Rocinha is the largest slum (favela) area in Rio. It’s situated on the hills behind the city with panoramic views of the mountains and ocean. The people are generally poor but life in the favela teems with energy, enterprise, domestic activity, artwork, music (we encountered a spontaneous dance performance by a 9 year-old), day care centers, charity groups, schools as well as mafia-style control zones where the drug trade is said to flourish. Small tourist groups are led through the narrow alleyways by an authorized guide, occasionally passing by a gang member armed with a semi-automatic rifle. Other favelas can be navigated independently by tourist on foot. Going alone was considered previously consider foolish, but some are now under control by the Police Pacification Units and are safe to visit, such as the Santa Marta or Cantagalo favelas. People are friendly, some with shops selling pastries or jewelry.