With the 2014 World Cup and the forthcoming 2016 Olympic Games, all eyes are on Brazil right now – but what is its most famous city, Rio de Janeiro, really like?
A new walking tour of the city’s slum neighbourhoods aims to reveal a different side to Rio, while celebrating the spirit and vitality of the community that lives there. You’ll get to know the neighbourhood of Rochina (which itself houses many ‘barrios’), Latin America’s largest favela.
The tours have been set-up by the Rochina by Rochina Project, an iniative led by a small group of dedicated young people living in Rochina. Tourists can hear first hand what its like to live in the favela, plus get the chance to stop and buy souvenirs direct from local people and perhaps hear an impromptu samba performance. While this is a walking tour, part of the journey is taken by mototaxi (motorbike) to reach some of the steeper parts of the area and catch stunning views of Christ the Redeemer, the Sugar Loaf, the Lagoon Rodrigo de Freitas, and many beaches.
Project founder Erik Martins said, “We want to show what the culture of Rochina has to offer, and to give a true feeling of what it’s like to be part of the community. Our tours cover the recent initiatives that are improving the conditions of the slum, but also reveal the locations that still lack zeal.
“We don’t want to hide what saddens us but explain everything that is beautiful and culturally rich around us, and some fascinating panoramic views that fill us with pride.”
The tours are free but tourists are invited to pay what they like (and Goodtrippers believes that this positive initiative alone is worth some of your holiday money, let alone the time, effort and warm welcome given by each guide – give generously!). Rochina by Rochina guarantee that all donations go straight to the guide themselves, direct and uncut. And if you’re short of cash on the day, you can also pay by iZettle so guides can accept donations via smartphones and tablets.
For more information and to book a tour visit www.rochinabyrochina.com or email: email@example.com
Recommended for… Those who are social and love meeting local people
Be aware that… While mototaxis are on hand, streets are sometimes steep and narrow so leave your flip-flops and bring your walking shoes
- 100% of your donation/tip goes to local guides
- Supports local businesses and livelihoods
- Shows the real side of Rio’s favelas