Rio de Janeiro What to Pack

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  • dvideira's Profile Photo

    Packing List - and what NOT to bring.

    by dvideira Updated Jul 1, 2004

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    Luggage and bags: Pack light! The weather in here is mostly warm even in the winter ( guess what! today is a winter day and we are having 30ºC... ),
    unless you are going to the southern states of the country on your trip ( there can be really cold ... Ok... bring at least a sweater... one never knows when the weather changes...A lightweight wrap or jacket is often needed as the major hotels, restaurants and bars, as well as the subway and most taxis and buses, are air-conditioned.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Informality is the keynote in Rio de Janeiro in terms of dressing. Jackets and ties for men are restricted to offices or for a night at the Opera.

    Lots of t-shirts (do I need to tell?), cargo shorts and bermudas for the days, jeans, chinos or khakis for the evenings. For a special night. a little-black-goes-with-everything-dress for the girls or a button-down shirt ( with trousers, of course! ) for guys will do just fine!
    Remember, summer temperatures easily reach 40ºC. Natural fabrics that breathe, like cotton and light colors will help.

    Girls: Just for the start, bring your favorite bikini. Then, buy yourself some of the gorgeous ones you will find here.

    You are going to walk a lot. Bring your confortable favorite pair of sneakers. Another pair of casual shoes for the evening. You will need dress shoes only if you are coming on business, or planning to go to the more sophisticated nightclubs. Forget your beach flip-flops at home, and join the Havaianas sandals' club in here ( see next tip )

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Toiletries:
    Unless you have this really specific favorite stuff you do not live without ... there is no need to bring shampoos and beauty products They are easily available at import stores and better supermarkets.

    Warning: heavy make-up users may experience kind of a face-melting in the summer here

    Miscellaneous: You may choose... Bring your umbrellas or buy a cheap one in here....
    It may rain in here. As a matter of fact, while I'm just writing in here... Do you remember up there, the 30ºC winter day... Well, it just started raining. :o(

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • deadites's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by deadites Updated Feb 9, 2004

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    Miscellaneous: Before going to anyplace in Brazil, check to see if you need a Visa. Citizens of the US and Canada need visas. A waived country list can be found at the link below:

    Brazil Visa Information


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  • Flura's Profile Photo

    Packing List

    by Flura Updated Jan 31, 2004

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I was looking like an alien in my jeans on Ipanema.
    Take a swimsuit, shorts, a few t-schirts and sun glasses.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: A sun block. Use it during all the day.

    Photo Equipment: Probably you don't want to take an expensive camera to such events as New Year and Carnival.

    Miscellaneous: Brazilians are in an excellent shape. Go to a gym before going to Rio :)

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  • MartaBotelho's Profile Photo

    Important things to FORGET taking!!!

    by MartaBotelho Updated Jan 29, 2004

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    Luggage and bags: Do not take more than you need for the frist few days. One pair of shorts or a bikini, a few t-shirts, one sweater, shorts and jeans. Don't forget your favorite hiking shoes and a pair of flip-flops. A little pull bag will do the trick but bring inside another big bag that you can fold or then an empty luggage. I'll explain bellow why...

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Ok, forget your clothes except your favourite t-shirts and jeans. Shopping in Rio is so cheap that if you take a lot of luggage you won't find place to put inside all the stuff you bought. In Rio there are only two seasons: summer and summer... ooops, sorry, winter, but it's so hot that it's just like summer! So you won't need anything too worm, maybe just a sweater just for the night style. As for the rest do as I do... I go with empy bags and come back loaded with the latest trends by half price!!! And by the way, the quality of the fabrics is extraordinary! Don't forget just a rain gear if you are coming on the rainy season. Rain comes and goesin seconds, but when it comes it's like as if someone opened a hose! Shoes there are also inexpensive and good quality.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: The pharmacys in Brazil are just like one big supermarket! You can find anything and everything. All of the major Medicin Companies have their products also in these places, so take only the medicins that need a prescription and that you can't live without. They have all of the usual painkillers and usual medicins. They also have naturistic medicin shops with thousands of different vitamins and other stuff. They're all good. Try the Guarana pills! They are energetic and the best solution for an afternight drunk headacke and sickness!! All natural, by the way! And take my tip: if you feel sick just drink a lot of coconut water and eat a lot of Mamao (also known as Papaya). Your body will work as a clock!

    Photo Equipment: Taking a camera is a must!! Rio has not only wonderfull sights to photograph but you can also take lovely photos of every day people. Just remember to put it in a plastic bag when you take it to the streets. Please do not hang it on your neck, it just turns you into a possible target for the thiefs! You can find film everywhere and I would advise you to develop your films there. There are very nice laboratories and the developing is really cheap. At least half of what I pay in my own country! I shoot mostly slide film, so I'm very choosy about the places where I develop my film, but most of the Kodak laboratories do nice work. Don't take it to Depla though, they never do as you say and the photos seem to loose colour.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Hiking shoes are a must. There's a lot of places to hike in town and on the surroundings. Take a pair of long light pants and a hat. The sun is always very strong so a pair of sunglasses are also important. Take one pair of swim trunks or bikini. They are so good there that you can buy them half price from what you pay in Europe and the States.

    Miscellaneous: Don't forget to take sunblock. You can also buy it in Rio and they have excellent national brands.
    If you like skateboarding or rollerblading, than Rio is the perfect spot for it. There's a lot of skateboard tracks and as for rollerblades they are very useful even when you are just going around Ipanema or Copacabana.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Sunblock . . . normally

    by acemj Updated Jan 28, 2004

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Summer is December through March and winter is June through September so be ready for the exact opposite seasons if you are traveling from the northern hemisphere. Even in Rio's winter, however, temperatures rarely drop below 15 degrees celsius (or around 66 degrees F). If you're here in the summer it can be close to 40 degrees C (over 100 F) and the sun can be very bright.

    Because of the crime, I would recommend wearing clothes that are not flashy. Leave your fancy jewelery and watches at home.

    Miscellaneous: Bring sunblock or just buy it in Rio. Normally you'll need it, although I didn't see the sun too much on my trip!

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  • Zarah's Profile Photo

    I love Deet

    by Zarah Written Jan 25, 2004

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    Luggage and bags: Do not bring anything flashy with you.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Casual is the dress code...bring light pants to keep your legs covered and protected from mosquitoes at night.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Pepto just in case. Pharmacies are all over the city.

    Miscellaneous: Mosquito repellant with deet is a must, especially with occassional yellow/dengue fever outbreaks.

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Camera gear, but be discreet

    by acemj Updated Nov 15, 2003

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    Photo Equipment: Rio is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen and you'll definitely want to capture it on film. If you have a small digital camera this would be ideal since you won't want to carry around noticeable and expensive camera equipment which might attract unwanted attention on the street.

    I left my camera that you see in this photo at my hotel most of the time, but when I visited Sugarloaf and Corcovado, I had to bring out the big guns!

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  • chris_i79's Profile Photo


    by chris_i79 Written Aug 3, 2003

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Shorts and beach gear, It is generally quite casual dress.

    Photo Equipment: What ever amount of film you think is enough...bring more, lots more!

    Miscellaneous: Rio is obviously a major center and any items you forget can easily be purchased there.

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  • andal13's Profile Photo

    Hot in the city

    by andal13 Written Jul 27, 2003

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I visited Rio in July, that means winter; if you enlarge the picture, you will see that the street thermometer registers 30º C (86º F). So take your summer clothes, and do not forget your sun block!!!

    Visité Río en julio, es decir, en invierno; si agrandas la foto verás que el termómetro callejero registra 30º C. Así que lleva tu ropa de verano, ¡¡¡y no olvides el protector solar!!!

    The thermometer and me

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  • tijuca's Profile Photo

    Take Two Suitcases - One Empty Inside the Other

    by tijuca Updated Jul 20, 2003

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    Luggage and bags: The first time I returned to Rio after living there as a kid, I took two full suitcases. Big mistake. There was no where to put anything I bought in Rio.

    Now I take two suitcases, but I leave one empty and pack it inside the other. When it is time to leave, all "lembrancas" (souvenirs) go into the empty bag. I've never again experienced problems returning with my treasures.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Cotton shirts breath. I do not go to Rio in the "summer" (our winter months). I can still remember walking home from school in jeans and feeling them stick to my legs from the humidity. If you go in the summer, plan to wear as little as possible; shorts and a t-shirt will suffice almost everywhere during the day, except in churches and finer restaurants. Either wear tennis shoes or beach sandals. Try to blend in as much as possible. Nothing loud that will attract attention to you.

    If you plan to eat at the nicer restaurants at night, they probably have a dress code, so take along a sports jacket and a pair of slacks, just in case. Gringos are forgiven for many things they do, so the dress code may be waived. But why take a chance? You can always buy beautifully made shoes and leather goods in Rio. You can buy anything in Rio, however, clothing is not (except t-shirts) inexpensive there.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: You can buy all of these things in Rio at any "farmacia." There is one around every corner. Grocery stores abound, and they carry almost every product you can buy in the U.S. If you exchange your dollars at the travel agencies (see tip), you'll usually find everything is much less expensive in Brazil (except clothes).

    Photo Equipment: Depending on the cost and the quality of your equipment, you might consider insuring your photo equipment before leaving your homeland. Then your trip will surely be carefree.

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel

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  • tijuca's Profile Photo

    Take Your Roller Blades!!! Sundays Are A Blast

    by tijuca Updated Jul 7, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: You may rent roller blades somewhere along the beach, I am sure, but I never spotted a place. If you take your own, you can skate along the entire beach front, from Leme to Leblon. Stop at every Kibon cart you see and savor the awesome Brazilian ice cream and deserts. I went the whole distance, stopping at every other Kibon cart enroute! Taste ice-cream flavors you've never even heard of before! Look for the yellow carts. Buy an ice cream for any street kid hanging out near the Kibon cart. Practice random acts of kindness. Ja chegou!!! Kibon-Bom!

    The painting is of the bus stop on Avenida Visconde de Albuquerque, the canal street located at the end of Leblon. Mary Stirling painted this picture circa 1965; the political stickers on the posts said, "Brizzola Disse Nao."

    Note Kibon Cart in Painting - My Mother's Painting

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  • Alless's Profile Photo

    just a little help with Packing list

    by Alless Written Jun 4, 2003

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring your favorite pair of sneakers ( or any other comfortable walking shoes)-casual wear ( casual shoes ,casual pants like chinos or khakis and a Polo shirt for the evening .A suit and tie and dress shoes are not really necessary, unless you are coming on business.Comfortable clothes are a question of survival ( like cotton, linen). Bermudas or cargo shorts with lots of pockets / pair of jeans.You will need plenty of T-shirts.Bring a nice sweater if you are coming during the colder months and a sweat suit even if you are coming in the summer, as you may want to sleep in it when you turn the air-conditioner full blast at night. A favorite casual jacket is a good addition, if you are coming in the winter or fall. A light rain jacket is always a good addition, as it does rain in Rio.
    - special note to socks: knee-length socks are a fashion no-no in Rio. If you want to look like you belong, go for shorter socks, and do not pull them all the way up. Socks are never to be worn with sandals, either.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: 110 V and 60 Hz is how electricity goes here. Few hotels have dual voltage in the bathroom. Make sure your electric razor, toothbrush, and hair-drier are suitable to our standards, or they will only take up precious space in your luggage.Women who cannot live without a heavy layer of make-up may experience their faces melting in the summer heat. Wear as little make-up as you can live with, and make sure it is suitable for hot weather. Invest on top quality sunscreen, and let your skin breathe freely. Brazilian women generally wear very little eye-shadow, and also go easy on mascara. Nobody wears make-up at the beach. Bring a high SPF sunblock lipstick instead. Quality shampoos, grooming, and beauty products are easily available at import stores and better supermarkets.
    - Medical Supplies are easy to find in Rio de Janeiro , there are 24 h drugstores , but dont't forget to take with you your own medicine, like aspirin , band -aids , etc

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: There are hot and sunny days even in the winter. You need something to wear at the beach. -If you forget the beach sandals, buy a pair of Havaianas at local shops.Pack your favorite bathing suit or bikini to wear on the first day. Many guys wear surfer's trunks, and take them off every now and then to keep the tan line in check.Last but not least, black umbrellas at the beach look very funny - especially if you are fully clothed.

    Miscellaneous: The first thing to keep in mind while packing, is that Cariocas dress casual and light. The second is that if you forget anything, you will find something similar at local stores...

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  • SumTingWong's Profile Photo

    Hidden Sun

    by SumTingWong Written Mar 8, 2003

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    Luggage and bags: As always, try to pack as light as possible, but you can bring more than one bag to Rio if necessary. (I didn't)

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: sterdy sandels are the best to have. Sneekers can be useful also.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: As you would take anywhere, Rio has good hospitals.

    Photo Equipment: Have a camera, this is a must. A 28-300mm lense was great. A panaramic lense would be good also.

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Beach stuff, Rio can have "hidden sunshine", meaning the sun is still extremely powerful even if it is clowdy. Has sun screen!

    Miscellaneous: A hidden money-belt would be helpful in Rio. Pickpockets are common and you don't want to loose all your cash. A good idea is to carry a second wallet and if you are robbed just give up your second walet with a few Reais in it. Don't ever carry larger sums of money on you while in Rio (or Sao Paulo), keep in in a hotel safe or storage box!


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  • Packing List

    by Adelia Updated Nov 19, 2002

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    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: CHECK OUT THE SEASONS:

    In the summer (Dec.-Feb.): a cap or a hat, t-shirts, dresses, shorts, skirts, sandals, sneakers (for jogging), sun glasses, sun-tan oil (before beach), moisturizer (after beach), or everything that makes you feel comfortable under 36-40ºC (98 - 105F).

    PS: Because in the summer there's an increase in the dengue mosquitos, bring some repelent and avoid risky areas. These areas are the ones with a high concentration of dengue mosquitos (normally poor areas). The tourist neighbourhoods are not one of them, but they may have isolated cases. Dengue rarely kills, if trated properly: the symptons are fever, eye pain, fatigue, vomit, like cold symptons.

    In the winter (Jun.-Aug.): bring everything above and also some pants, some sweaters, comfortable shoes, but don't worry, the weather here in the winter ranges from 18º to 32ºC (65 to 90F), maybe it's your summer!!! But it rains a lot!

    During the rest of the year: mix up everything!

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  • janaina's Profile Photo


    by janaina Written Nov 14, 2002

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    Miscellaneous: Take your superspecialhigher humour and happines..
    leave all your troubles behind...
    take your free spirit,your joy for life,your passion for beauty,your white skin..
    take your best smile,open your eyes and look around..
    take your open arms,your dreams,your 6 senses..
    and only leave your footprints to know always how to be back again.
    Picture:Eden,sis,Ipanema,sunday early morning,2002

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