It’s not advisable walking around Rocinha on your own. There are lots of stories from travellers that have gone in on their own and some misgivings had happened to them. It’s best to find a local to take you around. This best way to achieve this is by asking someone you can trust that already lives there. If you do this, the experience can be relaxed.
The sudden explosion of people living in the favela, has led to a lack of planning and streets really do not have any order. The tight alleyways twist and turn as more often than not, football and gang graffiti will be on the walls either side of you. The steep roads up to the top provide a stunning a view out over the bay.