• Great place!
  • Nice place!
  • Ok place.

Vidigal Favela

Female opinion

My number 1 place in Rio. It was love from first sight. Even before I found the courage to go uphill to the favela, I had already fallen in love with the lower part of this neighborhood. Rocky beach in front of the Sheraton hotel on one side and old villas and self-built slum houses on the other. Vidigal reminds me of all my favorite destinations mixed together. Its hilltop villas recall Italian villages, chaotic traffic on favela's narrow streets reminds me India and the steep coast is a bit similar to the Peruvian capital's coastal cliffs.

Male opinion

Fear or curiosity, which one should you listen? You can find endless crime stories about favelas of Rio. If a place has “favela” in its name, automatic rush of adrenaline will release in your body. But Vidigal today is a favela mainly by its appearance and name. Its narrow, winding, and steep streets, confided by rustic small red brick houses, will take you to overpriced restaurants and clubs. The views are marvellous. Navigating the streets is a great experience, and quite a safe one, the views from top of Vidigal will definitely reward your bravery!

Vidigal is located between Leblon and Sao Conrado neigborhoods, at the base of Two Brothers Hill.

The neighborhood was named after a former commander of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro state in the 19th century, Major Miguel Nunes Vidigal. The first slums were built here in 1940s. Before its pacification, Vidigal was considered one of the most dangerous favelas in Rio because of the drug war.

Vidigal favela was pacified in 2011. The local ghetto is now considered to be the friendliest and most cultural favela in Rio. Many foreigners have bought houses here and live in the community permanently. From all the favelas, Vidigal has the best views. It has become quite popular among tourists and locals from wealthy neighborhoods. That's why some Vidigal restaurants with great views have Leblon-level prices.

Vidigal favela safety

In Rio de Janeiro you are not 100% safe anywhere. That in mind, Vidigal is the safest favela in Rio de Janeiro. It is accustomed to receiving a lot of rich locals as well as foreign tourists every day. Nevertheless, keep your eyes open and do not bring valuables. Most dangerous gunfights in favelas start from shootouts between the special police forces (BOPE) and drug traffickers. If you see police with machineguns running or taking cover in the favela, run the other way.

Song related to favelas of Rio

Quick facts

Type: favela
Touristic: a little bit
Getting there: easy
Minimal transport: walk
Cost: free
Other names: Vidigal, Vidigal favela, comunidade do Vidigal
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How to get there

Address: Av. Presidente João Goulart 2

Hood: Vidigal

From Ipanema, General Osorio:
1. Walk down to Ipanema beach and continue towards Leblon.
2. In the end of Leblon beach turn left, continue up the hill.
3. Follow the road until you see the favela entrance (open square, UPP police station, minivans and motorcycles) on your right.

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