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Santa Marta Favela

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The first of the city’s “pacified” (police-controlled) favelas, Santa Marta is one of the few that is safe and accessible to tourists, with tours aimed at raising awareness and funds to help improve the safety and living conditions of Rio’s notorious slums.

Santa Marta Favela is no stranger to the limelight – its innovative Favela Painting project, the brainchild of Dutch duo Haas & Hahn, has garnered global attention, and it even starred in the music video for Michael Jackson’s 1996 hit ‘They Don't Care About Us,” a moment remembered with the bronze Michael Jackson statue erected in the central square. Since then, guests as diverse as Madonna, former Brazilian president Lula and Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus have all visited the famous favela, a rainbow of makeshift houses sprawled along the steep hillsides above Botafogo.

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