How safe is Brazil? Do's and don'ts?

edited September 2009 in - Brazil
I plan on spending 3 months in Brazil this summer but am increasingly concerned about safety. I have heard there is hostility and even aggression towwards Americans, and plenty of mugging and violent crime in the big cities. For example if go the beach myself is it crazy to leave my stuff under my towel on the sand whilei swim?? Walking about walking alone at night exploring the city? I also want to drive a car down the coast - is hijacking and bad driving a big problem? Any advice or tips and do's and don'ts much appreciated. Thanks.
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Comments

  • edited 4:26AM
    The cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are one of the most dangerous cities in South America in terms of mugging, petty theft, etc. I would never walk alone, in the daytime or at night, and would not wear any type of jewelry. In no case should you leave your items unattended anywhere, whether on the beach or anywhere else. If you are spending several months there, hopefully it's at someone's home. They should give you guidance on what you should or should not do while there. If you don't speak Portugese, that's another roadblock. I hope this helps.

    Lilliam Larsen
    www.monarchtours.net
  • edited 4:26AM
    Hi there,

    I came across your post while browsing the net, I'm am planning to make a 2 - 3 week trip over Argentina and Brazil and was planning to spend 5 days in rio. As a lone female traveller, by reading your comments it seems this isn't too wise?
  • edited September 2009
    sorry about the double post...computer problems..

    :(
  • edited January 2010
    How safe is Brazil? Millions of people travel to brazil and thousands from all over the world for carnaval.

    Although crime exists everywhere, it is good to be aware and SMART but not paranoid..

    As somebody who grew up in Rio, I never had a problem. Being that I grew up in a favela, I have a little more fears of places like Copacabana because the criminals will look for victims there. They are going to go to tourist areas first because that is where the money is.

    But many people have been to Rio and had a wonderful time..so, be aware and smart, but please do not be paranoid...Rio has lots to offer..
  • edited 4:26AM
    I have been to S
  • edited 4:26AM
    Dear friend
    don't be concerned about the safety! very nice palce you will not forget
    I just came from Rio, only take care like in any big city and that is it
    go walk in Copa at night and drink beer wonderfull!
  • edited 4:26AM
    Hi There,

    Next week Im traveling to Sao Paulo on a business trip for 4 week.

    So I want to know the posible way to spend my weekends thr with low cost.
    and aslo im planning to visit Rio for 2days 1 night.

    Please suggest me on the same
  • edited 4:26AM
    Hello ! SOS :I need help from anyone please, I like to go to Sao Paulo couple weeks I living in England for 30 Years ! my Passport is from Belgium . Anyone can tell me if I can travel to Brasil with Passport only ? And how much time I can I stay please in Brasil ? Also how many injections ? and how much time I must wait before I can travel after have all injections ? Can I buy a open Ticket for have a long stay. make a good deal just for Plane ticket and fast arrive ?? PLEASE ANYONE DO HELP ME. The men I love living in Brasil .
    Tyou to anyone for read me and help me. Mouchette xx
    My Email is beccsine@hotmail.com
  • edited 4:26AM
    You have many questions about Brazil. Read through the Word Travels guide to Brazil here and most of them will be answered!
  • edited 4:26AM
    Hi there- Re safety cities in Brazil are just like cities anywhere in the world. You have to keep out of dangerous areas like favelas (shanty towns) and you have to be careful with your belongings - particularly flashy jewellery, laptops and large cameras. Outside cities and particlarly when travelling off the beaten track Brazil is actually one of the safest countries to be in. In 30 years travelling here I have never had a problem.

    If you want more info on travelling safely in Brazil check out this posting on my blog: http://hiddenpousadasbrazil.blogspot.com/2009/08/25-tips-for-travelling-safely-in-brazil.html

    Cheers

    Alison
  • edited 4:26AM
    As mentioned before, Brazil is quite safe as long as you stay away from the danger areas, which as far as I am aware are mainly the favelas. In S
  • edited 4:26AM
    one should be concerned with safety
    always !
    but not necessarily more here in Brazil than in the rest of the world
    always the same basic rule (in the whole world) : stay out of the spotlight, do not attract / create any attention
    and you will automatically feel a lot safer

    I am living in Bahia for 5 years now (www.basix.cc)
    and never had major problems, of course I have been robbed, of course the my ship has been burglared but could happen at any place where I went ...

    greetz from the tropIX
  • edited 4:26AM
    I see that most of the comments here are about Rio. I would like to hear of any experiences in Natal & Fortaleza. Special insights about safety and criminality. I read on a Wiki page about Fortaleza that crime was not only confined to the Favelas, with the tourist areas also a target. What worries me is their murder rate, which was 35 per 100,000 residents (in my country it's 1). Also that car jacking was a big problem.

    So any help or experiences???
  • edited 4:26AM
    Most of the comments in this thread area about Rio. I am wondering how safe it is in Fortaleza & Natal. I read in a Wiki article that Fortaleza enjoys a murder rate of 35 per 100,000 residents (in my country it's 1), and car jacking is a problem too. What worried me most is the fact that these problems seems to spill out into the tourist areas too.

    So what is the experience of others for these two cities?? And, by the way, I can well appreciate the advise of being careful; don't flash cash or valuables, etc., etc. I'm looking for for people's experience and feelings while they were there. In other words, what was your level of comfort?? Any help or advice would be gratefully accepted.
  • edited 4:26AM
    Most of the comments in this thread area about Rio. I am wondering how safe it is in Fortaleza & Natal. I read in a Wiki article that Fortaleza enjoys a murder rate of 35 per 100,000 residents (in my country it's 1), and car jacking is a problem too. What worried me most is the fact that these problems seems to spill out into the tourist areas too.

    So what is the experience of others for these two cities?? And, by the way, I can well appreciate the advise of being careful; don't flash cash or valuables, etc., etc. I'm looking for for people's experience and feelings while they were there. In other words, what was your level of comfort?? Any help or advice would be gratefully accepted.
  • edited 4:26AM
    Most of the comments in this thread area about Rio. I am wondering how safe it is in Fortaleza & Natal. I read in a Wiki article that Fortaleza enjoys a murder rate of 35 per 100,000 residents (in my country it's 1), and car jacking is a problem too. What worried me most is the fact that these problems seems to spill out into the tourist areas too.

    So what is the experience of others for these two cities?? And, by the way, I can well appreciate the advise of being careful; don't flash cash or valuables, etc., etc. I'm looking for for people's experience and feelings while they were there. In other words, what was your level of comfort?? Any help or advice would be gratefully accepted.
  • edited 4:26AM
    Hi I was considering going on a volunteer trip to Sao Gabriel, and Manaus, however, safety has become a major concern, can anyone shed some light on these places?
  • edited 4:26AM
    I went through all the experiences written here. I felt some what contradictory statements like some people said its safe but some people shared their expereinces of theft etc I am travelling to Sao Paulo in Oct '11, can some help me on the safety on individual travelling and where I can spend the weekend at a cheaper cost? Since I am an Indian I am a pure vegetarian (DONT EAT MEAT) can some help if i get a good vegetarian/Indian restaurants?

    Thanks
  • edited 4:26AM
    No worries, Sydney/AU is also a dangerous place to live. If you want to go to a safe place, go to Debrecen / Hungary, here nothing happens, but it is very safe.
  • edited 4:26AM
    You find violence anywhere you go, just be smart and you wont have troubles...but take necessary care with your stuffs. Brazil is as safe as Paris, London or New York. Otherwise, you still have the option to do not come !
  • edited 4:26AM
    You find violence anywhere you go, just be smart and you wont have troubles...but take necessary care with your stuffs. Brazil is as safe as Paris, London or New York. Otherwise, you still have the option to do not come !
  • edited 4:26AM
    Everywhere is safe if you walk in the light !
    Most murder cases in Brazil are related to consumption of drugs.
    Those who walk in the light will have no problem, even in slums.
    I am sure 99% of people in slums are simple and honest workers.
    It is simple, pay attention to your belongs and stay in the light.
  • edited 4:26AM
    Hi,
    I am going on a holiday to Brazil in 2014..
    my family doesnt know exactly which places we are going to in Brazil but i dont want to go anywhere that if i walk outside i will get mugged!!
    so can someone please tell me where the SAFEST place is in Brazil to help my family out.. we have a big family, young kids and i dont want them to be kidnapped if i take my eye off them for 5 seconds! PLEASE HELP ME!
    :D thanks xx
  • edited 4:26AM
    Have fun in 2014! Because that will be an insane year to go, im sure the thieves will be going out like crazy. BUT that does not mean u need to act crazy. I have been to brazil once and it was the most amazing time of my life. i am going again in summer. Here are some general tips: brazilians are incredibly friendly, they will all say hello and give u kisses, dont be shy. u will notice, clothing is laid back, and there is very little of it. DO NOT OVER-DRESS. that will scream tourist. especially with tons of jewelry (bad idea) this is a time to relax, so dress relaxed. When I go, I am with people who live in Brazil, so luckily, I am the only tourist-loking person in the group. It is a good idea to not put out there that u are american. not saying u have to keep your mouth shut, but don't put it all out there. Just face it, any1 can get mugged anywhere in this world...so basically dont be stupid. U should NOT walk alone at dark. EVER. even be cautious in small groups. Most people take taxis and the bus in the evening. Avoid sketchy places, dont go anywhere near what are called "favela" aka. the ghetto slums. Fantastic places are: Buzios, Rio, Copacabana, and Impanema. they are always busy places as well. WONDERFUL food, shopping and sight seeing. Just sitting on the beach is like being in a postcard. Just make sure u talk to your children clearly about the trip telling them never to talk to strangers, and to keep an eye on one another. as always. The places I listed previously are great. u will love all of them. this will be a trip of a life time. I am hoping to go that year as well if i can afford it! just be smart, have fun, dont carry many valuables, (don't have too much cash on u ever) take only as much as u will need for each day. no jewelry. obviously dont wear clothing that has like american flags on it haha. people love to talk to americans because many brazilians wish to be us. they look at us like WOWWWWWW UR SO COOL (not kidding) so they may be a bit infatuated. just make sure if they seem sketchy u remain nice and leave. I dont mean to scare u but seriously it is heaven. and worst case scenario, if u do get mugged, give them the money. they will become violent if u fight back. valuables are better off stolen than you. i spent 2 months there and nothing bad happend, i didnt meet any weird people at all, no violence. didnt even see any crimes happen. honestly im sure nothing will happen.
    just dont go alone at night
    stay in populated places at night
    dress laid back
    keep that u r american on the down lo (some people say they dont like americans, that is not true, they are obsessed with us. they may even ask funny questions, like "do u really have this there?) the only ones who "dont like" us is the thieves because they think all americans are rich spoiled...theyre basically jealous.
    dont let your children talk to strangers, make sure they are well behaved enough to listen to u...if it was me i would start talking to them about 6 months before the trip, telling them cool facts about brazil, such as they dont speak english, etc. so they can get a gist of what it will be like. and go over safety rules with them...like no talking to strangers, etc. u should make a code word if anything happens.
  • edited 4:26AM
    if u have more questions feel free to ask. :) sorry 4 the essay!
  • edited 4:26AM
    I'm sorry jbsdhibcd, but brazilians never wanted to be "american" as all of us who were born in AMERICA south or north will always be american... anyway... you had a wrong point of view saying that brazilians wants to be like noth americans. Brazil could be quite safe if you take some nice care such explained above, you just got to be smart and your trip will be amazing. Hope you have a great one down in Brazil.

    PS: if i could i would love to buy a house there.


    Cheers.

    Allan
  • edited 4:26AM
    Almost everyone I know who's been to Barcelona has been mugged but I was not given a second look by the locals. My simple advice is just don't look too much like a tourist. Walk with confidence and purpose and dont have big expensive cameras dangling on your shoulder. Most 'street hustlers' are north african and any who would begin to approach were met with 'Lo Shokram' which is Arabic for 'no thanks'.
    The only time I had a scary encounter was in Marrakesh when a group of teenagers started following me then eventually surrounded me. When their demand for money wasn't met I simply shouted very loudly at them and they backed off. I suppose it's all about calling their bluff. If you start to show weakness, people will exploit it.
  • edited 4:26AM
    jbsdhibcd....your the reason why americans are hated when they travel with that attitude. Absolutly horrible thinking....no they don't think your to cool...you think your to cool. obssessed they are, are u half mental? Most Countries travel and get love cause we don't think with a mentality of bullshit. I've been everywhere. You say don't where the red white and blue in brazil. Your ego spits it brother. From a canadian with love for americans and all. Happy travels guys!
  • edited 4:26AM
    I've also had experiences in my travels where locals were very excited and inquisitive about meeting an American. It tends to happen more in areas that get little tourist traffic, but I think the same feeling applies to meeting a person from any country for the first time... just like I was very interested the first time I met someone from Ecuador. We're all curious about the world:-)
  • edited 4:26AM
    I am traveling to Brazil (Divinopolis Minas Gerais) and curious about its safety! Any experiences anyone? Your comments are very appreciated. Thanks so much!
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