Located in Botafogo and named after the community’s patron saint, Santa Marta is by far the most colorful favela that you will encounter in Rio. We start off the tour by taking the cable car up to the top of the hill where we will explore Santa Marta, meet with local artisans, and visit a number of local initiatives from the community. Then it’s off to enjoy the view and meet with someone special: Michael Jackson! In 1996 Michael Jackson recorded the video “They Do Not Care About Us” in Santa Marta and in commemoration of this event, the neighborhood erected a bronze statue of Michael at one of the viewpoints. Finally, we visit the Santa Marta church at the top of the hill, a reference to the community’s patron saint.
Our local guide, Carlos Barbosa, moved to Santa Marta in 2008 and was instantly drawn to the social projects that were emerging within the favela. Over time, he decided to become a professional tour guide and enrolled in a course at Toptur. Today, he participates in a number of community associations that help stregthen local tourism within the favela. Barbosa is a multi-faceted guide: craftsman, van driver, and tour guide all in one amazing package!