Rocinha - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Rocinha


Even though Rio de Janeiro is one of the world's foremost holiday destinations, boasting great beaches, vibrant night-life, and significant tourist attractions, the hard fact is that it remains a city of gross economic inequality - as typified by its sprawling urban slums ( favelas), the largest of which, Rocinha, is home to nearly a quarter of a million people. For tourists looking to get to grips with this social reality, a local named Zezinho runs widely-celebrated tours of Rocinha, the favela in which he grew up. Those worrying that it will be a typical, voyeuristic, seen-from-the-back-of-a-Jeep experience can lay those fears to rest - the great strength of Zezinho's tours is that they are conducted out of love for Rocinha, and a desire to share its culture with foreigners. As Zezinho says, 'It is easy to see poverty or poorly built houses, but what I love about Rocinha is the spirit of the people' - and all who partake in his tour of Rocinha agree that it's a valuable, important, and humanising touristic experience.

Information & Facts

Túnel Zuzu Angel, west of the Ipanema area, Rio de Janeiro
The spoken language in Brazil is Portuguese, however Spanish and English are also used in the cities.

The Brazilian monetary unit is the real (BRL), plural reais. There are 100 centavos to the real. The US dollar is also welcome in most tourist establishments. In the main cities foreign currencies and travellers cheques can be exchanged at banks or cambios. There is an extensive network of ATMs in the country and most major international credit cards are accepted.

Brazil spans four time zones: Rio and Sao Paulo: GMT -2 (GMT -3 April to October); Brasilia and Belm: GMT -3 (GMT -2 October to March); GMT -4 in the West.
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