WATCH: Trek through Brazil's largest favela

Follow World Nomads' Chris Noble into Rocinha - Brazil's largest favela - as he discovers a very different side to Rio away from the non-stop partying.

So, what is a a favela?

A 'favela' is a Brazilian shack or shanty town. Favelas tend to be densely populated - up to a million people in the small area - and are not the usual party scenes many associate with the country.

Many favelas sprung up as consequence of drug dealing crime. 

Rocinha - the favela featured in this video is one such case. It is Brazil's largest favela as it holds a staggering amount of about 70 000 people within its confined borders according to a census from 2010.

SEE Quick Guide to Brazil: Visa-free travel for South Africans 


The densely packed homes and buildings blanket the hillside that overlooks the bustling city of Rio de Janeiro and glows like a swarm of fireflies under the night sky.

The soundtrack that sets the scene to its streets are echoes of hooting vehicles, buzzing mopeds, laughing people, ear-bleedingly loud whistles hailing cabs and sounds of street vendors cooking away.

The streets are thickly lined by street vendors and hawkers selling deals and produce. Brightly coloured cloths draping the entrances to markets and locals weaving their way through it all and the mopeds and cabs that zip by. 

READ: Rio or Sao Paulo? Do Brazil on a budget with these flight specials

Much like SA, Brazil is a melting pot of cultures, wealth levels and people and the beauty lies in the blend and cohesiveness of the communities overall. 

And, one thing that stands out though is that, despite strife and tight living conditions, there is a strong sense of community to be found brewing in the favelas of Brazil.

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