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4 star rating: Recommended 25 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.

Highlights

  • 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 May 2014

The best part of our trip to Rio! And a good balance to the sometimes artificial glamour of the beach life. We were touched by the creativity, art and especially the self-reliance we saw walking through the narrow alleys and up Rocinha's warren-like steps. We passed all kinds of small shops, tiny cafes, markets, seamstresses, even a karate school! The favela was a bee-hive of work and activity. And the views are some of the best we saw in Rio. Our guide Fabio was fabulous, informative and not naive about what it takes to survive in the favela. We were impressed with him and with the people we saw. We will never forget them. A tour not to be missed!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

The Favela Tour was definitely one of the highlights of my recent vacation in Rio. Our tour guide, Augosto was awesome! It was very interesting to see the disparity between the touristy areas and nearby favelas, but also nice to see that they aren't as bad as it might be perceived.

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Tour code: 2484FAV

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