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Favela Tours in Rio de Janeiro

Favela Tours in Rio de Janeiro

Rio’s favelas are one of the city’s anomalies, existing with a combination of densely packed communities suffering from poor living conditions and regeneration projects that have opened their doors to bridge the cultural divide seen across the city. Here’s what you need to know about favela tours in Rio.

What is a favela?

Brazil’s favelas are slums with a poor socioeconomic status, most of which sprung up on the outskirts of the country’s urban centers in the late 19th century. There are almost 1,000 favelas housing an estimated 1.5 million people in Rio de Janeiro alone, and the densely packed communities often live without reliable electricity, sewage systems, or drinkable water. In recent years, efforts to improve living conditions have been successful in certain favelas, but problems remain complex and far-reaching.

Rocinha Favela

Set in the South Zone between the São Conrado and Gávea districts, Rocinha is Rio’s largest and most developed favela, and it’s the focal point of most Rio favela tours. Educational walking tours typically offer insight into community life and redevelopment projects; a chance to experience cultural traditions such as capoeira and samba; and visits to schools, local businesses, or community centers. 

Santa Marta Favela

The Santa Marta Favela is located in the Botafogo and Laranjeiras area of South Rio. Walking tours provide a look at life in the district, as well as the famous favela painting project and viewpoints that look out over Rio landmarks such as the Christ the Redeemer Statue, Copacabana, and Ipanema Beach.

Vidigal Favela

Vidigal Favela is one of the most vibrant slum areas, renowned for its striking street art, food markets, and live music venues. The community is located high on the mountainside above Rocinha, and Vidigal tours often include a hike up to the Two Brothers Mountain viewpoint.

Things to Know

  • Only certain favelas are safe for visitors and they should only be visited as part of a tour with a reputable tour guide.

  • Most tours use a portion of the proceeds to fund community projects within the favelas.

  • Favela tours typically last two to four hours and most involve a fair amount of walking. Comfortable shoes are recommended, as roads can be steep and uneven.

  • Remember that the favelas are living communities—it’s important to show sensitivity and be respectful when visiting locals and their homes. Ask your guide for advice if you are unsure.

  • Viator is sensitive to the issues and concerns surrounding favelas and understands that these tours may not be suitable for everyone.

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6 Tours and Activities

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Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

Rocinha Favela Walking Tour

star-4.5
277
Get an in-depth local experience with this walking tour of one of Rio's favelas, Rocinha. Follow your resident guide to get an insider's perspective on daily life and learn about the challenges these communities face.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.40
Price varies by group size
From
$25.40
Price varies by group size

Favela Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off

Favela Tour in Rio de Janeiro with Hotel pick-up and drop-off

star-5
10
Explore Rocinha Favela, the largest favela in Latin America, during this 3-hour guided educational tour. Walk through the local community with your guide to learn about what life is like there. Interact with members of the community, learn about the history of Rocinha and gain a deeper understanding of the economic and political factors that shape Rio society. Round-trip transportation from Rio de Janeiro hotels is included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$34.00
Price varies by group size
From
$34.00
Price varies by group size

Favela Walking Tour in Rio de Janeiro

Favela Walking Tour in Rio de Janeiro

star-5
45
Explore Rocinha Favela, the largest favela in Latin America, during this 4-hour guided educational tour. Walk through the local community with your guide to learn about what life is like there. Interact with members of the community, learn about the history of Rocinha and gain a deeper understanding of the economic and political factors that shape Rio society.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.00
From
$25.00

Rio de Janeiro Favela Jeep Tour

Rio de Janeiro Favela Jeep Tour

star-4
2
Get an in-depth, compassionate tour of the Rocinha favela (the Brazilian term for shantytown) during this excursion via Jeep. With your in-the-know guide, meet the locals and observe their daily life, including visits to the neighborhood school and a street fair. Transportation from select hotels is provided.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$68.95
From
$68.95

Two Brothers Hiking Tour Including Vidigal Favela

Two Brothers Hiking Tour Including Vidigal Favela

star-5
6
Ascend Morro Dois Irmãos (Two Brothers Hill) on this half-day hiking tour in Rio de Janeiro. Travel through the Vidigal favela at its base and learn about the city's stark social contrasts as you make your way to the summit. Soak up the sweeping views of Rocinha, Pedra da Gávea and Corcovado mountain, among other famed landmarks in the ‘Marvelous City.’ Upgrade to venture with your own personal guide on a private tour that includes round-trip hotel transport.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$50.81
Price varies by group size
From
$50.81
Price varies by group size

Tijuca Forest

Tijuca Forest

star-5
4
Experience the beauty of Rio de Janerio's tropical Tijuca Forest on a guided drive. Delve into one of the planet's largest urban forests on a driving tour that includes visits to Vista Chinesa for incredible mountaintop views and Santa Marta favela, a maze of colorful stacked homes with more than 8000 residents. This half-day tour offers an immersive look into Rio's favela culture and an alternative view of this bustling city.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
From
$45.00