Brazil Travel

Brazil Safety

In Brazil, there are a number of safety issues to consider beyond just putting on sunscreen. We have provided here an up-to-date and comprehensive safety guide, to answer most questions a visitor to Brazil might have regarding safety concerns, including various contact numbers, local police chapters, and a brief history to help explain why there was a period of fairly high crime rate in the late 1980's- one that has been drastically reduced, in large part due to the countries' high focus on tourism. Safety is a large concern when visiting any foreign city, let a lone a vast country such as Brazil, and such concerns are undeniably justified. We hope this will clear up the misconception many people initially hold that Brazil is like Harlem, NY at 4 am all day long, and help you understand that obeying a few simple and basic rules is all you need to have a fantastic time in this wonderful country.

The U.S. state department has provided a complete list of what to bring/what to not bring, along with recommended safety precautions, and complete information on traveling to South America, here:
"Tips for Travelers to Central and South America"

Emergency Guide
In case something does happen such as a stolen passport, a theft, or a medical emergency, please consult our Emergency Guide, which contains a lot of contact information you may need.
Emergency Guide

Brief History of Safety
Brazil in the 1980's started developing a reputation for violence and crime due to a massive debt that left no money for necessities such as police, hospitals and schools. In the early 1990's, however, things began to turn around, as the government was able to decrease its debt and thus reintroduce money into public services, starting with the police. Officers were stationed anywhere there seemed to be a problem: city streets, beaches, etc and the crime rate began to fall. Huge investments into tourism simultaneously made the protection of tourists a government priority.
Tourism throughout Brazil is now a top priority, and everything is done to ensure the safety and comfort of visitors. Simply imagine the scandal that would erupt if a single citizen of the United States was seriously hurt.

Safety for Women Travelers
Though the "Latino machismo" does exist in Brazil, it is more subdued; with more then half of University graduates being female. Brazilian men love to flirt, and the usual come-ons that are meant to be ignored will happen; a simple rejection is usually all it takes. However, do not dress in a way that calls for attention: too revealingly or excessively over-dressed. At night, it is recommended to take a taxi than to walk alone.

Safety for Senior Citizen Travelers
The elderly are treated with respect and affection in Brazil, and extra concerns over the safety of seniors should not be a hindrance to visiting this country.

Popular Scams
There are some tricks that con artists have been known to pull off on tourists. Just being aware of some of these scams will allow most tourists to avoid such troubles.
Scams in Brazil

Taxis are very safe and available everywhere, but some incidents are occasionally reported. If you do not feel safe ordering a taxi yourself, ask the hotel you are in or a restaurant to call one for you: the taxis provided like this are guaranteed to be completely safe. Taxis are the number one most common mode of transportation that tourists use, and with their inexpensive costs and convenience, it is generally the one most recommended.

Public Transportation
Buses and the Metro are safe during the day, though one must be cautious of pickpockets during rush hour. Brazilian drivers, especially in Rio, are a bit frantic however, and this does not exclude bus drivers, though there are very few reported accidents. Buses are a good mode of transportation when traveling throughout the vast country- if you have time and want to save on airfare costs- for they are usually air conditioned and some offer comfortable reclining seats.

There are always the pickpockets that look for the lost tourist within a crowd. Most of the time such thieves have absolutely no intention of hurting you, so if you feel a tug on your bag and realize it is being stolen, let it go. This way unnecessary accidents are avoided. This is also why storing your passport and vital documents in the hotel safe is the wisest plan, along with why not having a lot of money on you is recommended.

Most of the crime that accounts for the high crime rate statistics takes place in the poverty stricken favelas, or shantytowns. These areas are foundin the hills of cities, where most tourists would not be advised, or interested, in going to on their own. If you are interested in exploring these areas for another side of Brazil, there are guided tours provided within the cities. Information for this can be found in our City Tours section.

Embasies in Brazil
Here is the contact information to the embassies of most major countries found in Brazil.

Airline Offices in Brazil
Here is the contact information for the major airlines that fly to and from Brazil.

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