Here’s a video looking over the edge down into Brazil and South America’s largest favela, Rocinha, from the “Dois Irmaos” mountain 500 metres above, in Rio de Janeiro.
It zooms right into the favela and across to the luxury beaches and apartments by the ocean, and then back out towards the mountains further along the Rio de Janeiro coastline.
The Rocinha favela is considered “pacified” by the police, and it’s true tourists can walk along the main road without fear of robbery. However, further into the favela the drug-trafficking regimes still rule the area, and crime is still ongoing for most of its 800,000 residents. As proof, I heard the sound of automatic gunfire echoing through the valley one morning as I hiked the Dois Irmaos mountain alone.
Access to the Dois Irmaos trail is through the Vidigal favela, itself a pretty difficult hike through steep, twisting favela streets. The neighbourhood’s really interesting, though, and there’s an Acai shop along the way.
The view from Dois Irmaos is better than the views from either Christ the Redeemer or Sugarloaf mountain, both of which you can see from Dois Irmaos.