As many reviewers on this page have aluded to, Favella's are not the drug run, criminal infested, highly dangerous locations they used to be -however as two female lone travellers, this is also not an area I would have been comfortable exploring on our own without a travel organiser.
We arrange our trip through Tucan who then subcontracted with a local guide who was very friendly, spoke good English and very informative.
The Favella's are well worth a visit to not only see amazing views across Rio, but also to see how part of the Brazillian community live. If you are interested in soaking up the culture of a country you visit, surely you want to experience not only the 5 star shiny experience for the tourists, but also meet the 'real' individuals who make up such a diverse and rich country and culutre. This would be the same as experiencing religious locations in the far east, castles in romania, mud huts in africa or yaughts in monaco. It is not about making a spectacle out of any part of society.
We enjoyed the opportunity to feel safe whilst walking around the Favella, meet local artists and speak to school children and store keepers - whilst being able to give something back to the community both through purchasing items, but also as part of the tour fee contributes towards schooling and keeping the Favella safe.
We started the tour with a motorcycle ride to the top of the mountain where the favella lay. Tnen experienced the tight streets of the favellas, poor sanitation, the common agreement of building houses upon houses - building upwards rather than across land. I was surprised to see so many sattelite dishes, although our guide informed us that the area was becoming more and more commercialised.
I urge you to not feel as though this area is just the same as walking around town - during our town there, our guide was very cautious in taking us along a differetnt route, to avoid a drug related beating which was taking place.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.