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
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
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.
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 !
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!
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.
Many travellers always discuss the possible muggings in Rio De Janeiro. Most tell of horror stories involving taxi drivers to and from the airport so naturally many backpackers take the expensive radio taxis from the international airport to Ipanema. (cost around 80 reals). You should be cautious with your taxi when travelling at night. Ipanema and Urca are fine at night but if you are covering distances say from Lapa to Ipanema or Santa Theresa to Copacabana then you should think about using a taxi. Your hotel can recommend one for you.
Not able to make it to Rio on my last SA trip but have heard stories and perhaps would be best to do your travelling by night. Perhaps not the answer that you wanted to hear but in daylight you can check places out.
I first arrived in Rio in 1970, lived here then for 3 years, and (living subsequently all over the world) returned for an average of a month each year until last year, when I chose it for my retirement post. It has had its ups and downs in terms of security: when I first arrived, very safe, but pretty edgy in the early 90s. Now, I don't feel threatened (though obviously one must behave sensibly: and yes, from time to time we hear gunfire from a nearby favela (= shanty-town), when the police conduct a drugs raid).
You must be careful not to let your credit/debit card out of your sight, for mine was cloned last year, and it was a major hassle to get my stolen money back. But that's the only crime we've ever suffered here. The only place in the world where my Brazilian wife has had her handbag stolen was on the King's Road, Chelsea, London! Come to beautiful Rio without fear, and enjoy it.
Security in Rio is not that good but still better than it was a few years back.
All I say is, don't trust the Police, prostitutes, any street kid(no matter how innocent they look or act)if any street kid approach you be careful with your pockets because as they are talking to you their scum light hands are going through your pockets, if anyone offers you any drugs do NOT even talk to them as usually they're working with the police to catch you than take a lot of money from you(It happened to someone I used to know)Don't walk around with too much money and if you have a card always keep it hidden away from your cash that way if you do get robbed they won't take your card. If you stay some where like Copacabana or Ipanema which is very tourist orientated be careful who you befreind as most times people will hang out with you and expect you to pay for all their drinks(man or woman)the one thing about Brazilian people that I really don't like is that they see you as a walking wallet.
I know it sounds really bad, but dispite all these problems Rio still worth visiting and the likely hood that some thing will happen to you is very small as long as you take care. I've been to Rio 7 times and have friends that have been there too, I was robbed once and it hasn't put me off(maybe is because all they took was my lip stick!)my bank card was hidden away!
Hello, I am a Brit girl living over in Rio, and although I've had problems with muggings (none of them violent or involving weapons), I can honestly say that the beauty of the place, the culture and the people (muggers aside!) more than makes up for any possible danger. I've been here two years and am still in love with the place - exercise common sense and you should be fine. Remember, muggers generally don't want to hurt you, so if the worst happens, just hand over your valuables and you won't come to any harm. My friend was recently 'mugged' and the thief just calmly went through her wallet, took out the notes, and handed it back to her, complete with phone numbers that she didn't want to lose!
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The network of roads around Rio de Janeiro is actually quite good but the traffic is very hysterical. The carioca style of driving is passionate to the point of negligence and abandon, traffic jams and accidents occure distressingly often. The streets are not well marked, and red lights are often more decorative than functional.
On the bad quality motorways you can meet very often with speed bumps, and even with bus stops.
Furthermore, there are not enough traffic signs to guide somebody who does not know the city. By car, you may enter a dangerous neighbourhood before you know. If you decide to drive, keep the doors locked and wear seat belts at all times.
Emergency breakdown service: Touring Club Do Brasil
Rio has many beautiful beaches but the most famous are Copacabana, Ipanema and Botafogo. It is better not to swim in the sea near Rio de Janeiro as the water is not too clean and as there are strong currents. Around Rio are places like Cabo Frio, Búzios, Macaé and Rio das Ostras where the water is cleaner. Especially Rio das Ostras is serene and hardly spoilt by tourists. At the Praia das Tartarugas in Rio das Ostras it is possible to swim between the sea turtles (but don’t go to far as here are dangerous currents as well). The species is called green sea turtle and it eats the algae that grow on a rock just before the coast.
Most of the beaches are not staffed by lifeguards.
Never ignore the signs!
The sun in the tropics is stronger than in Europe.
• Use a sunblock with UVA/UVB protection.
• Choose a sunblock an SPF-Sun Protection Factor of at least 15 for daily protection.
• At the beach, use a 15 SPF that is also WATERPROOF or 30-50 SPF if you burn easily.
• Apply sunblock 20 to 30 minutes before exposing your skin.
• Apply a thick layer of sunblock when swimming, reapply after swimming or toweling
• Be aware that you can burn on cloudy days or sitting under an umbrella.
• Reduce sun exposure between 11am and 4 pm, when the sun's rays are the strongest.
• If burned, apply aloe vera gel liberally and drink a lot of water or juice.
• Use a moisturizing sunblock to protect you even when you're not at the beach.
• Wear UV rate sunglasses to protect your eyes. Sunglasses can help prevent damage to your eyes by blocking a large amount of ultraviolet rays.
In Rio de Janeiro, the Downtown (Centro) is only a business area. At night, became a ghost area...everybody leaves and there are just homeless in the streets. If you want sighseeing, go there just for visit. And, even if you are on a business travel, avoid Downtown. Stay at Copacabana, what is not to far from downtown, but you have more options for restaurants or other night life.