Tour recommendations for Rio

Old Nov 30th, 2004, 06:07 AM
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Tour recommendations for Rio

I made reservations for Rio rather late I suppose for the Xmas season. I am trying to line up safe affordable sightseeing with English speaking guides to see as many of the "must-see" sights in Rio as possible. I will be checking into the Florida Hotel on Dec 25 and checking out Dec 31. Time is not on my side and I think most of these tours are full.

I have sent inquiries to the following last week and have not yet recieved responses:
'[email protected]'
'[email protected]'
'[email protected]'
'[email protected]'
'[email protected]'

Favela Tours said to call them when I get there, but there's is but a 4 hour trip. I will be there a week! I would like to set up other excursions in advance. Possibly I can pay for a good guide depending on the cost. Can you help?

Rio is a big place wher you can get in trouble if you stray too far from the "group" - I don't have a group, so I'm trying to fill up my days with group tours and avoid walking aimlessly around or taking public transportation.

Any suggestions?
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Old Nov 30th, 2004, 07:15 AM
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yOU CAN GO TO cORCOVADO ON YOUR OWN, TAKE ANY TAXI TO THE CORCOVADO TRAIN THEN PAY FOR THE TRAIN ON YOUR OWN, TAKE THE TRAIN UP TO THE TOP AND SPEND YOUR TIME AS YOU WISH WITHOUT FOLLOWING A GROUP. yOU CAN DO THE SAME FOR SUGAR LOAF, SAME IDEA, PERFECTLY SAFE. I would not reccommend going anywhere near a real favella now as they are having real problems with the police unless you hook up with a good tour and they take you to a safe place. These places are not safe. pardon the caps
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 07:18 AM
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Do not waste your time and money going to a Favella tour, there is nothing to see / do there, nothing more than poor neigbohoods, some worse that others. Like previous posting, you can do many things on your own and not depend on a tour guide.
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 08:14 AM
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I respectfully disagree about going on a Favela tour. We went on one of Marcelo's Armstrong tours and we were glad we did. We were able to get some insight into the communities which are a very large part of Rio whether people like it or not. We felt very safe on the Armstrong tour and felt that the tour was very respectful of the people who lived there. It was clear that our guide knew the community quite well and had many relationships there. She was like the pied piper with many of the kids who followed her and clearly loved her. I did not find the tour depressing at all.

Many people travel differently and hope to accomplish different things when they travel. Some want a total escape and just hit the beaches and nightlife. Others prefer to try to get a better understanding of the whole country they're visiting, not just the pretty parts. To each his own. However, if you are one of the latter, I recommend Marcelo Armstrong's tour. They do not any tours other than favela tours. I'm not sure if they are the company you called, but I do recall that they also said to call when we got there which we did. There was no problem.

Have a great trip.
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 09:15 AM
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I do respect your posting, however tours are sold making people believe that they will be seeing movie scenes, crime in the middle of the street, drug deals in the act ...and body pieces all over. Fabellas are nothing more than poor areas that have a nice view of the city. Maybe previous poster was new to poverty, but any Latin American country has same areas and no one visit those barrios in Nicaragua or Haiti or Bolivia..
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 09:48 AM
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Miguelgcuadra:

I'm not so sure you respectfully disagree with my opinion.

It appears condescending and presumputous for you to assume I have never seen poverty. I have been to Peru, Cambodia, Kenya, Bolivia and plenty of places where there are poor people. Dirt poor. And I certainly did not go on the favela tour to see gun fights, drug deals, and body parts. In all the research I did before the trip, I never saw any advertisement or discussion where it was stated or implied that those were the types of things we would see on the tour. Frankly, if I thought we would be seeing those sorts of things, I would not have gone. I can't tell from your posting whether you have actually gone on an organized tour to the favelas or if you opinion is based on something else. Did you go expecting to see those things and then were disappointed when you didn't? No one in my group was looking for the kind of "adventure" you describe.

All I was trying to do was to give Finz a summary of my first hand experience so he/she could take the information and do with it what he/she wanted. Unlike you, I did not tell her to "do it" or "don't do it." I don't know why you seem to have a problem that a person could have a legitamate interest in taking a tour of a favela. People have different interests. I, for one, hate resort vacations and find them boring and useless. However, I know other people love them and they are certainly entitled to their views. To each his own.
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 10:17 AM
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FYI..I went into several of them with a native carioca driving. Wasted my time, but friend was nice and wanted me to see them.
Ask tourists why do they take the favella tour, answer "the myth of favellas" you go in, few come out alive, has been in movies and documentaries. Things do happen in favellas but like in NY, Paris, Chicago, etc.
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 10:23 AM
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2 weeks ago I was in the favellas of New York city, saw no tours and walking tourists...with so many tourist in NY, wonder why no one is interested in seeing how poor americans live...just wondering...
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 11:11 AM
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Your point being????

In any event, Harlem has long been a tourist attraction in NY. People have been drawn there to see the community and culture that thrives there, not to see poor people and feel as though they were lucky to escape death and come out alive. Watts has also been like that.

And that's why many of us want to go on a favela tour. To see the very strong community that exists. On our tour we went to a school, spoke with an artist who runs an art school for children, visited a home and got out and walked around and spoke to others in the community. I don't know whether you did any of that with your friend. I certainly haven't done a scientific study, but I can say with all certainty that all of the tourists in the group I was with were visiting the favela for reasons other than you report. However, I will say that the people on the tour were not cariocas and we came across some carioca attitudes toward people in the favela that were quite different and very, very negative. Our guide told us that most cariocas have sterotypes of favela-dwellers and do not want to visit and that is why favela dwellers are happy to see the tourists who aren't afraid. Whether that is actually true or not, I can't really judge. But I was surprised to hear some very negative comments, including one by a guide on Finz's list who referred to them as "trash." I think that what one sees in the favela is dependent upon what you are looking for and the person who is showing it to you.
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 11:35 AM
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WJ1, no hard feelings, just different views ...sure we both love RIO and will jump in a plane any minute...sure you too.
Un beso...
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Old Dec 2nd, 2004, 05:48 PM
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Just found this on another website, what the guy is saying is all true as I read Brazilian newspapers everyday and he is right on the money:

"Think twice or more about taking favela tours: apparently, there have been good reviews of organized favela tours (I only know about tours of Rocinha and another, smaller favela), and the first time I was in Rio in 2002, they were widely advertised, although I didnít have time to take one. This time, when I was really interested, they were no longer widely advertised - my hotel had a sign saying that they had been suspended indefinitely. Ultimately, I did see occasional advertisements for them, so I canít positively confirm that they are no longer running; I never did call any them. The 3+ months I spent in Rio this time, however, I can definitely confirm major news stories in reputable media (O Globo, Jornal do Brasil) about major police crackdowns in Rocinha, shootouts between rival gangs, and an outright gang war between Vidigal and Rocinha since the Easter week, more or less, all of them resulting in multiple deaths. I am kind of an adventurous guy, but considering this information, I just couldnít convince myself to go Ė for the moment being. Just last week, I read about another incident between rival gangs in Vidigal and Rocinha which required police intervention, as a result of which Avenida Niemeyer (linking Sao Conrado and Leblon) was closed down for an hour. Source: Folha Online, which has a special section on "Tension in Rio" (of course, in Portuguese only: http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/folha/....onorio)."
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 05:16 AM
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And Rocinha is the high class among the favellas.... they have the best view of RIO...
Again nothing to see there, beside the drive up and down the hill at nigh time, and eyesight is concentrated in the view of spectacular RIO.
What I saw... lots of ladies having their hair and nails done, lots of small convenience stores, lots of people on their way back home. Really enjoyed the driving in the narrow roads and crazy traffic, nothing like that in Miami....
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Old Dec 3rd, 2004, 11:22 AM
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When I took the tour in September, we curtailed our visit to Rochina because of safety. We went to another favela and I felt perfectly safe. I just wish that we had more comments here by people who have actually been on the tour. We've got one person who says they're dangerous and another one says that you'll be disappointed if you're expecting danger because it's boring.
Good grief. I think this subject has been discussed ad nauseum.
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