Rio de Janeiro Warnings and Dangers

  • Warnings and Dangers
    by easterntrekker
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    by JohnniOmani
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Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Rio de Janeiro

  • borritvandis's Profile Photo

    Rio de Janeiro 2012 A.D.

    by borritvandis Updated Aug 26, 2012

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    I noticed a lot of these advices are kind of old and outdated. My wife and I, we recently visited Ipanema, Copacobana and Corcovado and the centre of Rio. Without being naive, goingout with lots of money, or late at night, or visiting favelas, or any other risky stuff, we had a great time. Rio changed, and is safer now than before. After our trip to Corcovado mountain, we passed through favelas that cleaned up pretty good. The only warning I would add: go to Cristo Redentor on a weekday, not the weekend, because the over abundance of tourists make it quite hard to get a good picture. Too many people there on a sunday. Over than that, enjoy Rio, stay smart and you will have a good time.

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  • Thanks for the Rio Travel Tips

    by littlejoefromkokomo Written Jun 9, 2012

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    Now that I've read all the travel warnings and dangers, plus other blogs/articles, I have reconsidered my trip to Rio in August. If I have to go somewhere, and have to continually grow eyes in the back of my head, I certainly don't need to be there. There are too many other wonderful places in the world you can go without this stress.

    When you can't even carry/pack a can of pepper spray/mace or a pocket knife without taking a chance of being thrown into a Draconian prison, why go? Yes, people say that there are other dangerous cities. Well, I've been to them and didn't have all the negativity.

    To summarize, "any time you put the have's and the have not's together, you're going to have problems." I believe that Rio has many more have not's who will kill you for a nickel.

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  • DennyP's Profile Photo

    ALWAYS CARRY SUFFICIENT TRAVEL INSURANCE

    by DennyP Written Jan 8, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    RIO DE JANEIRO.
    .When travelling through South America I always carried neccesary Travel Insurance everywhere that I went. . This is a really big country and not without its dangers. Especially once out of the major cities medical help is distant if you have an accident.
    I always have sufficient travel insurance that will cover me and all hospital care in case something happens..I always include repatriation as well..when I'm travelling I really hate to think of something going wrong but we all know ...anywhere !...anytime.!..Mother Nature can even throw a tantrum. When formulating my travel plans along with visas etc. I make sure that travel insurance is high on my list in preparation.
    I surely love to have peace of mind when Im on the road.. Remember what they say:
    DONT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT !!!

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  • draguza's Profile Photo

    Walking in Rio at Night

    by draguza Written Jun 12, 2011

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    Do not dress expensive clothes when you are walking and wondering around like everyone...jewels, expensive watches, ellegant clothes just for very important social events... NEVER COUNT YOUR MONEY LIKE YOU EAT BANANA, DO IT AND BE VERY DISCREET. AND REMEMBER you are not in a war zone, Rio has street gangs like NEW YORK AND LONDON, so we know that there are some parts of the city that you must avoid, and in the beach area the places tend to be safer and more patrolled.

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  • draguza's Profile Photo

    PICKPOCKET

    by draguza Written Jun 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like every major city, Rio has an area more dangerous than elsewhere, and a time when this is especially true. It may even be safe during the day, but becomes sinister after nightfall. Such areas are always well-known to locals, so get advice from a hotel, tourist office, or waitress. Most guidebooks include warnings about red light or seedy areas, but conditions may have changed since the information was written.

    Another point is that just because other travelers say someplace is perfectly safe, that doesn't make it true. It may only means they didn't encounter problems. Local authorities and tourist offices cannot always be relied upon, either, as they may have an interest in minimizing problems, so you always need to use your eyes, ears, instincts, and best judgment, along with a few degrees of body lean towards safety, away from recklessness.

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  • Rio is A LOT SAFER than you think : keep cool.

    by axelexa Updated May 26, 2011

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    When I read your messages about Danger in Rio I am very sad and I feel quite angry about that. I have been living in Rio for 3 years, in the nice district of Santa Teresa. I am a 26 years old french guy and I have a "typical french looking". I have never suffered from any kind of robbery or attack in Rio. I go out at night several times a week and I have no fear to walk in any district of the city, at any time of the night or day... 40 friends and relatives visited me during these 3 years, and I never had to go to the PoliceStation with one of them. Never. New Year's Eve and Carnival including.
    SO, I am quite fed up to read your messages, which frighten future visitors. I am a tour guide and I feel very sorry when tourists always ask me : Copacabana "is it safe?". Lapa? "is it safe?". Santa teresa "is it safe?". Maracana Stadium "is it safe?" come on ...
    !!! YES IT IS !!!
    Rio is an amazing city, with a wonderful people. Like EVERY big city in the world, you might be careful with your belongings and your behaviour. And everything is going to be fine. Rio suffers from a violent image because of its past, but most of people who visited the city didnt have problems and didnt complain at all. Yes of course some visitors might be robbed, but that happens also in Barcelona, Paris, New York, isn't it? I would like people to stop this paranoia thing that Rio is "the most dangerous city in South America". If you have this idea in mind when visiting the city, it will be written on your face "I am scared", and if I were a thief, for sure I will attack you! Keep cool and natural, just be "zen"! and it will be more than ok. Trust Me.
    The City is making a lot of efforts to better the safety in Rio, and it is working quite well so far. Crimes are decreasing a lot thanks to a new Police Program called "UPP", which is a new Police Unit, pacifying the favelas/slums.

    see below just to give you an example:
    http://www.jb.com.br/rio/noticias/2011/05/09/upps-fizeram-numeros-de-crimes-cairem-no-rio-diz-presidente-do-isp/

    it says that murders decreased to 32% compared to 2009, that stolen cars decreased to 27,7% compared to 2000 and so on.

    Come and Enjoy Rio, I am sure you will have a wonderful time in this city, which will be THE place to be in 2014 (final of the football world cup) and 2016 (Olympics Games).

    "um forte abraço"

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  • Santa Teresa - muggers on the look out

    by xellebelx Written May 26, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Me and my friend stayed in a hostel in Santa Teresa, beautiful looking area. But the problem is, is that it's fairly quiet and it is also very close to the favelas.
    On our first day there, we went for a walk in broad daylight, and as soon as we were on a pretty much deserted part (there were only a few older ladies around), two guys came up to us holding a huge knife. and they started pulling at our bags. We weren't flashing anything valuable, I think the bag just screamed : take me!
    Needless to say the next three days we were there we only took taxi's and we didn't want to set any foot in that area again, as we were pretty much traumatised.
    Surprisingly enough a couple of hours later the police did find my bag, but of course my camera and (little) money was taken from it. The police later that day even brought 'a suspect' around our hostel in their car for us to identify.

    I think you can NOT be careful enough walking around in that area esp when you are very european looking and are quite obviously a tourist... DO NOT take any bag, not even a plastic one (like was suggested by our hostel), IF you want to bring your camera put it in your pocket and make sure it's not visible you are carrying it. Also make sure you carry some money with you, little enough that could make a mugger satisfied, as they WILL use their weapon.

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  • madtraveller's Profile Photo

    Rio. Santa Teresa neighborhood. Mugging!

    by madtraveller Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Above Lapa, to the west, is the hilly Santa Teresa neighbourhood, with its narrow, winding streets, stone stairs and turn-of-the-century homes. A favorite among artists and intellectuals, Santa Teresa also hosts an annual arts festival. A nice way to visit the area is to take the scenic Bondinho de Santa Teresa (Santa Teresa streetcar), which has been in operation since 1896. (Don’t take along valuables or cameras—passengers are occasionally mugged.)

    Just returned form a trip to Rio. My girlfriend and I were mugged in The Santa Teresa neighbourhood. We lost our camera and I was stabbed in the left shoulder.

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  • MartaBotelho's Profile Photo

    Downtown

    by MartaBotelho Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Rio de Janeiro's downtown has always been associated with danger. During the week a lot of people go there to work on the many building companies. The neighbourhoods around are great places to shop. It is in this area that you can find the best prices. Of course it's a bit like the black market. It is normal to see the PM's (Policia Militar) getting into small fights with the "Camelos" (the street vendors). This generates sometimes some stress amongst the people passing by, but usualy it stops as fast as it began. It is though important for you to have your eyes wide open when you go to this area. On weekends and after 5 pm this is not a good area for a tourist to walk by. Everything is closed and the criminals take over the street. Also homeless people seek for protection under the building entrances and the parks.
    On the steps of Candelaria church a massacre took place almost 11 years ago. Off the duty PM's shot against 9 of the 50 orphan street children that used to spend the night under the divine protection of the church. Of the "Meninos da Candelaria" (Candelaria Children) only 1 survided. The other ran and never came back to sleep there again. On the following years 39 of them had violent deaths. The one that survided, Wagner dos Santos, got Witness Protection and inspired the movie "Cidade de Deus". Until today only 3 PM's were arrested and one suspect died on the way to court. The case is still not close.
    Anyway, go downtown only during weeks days and with company. Keep your eyes always open! And maybe leave a flower on Candelaria's steps.

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  • Rio de Janeiro, a place to avoid

    by TomRaven Written Nov 29, 2010

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    I have just reread most of the posts under dangers and warnings re: Rio de Janeiro. The postings are almost funny. Who in the hell would go to a place like that and the Olympics are scheduled there. I have been going to Rio for fifty years and it is a great place if you stay in your room. When are the Brazilians going to wise up and clean up the City so that tourists can visit it. I was there about fifty years ago and you could actually walk down the street then. Amazing. If you do that today, you are gambling. Brazil, Wake up. Tom Raven

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  • Level of Danger in Rio is high

    by TomRaven Written Oct 17, 2010

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    I have been to Rio for extended visits a number of times. It amazes me that the Brazilians have yet to clean up the crime in Rio especially with the Olympics coming there. If they dont clean it up soon, the Olympics will have to go elsewhere. I am an older guy and in Rio, I have a bullseye on my back. I don't go out, unless it is absolutely necessary. Very disappointed that Brazil hasn't fixed this problem. No need to list the crimes. We all know what they are. Tom Raven

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  • Snej's Profile Photo

    Weather

    by Snej Updated Apr 21, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be aware when you decide to go to Rio that not all the time this beautiful city is fun, go during Brazilian summer, December, January, February, if you want to observe Brazilian life, blend with the locals and have fun. We went in APRIL, the weahter was awful, rain, heavy, wind, black clouds, we did not see almost anything, no Corcovado / it is closed for 4 to 6 months now/, no Centro, no Santa Teressa / there was half meter water in Centro/, we were locked in Copacabana and Ipanema, but there was not a lot of fun on the beach, no samba in the evening along Copa....so we slept, ate and payed too much money for it.

    The only possible sightseeing was Sugar loaf, apart from the deserted beach.

    The weather is everyhwhere a risc to spoil a holiday, but expecially in Rio it is danger.

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  • onembh's Profile Photo

    handbag theft from bar copacabana beach

    by onembh Updated Feb 5, 2010

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    In less than 2 hours of arriving in Rio my wife had her handbag stolen ! despite taking precautions!
    This is how it happened we arrived at our hotel 11:00 am and our room wasnt going to be available until 3pm, so we decided to go down to a beach bar for lunch. We located ourselves outside Henry's bar Copacabana beach (they made a real fuss about us!) we were a party of 4 and within minutes the beach vendors were round us like flies we had a laugh with them and did make a small purchase.
    The vendors kept coming all the time during the meal and sometime's as many as 4 were round us ! which as you can imagine is very distracting.
    When we came to leave is when we discovered that my wife's bag had gone "the staff at Henry's all of a sudden dont understand English any more!"
    After taking advice from our rep. my wife had removed her quality watch and bracelet and put them in her handbag!!! she also lost credit cards and a small amount of cash.
    We did hear of other thefts from people from our cruise ship.
    The Police showed little interest and were more concerned about reading their books and eating apples.
    My summary on Rio is - the beaches are nice if you dare go near them ! Sugar Loaf Mountain was worth a trip but as for the rest I wouldnt touch it with a BARGE-POLE !

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  • HispanicYob's Profile Photo

    Personal Possessions and Rio

    by HispanicYob Written Jan 14, 2010

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    Yes, like most others have said, definitely don't take your cherished electronics to the beach, unless you're someone you know, and even then, it's not guaranteed it won't get stolen. This wasn't at Ipanema, but I actually brought my I-Pod with me when I walked around Botafogo neighborhood and didn't come across any incidents. (I need my music after all). But of course, don't take such a relaxed attitude as I did. It can vary from tourist to tourist. I had a great time in Rio!

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  • JohnniOmani's Profile Photo

    Beach Awareness

    by JohnniOmani Written Dec 12, 2009

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    The beaches in Rio De Janeiro are often described as a place that you cant relax and have to be on guard the entire time you are there. Perhaps people get robbed or mugged early in the morning or eveninng but during the day at Ipanema, I didnt face a single problem. To be honest, I experienced the complete opposite. People were too busy drinking beer, coconut juice, tanning and socializing to worry about a glowing white tourist from Canada. There is no need to bring anything with you to the beach. The vendors sell everything you could possibly imagine. My advice is that if you are nervous, just stay near families. Brazilians are friendly people not thugs. Take the proper precautions and you will be fine. Show up with your trunks and towel and you will be fine.

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Comments (3)

  • Jul 5, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    Yesterday i went to copacabana beach to see the world cup match at the fifa fan fest but my windows tablet pc was stolen from my bag. I rushed to the local police but they seemed ignorant and did not even took my written complaint saying that they are too busy. All my pictures, videos and important soft documents were in that tab. I have had enough in Brazil. I am going back earlier and wil advice others not to come to brazil.

  • Oct 1, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    Im currently in Rio on holiday, two attempts to grab my back pack in Copacabana in one day, held at knife point after walking out of a cash machine, cutting my trip short and getting the hell out of here!! Good luck to all visiting next years world cup, you WILL get exploited!!

  • Mar 11, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    I am a 44 year old female experienced traveler who has traveled to many 'dangerous cities' I was passing by Copacabana beach today at 2pm and decided to take out my $100 digital camera to take a picture of the beach. 2 men came up one tried to take my camera and the other held a knife at my throat. I screamed which attracted the attention of a cyclist. There was no harm done, I am actually here working and this incident will not limit my ability to do my job. What I will say is the wisdom of 'just hand everything over' is good advice but when confronted with a knife I thought...I am looking at a knife, why am I looking at a knife. You see and think of nothing else but the knife in this situation. I have seen a lot of defence of Rio on the various forums, what I will say is this: Rio is a fabulous city but my advice is not to take anything for granted....I think of crime as being the of the pick pocket variety, i.e if you don't watch your camera or your wallet you might lose it. having a weapon involved is another matter. I also asked the tourist police how many knife incidents there are around Copacabana beach on a daily basis and the answer is 5 or 6 that are reported, I think that is pretty high.

    • May 21, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      My husband was in Sao Paulo on a business trip in December. He and his partner had a day off and had stopped to take a picture along the Anchieta Highway. They were robbed at gunpoint.. they took everything and shot my husband. I have read so many times that thieves just want your money and possessions, but my husband lost his life.

    • Jun 5, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Here in Rio for business and pleasure just days before the world cup is to begin. Yesterday afternoon while returning home from a leisurely walk by myself (44, male) from Impanema two young boys on peddle bicycles (ages approx 11/12) began circling me with a clear intent of a snatch and grab mugging.

      These two young muggers followed and circled me for over 3 blocks. When I crossed the street they too crossed over and at times up on the sidewalks they peddled their bikes. Be alert people. I let them know I was aware of their actions…and kept moving, fist ready to go. When I could I walked close to the buildings so they couldn't circle me and never ever once did I stop my feet from moving and eratically changed my direction to thwart their attack. At times I could have easily pushed these punks off their bikes...they came that close. When a chance arrived I mixed with a crowd of people and soon made my way into a shop until the muggers, quickly, moved on.

      Be street savvy and alert and you will be alright.

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