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Salgueiro Samba School, Andaraí

104 Rua Silva Teles
Rio de Janeiro
Tel: 55 21 2238 0389's insider take:

The most authentic samba schools in Rio are based in the favela slums. Dance students act as informal guides as they accompany tourists to the school building for practice. The Salgueiro school is one of the safest to visit, thanks to a kind of benign mob protection walk. Admission is pricey by local standards but won't put a big hole in your pocket, and the cab fare from the south side should run around $25. The street party outside gets going around 11 pm; inside it goes till dawn.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.