable for everyone. We strongly believe that the purpose of this tour is for educational reasons alone and allows for a better understanding of Brazilian life inside a favela. Furthermore, the local tour operator is charged a rate by the Santa Marta favela, and as a result, money is going back into the Santa Marta community.

Built around the edge of Brazilian cities, favelas are underdeveloped, overcrowded settlements, many of which over time create their own organizations and become their own small communities. Rio consists of 500 different favelas and with a third of the city’s population living in these towns, the socio-economic differences between the favelas and the city of Rio are very apparent. However, in recent years, favelas surrounding Rio have become more urbanized with the building of some houses, installation of electricity, running water and practicing proper sanitation practices.

On this tour, your guide will take you to the hillside favela of Santa Marta, located in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro. Santa Marta was the first “pacified” favela and have had a police base there since 2008. Upon arrival, you'll travel on foot to a craftsmanship store and walk through a cultural center. This will allow you to interact with the locals and give you an up-close look at living conditions, lifestyles and day-to-day life inside a Brazilian favela.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2014

This tour was amazing!

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.

From USD $ 64.99

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Tour code: 2484FAV


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