Many people consider taking a favela tour when visiting Rio. I regularly hear arguments for and against – it’s a charged subject that many people feel strongly about. I know that some people worry that taking a tour in a favela community might be exploitative. And of course there are also obvious security concerns.
Personally, I think that favela tours can be fantastic if you choose the right tour and go for the right reasons. You can learn a lot about these fascinating, challenged communities and simultaneously help inject some much needed funds into their economies. I have to mention though that not all Rio’s favela communities are the same and the situation in any favela can change quickly. These are not places to be taken lightly and I would strongly advise against just wandering in and hoping things will be OK. My advice is to read around the subject, speak to local, qualified guides to get the most up-to-date information from people here on the ground – then make your decision.
If you decide you would like to go ahead with a favela tour then to make sure that you book with the right people. You should be looking for guides who actually live in the community you’ll be visiting; people who are known within the favela, who will make sure you are safe and that you follow the rules of the community. Search out companies or individuals who put something back into the community that you’re visiting.
OK, so that’s the background. If you want to go ahead then get in touch (using our contact form) and we’ll let you know how we see the situation right now and give you a range of options,