Rio de Janeiro audio tour: Rio de Janeiro’s Little Africa: A Black History Tour through Gamboa

Rio de Janeiro’s Little Africa: A Black History Tour through Gamboa

Walking Tour

40 mins

About the Tour

Gamboa, the city’s port area, is full of secrets, hidden history and forgotten stories that, once uncovered, can shed light on a fascinating part of Rio de Janeiro. On this walking tour, we’ll visit several sensitive sites like the Valongo Wharf where slaves arriving from Africa disembarked, and Pedra do Sal where they settled. Through the port and art districts, you’ll learn about the slave trade, the bittersweet history of sugar mills and coffee farms, and the struggles and resilience of everyday people.

On this walk, I hope to offer you an understanding of Brazilian culture, unveil the myth of racial democracy in this country, and teach you about our diaspora. Along the way, I’ll explain why sharing, listening, and exchanging stories empowers our communities.

My name is Kelly Tavares, and I’ll be your guide. I’m fascinated by South America’s mixed heritage and hope to share some of my ancestors’ stories with you, and tell you why I feel that music, dance, and social life make life worth living. I run my own tourism company, Rio Encantos Experiences, promoting socially responsible tourism with the aim of creating global connections.

Let's unite and have some fun!

Tour Producer


Kelly Tavares

I am a certified tour guide and founder of Rio Encantos travel agency. I have been promoting the African Legacy experiences in Rio de Janeiro since 2013.

I graduated in Arts Education at the Federal University of Espírito Santo and I hold a Master’s degree in Community Arts Management, at the University of Oregon.

Major Landmarks

  • Valongo Wharf UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Pedra do Sal

Directions to Starting Point

The starting point is easy: right in front of the MAR (Museu de Arte do Rio) in Praça Mauá (/Mawaa/) square. Get there by Uber or access through metro (Cinelândia stop) and connect with VLT (Light vehicle over Tracks) stopping at Parada dos museus stop.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Tomorrow Museum, MAR Museum, Largo São Francisco da Prainha, Pedra do Sal, Valongo Wharf, Street Art Walls

Best time of day

Early morning or at 2 pm or at 4 pm during Brazilian Summer time


Try to keep your phone in your pocket for the most part of your walk, but with no worries. Enjoy your surroundings!


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Rio de Janeiro’s Little Africa: A Black History Tour through Gamboa