Safety Risk in Brazil

Old Jan 16th, 2002, 07:50 PM
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Safety Risk in Brazil

I am an American considering a quick vacation in Brazil (Rio) but have heard many bad stories about personal safety- that all tourists get mugged at some point, and that rapes and kidnapping/ransoms are actually common. Can any experienced travelers confirm or deny this? Thanks.
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 01:11 AM
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Hello Elisa!

I am a german, but a frequently Brazil-traveller and know Rio very well, have been there 8-9 times.
Well, I can tell you that what you've heard about the safety in Rio is really not true!!
Don't let those people scare you, they are just jealous that they do not have the opportunity to go to such a marvelous city.
I (as I have been there for several times) have never been mugged off, ...
and I always went to a lot of places there.
Of course Rio is not more dangerous than any other big city of the world.
Don't go to places you feel uncomfortable, don't flash expensive jewelry or money, act like you live there and use common sense.
If you need more advice about hotels, public-transportation,"must-sees, night-life, etc. you can feel free to ask me!

Old Jan 17th, 2002, 05:22 AM
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Thanks Evelyn! Most of the people I hear these warnings from are other Americans that have been there, so it's not jealousy. Just different perceptions of the same thing I guess.
You mentioned public transporatation, how is it there?
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 05:52 AM
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Hello again Elisa!

Well, the transportation in Rio is okay, ..there are hundred of different buses, which you never figure out where they are going, there are tourist buses and Rio also has a metro(subway) which you can use to get easily from one point to another..!
But I could you give more detailed information if you write me your real E Mail (cause can't be a right one..?) ...
so I can send you more and better informations about it!
Hope to hear from you!

[email protected]

Old Jan 17th, 2002, 09:43 AM
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Is vacationed in Rio earlier this year. Rio is now an extreemely safe place to visit. Very visible police presence. However, i was in my hotel room by 10:00 pm. Don't know what happened after that!! Just use same precautions that you would in any large American city. I live near NYC and think it's more dangerous there that Rio.

Have fun!!
Old Jan 17th, 2002, 09:25 PM
Wild Bill
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I was in Rio in May, and did not find any of these problems. Stayed in Ipanema area right on the beach and felt very safe for the most part. Spent several nights out late in the Ipanema area and walked back to hotel w/out problem. I would say that there were areas of Rio I wouldn't walk around in at night, just like there are areas of Chicago or NY I wouldn't want to walk aound in an night either. All in all, everyone was very friendly and I had no problems.
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 06:41 AM
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Hello new folks:

My first time doing this so I'm so happy to get this info. Husband and I going to Brazil for first time. Arriving NY-Rio where we will stay for a day before we head up to Santarem. Back afterwards to Salvador and then Rio.

Was really interested in the safety issue - as Rough Guide sort of scared me. Thanks for the good info.

Any suggestions for the first leg of only 1 full day in Rio and then when we return for about 5 days.

Old Jan 21st, 2002, 09:28 AM
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Sheilah: If the weather is good the first day, I'd suggest doing something that depends on good weather (Corcavado or Sugar Loaf?). When we were in Rio a couple of months ago, the weather was fine the first couple of days but then lousy the last few.

Regarding safety, we never had any problems; never experienced any crime, or talked to anyone who did. We took the ordinary buses every day with no problems (although we avoided them after dark, and waited for another if one looked too crowded).
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 03:22 PM
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Elisa go but just use common sense.
Dont take jewelry down there. Dont go walking on the beaches at night ( I cannot stress that enough). Most of all have a wonderful time. Remember that
Rio is not representative of the rest of Brazil. You will find the people there very very friendly. Very few people speak English so come prepared with a good Portuguese phrase book (one suited for Brazil because there is a difference) You will have a great time trying to speak this very beautiful language. I hope you have as much fun as I did. Have a safe and wonderful trip!
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 04:24 PM
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Like I said in a previous post I have been going to Rio since 1980 and years ago they stole my money and watch from my sneakers that I hid it in while I was at the beach in Ipanema. Since then I don't do that anymore. This last November 2001 I did something one should never do, that is walk down copacabana after a few drinks at about midnight, I was a little too confident because it has been so safe lately. But I was stopped by 2 men, well dressed they told me they had a knife and want my money, they showed me the knife and I yelled some obscenities at them and told them if they want my money to come and take it. They did not, they got away from me as fast as I wanted to get away from them, I quickly hailed a cab and went to where I was going and never did that again. Copacabana is safe during the day and at night if you use taxis and don't wlak far or in dark lonely areas.


Old Jan 23rd, 2002, 03:20 AM
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Dear Elisa,
I've travelled around the world alone in many countries that most people haven't considered visiting.
I have not once been assaulted because I am aware of my surroundings. The first thing I do is ask a cab driver how dangerous things have been lately. Cab drivers who work at night have a knowledge of any problems that occur during the evenings that non-nightowls have no clue to. I've spoken with many Brazilians and I won't lie to you Elisa, dangers exist in Rio but only in relation to how dangerous you make it. Often times we are our own worst enemies.
Walking unaware of other people and our surroundings; wandering in unfamiliar areas; being in areas that are a magnet for crime (near red light districts or areas near poor neighborhoods); walking in isolated areas or on the beach at night; not blending in with the locals in dress and showing off expensive jewelry,cameras and wads of currency; being intoxicated or using drugs;taking strangers in confidence too quickly; being offensive or too defensive; and most of all being in denial that crime does occur and that we can never be affected by it. Rape-murders between strangers are rare in Brazil and still make front page news even in cities like Sao Paolo, unlike in the US. It happens mostly between married couples and boyfriends- girlfriends. Brazil is a much less sexually repressed country than the US. Robbery is the crime in Brazil, which has a large population of poor with no safety net. I know that I am lecturing but giving advice is a responsibility I take seriously. But I love Rio and its people so much since I visited from The States, that I am going to retire there in the near future. I hope that expresses adequately as to whether I feel it is worthwhile for you to see Rio de Janeiro, Elisa. You will have a lovely time, I promise. D.K.

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