There are several different ways of visiting the Favelas. Personally I find jeep tours quite repulsive. Disturbing residents and penetrating to their living space for some quick photo opps as you were in a zoo….this is not the way how good-hearted and responsible people should act…
If you want to be a good tourist please visit a favela ON FOOT with a local who lives there. In this way you can be sure that your money is put back directly into the community and you will learn a lot about the favela and the residents. A unique experience for sure.
For those who have concerns about safety. Who else could secure your safety better then a well-known local who belongs to the community?
After studying many websites offering different kind of tours and reading several reviews from other travelers it was doubtless that we would like to visit Rocinha with Favelatour.org.
I sent a mail to Zezinho prior to our South American trip. We chose the tour type and agreed the date and time of our visit. Our guide was Dembore who speaks fluent English as he lived in the States for 6 years.
We met him and 3 other tourists at Copacabana in front of a pet store and traveled to Rocinha by a local bus. At the time of our visit the workers were on strike at the public transport company so it took us more than an hour to get to Rocinha. There we used a minivan operated by Rocinha’s community to get to the top. Upon arrival we have visited a viewpoint then started our descent towards the bottom.
During our trip Dembore kept talking about Rocinha’s history and residents, the life at present and local laws ruling their everyday life. We stopped several times for receiving further explanations, interesting details or having a quick chat with locals. We have also visited Favela Adventures DJ School Spin Rocinha. It was nice to meet Zezinho and his cats in person.
Finally we were taken to a local restaurant for lunch. Unfortunately we were in a hurry so could not stay any longer with our group.
It was a very interesting and informative tour. D is a nice and knowledgeable guy willingly answered all our questions. One of the highlights in Rio.
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