“You won't find a more genuine, authentic tour or tour guide. A must.”
This unexpectedly became one of the highlights of our trip and I highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for more than just a beach experience in Rio. The favelas, or basically shanty towns, and home to many of the hard working folks who serve as the backbone of the city. The cultural story of Rio isn't complete without gaining an understanding of these informal towns that blanket the hills all around the metro area.
And this "tour" is the absolute best way to experience a Rio favela (one of the biggest, Rochina). Rodrigo earnestly welcomed us into his life and family home with a natural charisma and care that I've never seen on another tour. He takes you around places that, as a traveler, you'd never have access to - and does it in a way that doesn't feel exploitative: he sincerely wants you to understand what it means to live, grow up, and work here - and that these areas are full of genuinely good people beyond the select few who give it a bad rap.
Also, while he doesn't given himself enough credit, his English is quite good (impressive given that he's picked it up in a couple years) and his inspiring story of entrepreneurship is even better. Booking in English was easy, Rodrigo was prompt, and everything exceeded our expectations - including the beauty of this area - the people, the resourcefulness, and the amazing views of the city.
One important note - there is quite a bit of downhill walking on uneven surfaces. It's by no means treacherous, but the tour will be more enjoyable for the fully healthy / mobile.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 28, 2013
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this. It really helps affirm that we are taking the right steps towards our mission. We can't thank you enough for this review, it's brought big smiles and we really appreciate it. Thanks so much for being able to join us! All the best, Abraços!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.