Favelas, Rio de Janeiro

16 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • the top of Dois Irmõas
    the top of Dois Irmõas
    by marye14
  • samba street druming in Rocinha
    samba street druming in Rocinha
    by marye14
  • riding up on moto-taxi
    riding up on moto-taxi
    by marye14
  • marye14's Profile Photo

    Português Class/Favelas/Jungle Hikes!

    by marye14 Updated Dec 28, 2011

    Cariocafreeculture is a unique project that will hopefully start many new beginnings here in Rio.

    They offer a beginners Português class titled : favela ghetto slang, offering the basics to get around Rio for your first time, including local slangs. Class is held in a modest home in the favela community Vidigal, with a tour of the community after to give you the chance to practice your new skills.

    They also offer visits to Rocinha where your guide grew up! Come meet local people and hear the history of the biggest favela in South America!

    Or hike to the top of Dois Irmãos Mountain with some of the most amazing views in Rio.

    Contact them at CARIOCAFREECULTURE.COM

    or check out for social projects at cariocafeeculturerj.wordpress.com

    samba street druming in Rocinha riding up on moto-taxi the top of Dois Irm��as Rocinha, veiw from the top nightlife at the entrance of Rocinha
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Arts and Culture
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • AnaLuiza's Profile Photo

    Safe Favela Tour in the Floresta da Tijuca

    by AnaLuiza Updated Jun 19, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A VERY safe tour is at http://www.vale-encantado.org/Savours.html
    You can simple visit the place or also walk into the Forest (Floresta da Tijuca), the biggest urban forest in the world. All the money goes back to the community. There are tracks of 1 to 3 hours, as the visitors prefer.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • draguza's Profile Photo

    Favelas Tour

    by draguza Written Jun 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clinging precariously to the mountainsides that surround the city's affluent south zone, Rio's favelas, or shanty towns, are a source of both fear and fascination for visitors. Middle-class locals will tell you that to enter into such a place is to risk violent attack, but in reality, there is much more to life in the favelas than drug crime and violence. While it is not advisable to venture into the favelas alone (not least because the lack of street names makes it easy to get lost), visiting with a recognized and respected tour group such as the long-established Favela Tour will give you a unique and valuable insight into the way these communities are run. English speaking guides will take you to Rocinha, the largest favela in South America, and normally one other favela as well.

    Favela Santa Marta
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • dargains's Profile Photo

    Rocinha

    by dargains Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A maior favela do mundo que hoje ja e um bairro e tem ate o seu proprio Mac Donald, e possivel visitar a Rocinha com guias credenciados e que lhe oferecem total seguranca, mais em
    http://www.jeeptour.com.br/roteiros5.htm

    The Bigest "favela" or slums, in the world, that nowadays is already a neighborhood, e has it?s own Mac Donalds. It?s possibel to visit Rocinha, with local guides thta can offer a secure tour to you. More At
    http://www.jeeptour.com.br/roteiros5.htm

    Rocinha

    Was this review helpful?

  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    Visiting a Favela....its Family fun for all!

    by wilocrek Written Oct 24, 2010

    Perhaps the title is a bit overstated, a Favela isn't exactly a family oriented activity but it still is something that tourists, much like myself, feel like they have to visit. Perhaps its the stunning poverty, or the open sewage that attracts the interest of said tourist, or maybe its the thrill of seeing shanty's that are built from anything from cardboard to tin. I think its the thrill of being surrounded by both poor people and drug dealers that make it a must see sight. Whatever the case maybe the toughest thing about visiting a favela is just that...visiting. One could pick a random favela to wander into but the chances are slim of ever wandering out. These slums are crime ridden and run by some of the nastiest drug dealer south of Mexico. Now you could take a guided tour which is quite safe, but then your just contributing money to the drug lords. So my advice is to do what I did and visit the Santa Marta favela which has been cleaned up and policed by the government and offers free guides through the slum. Nestled in the shadows of Corvacado and under the watchful eyes of Christ the Redeemer this favela offers incredible views and a chance to not only rub shoulder with destitute children and money grubbing drug dealers, but a chance to actually see where the King of Pop, Micheal Jackson, filmed one of his music videos. They even have a statue of the King himself in the favela. So bring the family, or not, and come visit the safest favela that I know of in Rio!

    Was this review helpful?

  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Favelas of Rio

    by MM212 Updated Mar 18, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like much of Brazil, Rio is a city of rich and poor. Much of the poor population lives in what is known as favelas (pronounced fa-VEH-las), which are isolated neighbourhoods of often hastily constructed buildings, completely separate from urban Rio, yet within close proximity. These favelas are often mistakenly referred to as slums, but they are real neighbourhoods with buildings, schools, shops and other infrastructure. Notorious for being dangerous, these favelas are in fact quite organised and have little crime within each community, but they lead the illegal drug trade in Brazil. It is said that each favela is headed by a single drug lord and many in the community work in the business (sounds like the Mafia). The dangers occur when different favelas quarrel over the drug trade, resulting in many shootings. Favelas occupy many of the hills around Rio, often with the best views, so they are clearly visible from the city. For those interested, a couple of tourist agencies organise tours of favelas (completely safe).

    A favela in Zona Norte Favela Vidigal, seen from Ipanema Favela Morro Santa Marta Favela Pav��o, seen from Ipanema/Copacabana

    Was this review helpful?

  • anacapa's Profile Photo

    Take a Favela Tour

    by anacapa Written Nov 29, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favela is the Brazilian term for Shanty Town. Taking a tour of one or two should be a part of one's visit to Rio since they house one quarter of Rio's population. It's an eye opening tour. It made me realize how rich I am and how non-issues some of my worries have been. I also saw a resourcefulness that inspired me.

    The tour I took was a 3-hour tour into 2 favelas — Roçinha, Rio's largest and Vila Canoas, a small favela surrounded by a very very wealthy neighborhood. In Roçinha we stopped first at a small market geared towards the favela tourists and were introduced to the merchants. The view from this spot is quite amazing. The second stop is on the rooftop of a house on land owned by the residents/family showing how some are lives are improving. Third stop is in the middle of the busy, bustling market in Roçinha. The forth is at the Para Ti school in Vila Canoas. The fifth is in Vila Canoas where we walked through the narrow passageways of the neighborhood.

    My tour is run by Marcelo Armstrong and called "the most insightful and longest-established" by Lonely Planet. His are highly responsible and donate part of the tour fee to community projects within the favelas.

    Best to organize this directly with him/his tour company. I paid R$65, but six Germans who joined the tour booked from their hotel and paid R$75 each to their hotel. We were told this by our tour guide who asked me and the other person on the tour who booked directly. Eight is the max size of the tour. Also they pick up at hotels. They didn't pick up at the hostel I was staying at, but I met them 3 blocks away at the Caesar Hotel.

    Ro��inha Ro��inha View from Ro��inha Para Ti school Vila Canoas

    Was this review helpful?

  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    Favelas

    by MikeAtSea Written Feb 21, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are close to 550 favelas in Rio, most of which have been erected on former public land and have clawed themselves onto the slopes of the city’s steep hillsides. Emerging during the last 30 years, Rio’s favelas are now home to 20 percent of the city’s population. However, they remain a mystery for most visitors travelling independent of watchful local guides.

    Rio Favelas
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Adventure Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lady_Disdain's Profile Photo

    Favela tours - don't support drug factions

    by Lady_Disdain Written Oct 23, 2006

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Let's face it - no matter how many honest, hard working people live in favelas, they are dominated by drug factions.

    When you go on favela tours, funk ball tours or any similar activity, the tour operators pay "fees" to the drug factions for visiting rights and to ensure safety.

    Please do not support the drug culture that opress a lot of the population.

    Besides, think of how the local people feel, having tourists gape at their houses. Would you like it if a loud jeep fool of foreigners pulled up in front of where you live and started taking photos.

    Please don't tell me how nice everyone was - there is a lot of pressure for these tours to work and the opertors know who to avoid.

    Was this review helpful?

  • luca76's Profile Photo

    tour the favela Rochina

    by luca76 Written Sep 24, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    it's a nice to check out how the life in favela is, but really it can be a tourist trap too, because they shouw to u the biggest favela in south america, the most touristic favela, and the touristic part, so don't think the life in every favela it like to this one, this is a favela but it get a lot of money by the tour operation which organize the tour, and the popuolation receive money to survive from narcotraficant man...., so don't have a wrong idea about the life in this favela, u can think..., all the same the life in this favela is good, but there are others favelas which are really poor...
    anyway dont' try to go there alone, but if u want to go there , go with a guide...!!!

    rochina

    Was this review helpful?

  • Rocinha

    by MDC6 Written Apr 6, 2005

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This isn't necessarily an attraction per se, but Rocinha is Rio's largest favela, with around 100,000 inhabitants. There are favela tours, which I didn't have time to do, but they come highly recommended and provide a glimpse of what life is like for favela dwellers.

    Was this review helpful?

  • swesn's Profile Photo

    RIO DE JANEIRO : FAVELAS

    by swesn Written Sep 8, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Now that we have gotten the picture-postcard perfect aspects of Rio de Janeiro out of the way, it is time to learn something very different and interesting.

    Favelas or slums are groups of wonky houses built on the side of the hills ALL OVER the major cities and many are found here in Rio de Janeiro.

    An interesting thing to do in Rio is to take a favela tour. There were 600 favelas here in Rio. Most had never seen tourists and as drugs are heavily trafficked here (i.e. many dodgy characters who are heavily armed are wandering around) and 'managed' by drug-lords, it was best to join a tour. Never head out there alone.

    Our guide assured us there are 0 robberies here (he did not share the murder statistics though), i.e. we tourists can hang our cameras on our necks. This is because drug-lords do not allow petty crimes here as they did not want the inconvenience of having policemen around.

    But still, it does not mean it is safe for tourists to come alone. We might inadvertently be wearing the 'wrong' colours, the colours of the rival drug-gang and be gunned down by mistake. Not the nicest way to return home from your holidays.

    The guide shared stories with us and while the scary stories stuck to my mind, I could not envision the violence attached to them.

    I recommend you to watch the movie 'CIDADE DE DEUS' or 'CITY OF GOD'. This fantastic Brazilian movie, based on a true story, will really show you the unimaginable violence attached to drug-related crimes in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

    Tightly-built slums or favelas of Rio

    Was this review helpful?

  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    Favela Sign

    by MikeAtSea Written Feb 21, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Visiting the favelas one can see graffiti painted on the walls. The lettering indicates which gang is in charge of the favela - in this case ADA - is the Friends of the Friends gang.

    ADA - Favela Gang
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Oana_bic's Profile Photo

    Favelas

    by Oana_bic Written Jan 24, 2007

    well well Rio is the only place in the world where poor people have a better view and location..up on the hills favelas look beutiful from helicopter or glitery during the night from Leblon beach..

    Related to:
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Shopping in Favela

    by Mirtsa Written Oct 15, 2003

    Chickens (dead or alive), food oil, biscuits, refrigerators, air conditioners and toys - everything for sale in one small shop.

    Shopping in Favela
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Rio de Janeiro

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

18 travelers online now

Comments

View all Rio de Janeiro hotels