Poverty Tourism Gets Rio Tour Company in Trouble

A Rio de Janeiro tour company could have its license revoked after being caught offering tourists “intimate” tours of the city’s infamous slums, called favelas. Visitors were given the opportunity to meet the drug lords who rule these slums and even be photographed with them.

Vagabondish is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read our disclosure.

The story was broken by an undercover reporter who paid the $55 fee for a 4-hour tour of the city’s largest slum, Rocinha, including a meeting with local drug lords. The tour also featured a question answer session with these drug traffickers, and the chance to pose for pictures with them.

The company, Prince Tours, is not the only one catering to this sort of poverty tourism — across Rio, more than 600 companies offer holidaymakers the chance to see the city’s seedy underbelly. The practice has been labeled controversial and bordering on exploitation.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's Make Sure You're Human ... * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Subscribe to Our 'Under the Radar' Newsletter
If you love travel, you're gonna love this!