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“Favela Day Tour”
Review of Be a Local Tours

Be a Local Tours
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$34.00*
and up
Favela Tour
Ranked #54 of 551 Tours in Rio de Janeiro
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We provide City Tours, Favela Tours, Football/Soccer Games, walking tours and transfers. Since 2003 showing the REAL Rio de Janeiro.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Myself and my class mates (who were on a study abroad trip from the College of Charleston) had the pleasure of joining Patrick (an EXCELLENT guide who showed us through the Favela) for a tour. It was very interesting, safe, and the experience was one that each and every one of our group members agreed was a once in a life time opportunity.

1  Thank m w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeaLocal021, Owner at Be a Local Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 2, 2014

It was a pleasure to have you and all the Charleston group with us. Happy new year!!!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"favela tour"
in 257 reviews
"great tour"
in 74 reviews
"an art gallery"
in 17 reviews
"tour guide patrick"
in 9 reviews
"great relationship"
in 8 reviews
"football game"
in 11 reviews
"eye opening"
in 20 reviews
"biggest favela"
in 13 reviews
"felt safe"
in 25 reviews
"highly recommend this tour"
in 18 reviews
"dropped off"
in 9 reviews
"favela life"
in 9 reviews
"day tour"
in 25 reviews
"take photos"
in 16 reviews
"christ the redeemer"
in 35 reviews
"these guys"
in 10 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 14 reviews
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Reviewed November 30, 2013

All in all, we really would like to recommend the favala tour with "Be a local"!

Why?

- Very easy going booking via e-mail on short notice (paying cash on the tour day)
- We were picked up at our hotel in time
- We enjoyed the interesting tour, which started from the top of Rocinha
- We always felt like we were in good and competent hands
- The guide provided us with very good insights and impressions
- We never had the feeling of having to buy something from the residents
- We were dropped at our hotel again
- No strings attached

KEEP IT UP!!!

1  Thank S B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeaLocal021, Manager at Be a Local Tours, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2013

Thanks very much for join us, we are happy that you liked.
Hoping to see you again next time in Rio.
Marcio Ferro
Be a Local Tours

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Reviewed November 28, 2013

I would highly recommend NOT going with this company unless you dont mind the tour guide and bus driver hitting on all the female tourists and taking advantage of them when they are drunk. I saw some disgusting behaviour by the staff of this company. DONT GO WITH THEM TO THE FUNK PARTY.

1  Thank Chandni H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BeaLocal021, Manager at Be a Local Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 30, 2013

Hi, thanks for your review, We´ve been operating the tours in RIo for over 10 years and it is the first time we receive a complain like that. Anyway, i will call all the guides and make a meeting to reforce our rules and punish the ones that is getting out of the line.
Our apologizes,
Marcio

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Reviewed November 26, 2013

I rarely give poor review on TripAdvisor but I feel strongly that if you want to visit the favela - find a better company that does it right. If you just want to follow someone who knows the neighborhood for a walk and some opportunities to spend money along the way, this might be for you; but if you are looking for something more, do more research and consider something else.

There were only 4 people on the day I did the tour. I guess it was not enough to justify hiring the driver (but they didn't want to cancel the tour), so we were picked up by the guide's private car. There was thus no one who could drop us off on the top of the hill and walk down with us (normally the driver drops off the people while the guide walks with the group then meet the driver down the hill again).

We first spent some time driving around finding a parking spot, then we were asked to each pay extra for a motortaxi to take us up to the hill. While I don't mind giving some room for flexibility with the transportation arrangement, I find it quite unbelievable that they asked us to pay more at the spot while it should have all been included. Just not the right way of conducting business in my opinion - not to mention that none of us was notified about this at all before the tour.

The real bummer however is the tour itself. I was really hoping to learn more about the favela, about its development, history, people's life there etc. Although our guide seems to know the people well, he doesn't really have the knowledge and enthusiasm to answer our questions. Our questions were often answered with counter-questions, or some general comments that everybody could have made. The tour was more like a walking tour with very limited explanations, with several stops for you to "contribute" to the community there (gallery, music performance by a couple of kids, pastry shop, handcraft vendors). While I am not against a bit of shopping here and there, I thought there should be better and bigger way to contribute other than say buying over-priced water at the specific shop they brought us to?

Overall we had almost no interaction with the people living there (except for the times they wanted us to spend money). It was a huge disappointment and I would rather not do it if I knew it would be a tour like this. I later learned that there is an NGO that helped young people from favela set up a company to run favela tours - in hindsight I wish I've gone with them or with another company that has been running favela tours for longer (heard decent reviews from other travelers afterwards). For me, a favela tour should be done carefully in a way beyond a sightseeing tour, but unfortunately this company just doesn't offer that.

Thank TravelMontage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark_Iron, Manager at Be a Local Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 28, 2013

Thanks for your review. We apologize the lack of information you might got during the tour and we are working to improve and requalify our guide to get better and not let our clients down on next tours.
About your favela tour, we almost never use a private car on the tour, but sometimes, when people can´t cancel, because are leaving the city, we try to give the service as "private" with 2 or 4 people with one guide. The Be a Local Tours never ask our client to pay extra during the tours, if the guide asked you to pay, he did it wrong and will be suspended of duty.
We have been operating the tours for over 10 years and had satisfied most of the clients. Once again, sorry if you didn´t like it and the guide was rubish.
It is with reviews like your that we can know what´s going on on the backstage and we can work to fix mistakes and get better.
Kind regards,
Marcio Ferro
Be a Local Tours.

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Reviewed October 21, 2013

I did the favela tour with this company and the sunday night funky favela tour aswell. Both were amazing and really well organised! They gave me a real insight into Rio life and the tour guides were great fun and very knowledgeable!!

1  Thank Wesley_C-J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark_Iron, Manager at Be a Local Tours, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2013

Thanks for join us, hope to see you again soon.
Be a Local Crew!

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