By Marcelo Duailibe, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The favela community Rocinha was pointed out as one of the top ten worst places to visit in 2012. According to the journalist Justin Delaney in a report by AOL/Huffington Post Blog,, the largest favela in Rio does have a “breathtaking view of Rio, but it is also home to several hundred thousand low income Brazilians packed onto a steep lawless hillside.”

AOL/Huffington Post Travel blog The points out Rocinha as one of the worst 10 destinations to visit in 2012, image recreation.
AOL/Huffington Post Travel blog The points out Rocinha as one of the worst 10 destinations to visit in 2012, image recreation.

“It is a playground for modern day little Li’l Zes.,” says Desnaley on a reference to a drug dealer from the Oscar’s nominated Brazilian movie Cidade de Deus (City of God), by Fernando Meirelles.

The Secretary for Tourism in Rio, Ronald Ázaro, thinks it is “strange” Rocinha was included in the list, together with Ciudad Juarez, in Mexico, Port au Prince, Haiti, and Mogadishu, in Somalia. “The place has had a high demand of visitors even before the military operation.” he said. Those numbers have grown up even more now.

The military operation and pacification of Rocinha in November 2011 was a milestone for the strategy against drug traffic in Rio de Janeiro. Located Zona Sul (South Zone), an area of the city with high through-traffic and surrounded by high mountains and forests, the areas had long been a strong hold for drug gangs.

During the last year it was also thought to be a hideout for fugitives from the Complexo do Alemão favela, which was occupied with a military pacification force in a violent campaign which started in November 2010.

With the recent Rocinha occupation, however, the place reportedly has started to receive more locals and tourists, attracted by their large baile funk parties, inexpensive restaurants and unbeatable view of the city.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.


  1. I find the listing of Rocinha as one of the worst 10 destinations in the world hard to fathom. In my two visits to Rio I make it a must see. Its incredible location,history and people give a real perspective to one of the most fascinating cities around. Don’t be put off! There are several tours to take. You won’t regret it.

  2. Pacification of Rocinha is making that place safer to visit,but if u want go there, be careful, few money, and jewels etc and good luck :)

  3. this is crazy..I live in Rocinha and I love it here. Its far from perfecy but its not like any of the places on that list. I emailed the writer of this article and told him that his journalism is irresponsible becase its obvious that he has never been here to my favela..

    Zezinho da Rocinha

  4. I am a foreigner who lived in Rocinha for over one year and I can’t believe it is included in this list. Obviously, the writer has never been. To recognize Rocinha’s true beauty you must interact with its residents, its truly a wonderful place.

  5. From its bustling beaches to the outrageous February festival, Rio de Janeiro is a city that knows how to entertain, day or night. Travel through Tijuca National Park to Corcovado Mountain’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. Take the cable car up Sugar Loaf for more views. Explore Brazilian history at the Municipal Theatre, Praca Quinze and former presidential residence, Catete Palace. Try hang gliding, surfing or a game at Maracana Soccer Stadium. Or just chill with a caipirinha on the sand.

  6. Rocinha , i think cannot be included in this list.that’s a bit exaggerated.not all places are perfect….this is really a interesting place to visit.

  7. Music is everywhere during Carnival, exploding from the roving bands of drums and trumpets, whizzing back and forth in the air like a 100 lb. hummingbird. The sounds are intoxicating. You will want to join in. Bring along a whistle, tambourine or shaking egg, anything to contribute your personal rhythm to this musical blowout. Last year i went to Rio de Janeiro its beautiful . I got an invitation from the school of samba. They said they wanted to make homage of my work,“I was thrilled, and I couldn’t believe it. Carnival in Brazil is the biggest cultural event in the country. There will be thousands of people dressed up. There will be huge floats. It’s hard to describe in words. I’m very appreciative. I’m very thankful.”


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