One of the sweetest drinks in Brasil is caldo de cana (sugar cane water) - but be sure to drink it directly after it is squeezed. Never, ever drink caldo de cana that has been sitting around. It can put you in the hospital.
OK, I can say this because I am a 6th generation Texan. Americans are loud, obstentatious, sometimes annoying, and a little too flashy with the bling. In Europe, this type of behaviour will earn one free passage on the A-train out of any establishment owned by a Frenchman.
In Brazil, it will get you into serious trouble.
If you speak english, wear gold (or other material objects that glimmer), sport shiny shoes, or tote around a prada bag, there is one word for you: TARGET.
So, my modus operandi, when in Brazil, is to tone it down in public with the following rules:
1. No jewelry.
2. No ipod.
3. No loud english in public.
4. Carry belongings in an old bag.
5. No gringo swimsuit and 'hawaiian' shirt on the beach.
Also, be sure to watch for people watching you.
Follow these rules, and have a great time in Brazil. You can really reduce your chances of being a target by doing these things, but there is one more thing to be said:
If you ever are robbed or mugged, give them EVERYTHING without any arguing or struggle. A recent study just came out that said the odds of injury to person were over 800% greater when resisting an attack than when giving in. So, don't risk it.
These rules mainly apply in large urban areas such as capitals, especially Rio. In rural areas you are by and large safe and can be a bit more relaxex.
Don't mean to scare people, but good to be aware.
Brazil is definately a sunny place, from south to north...this is a great thing, but you must take care with serious sunburns!
Even in a cloudy day, if you are in the beach, you must use sun protector with more than 15 FPS...the climate can be very iluding....
Foreign women are usually very concerned about coming to Brazil, since what everyone hears is that brazilian men can be very unpolite and harrass women in general.
I can´t agree with that. I live in this country, i was born here, and travelling to other places around Europe, I did not find any difference from where I come from. Of course, we can never generalize...brazilians usually have a more open behaviour, but we can´t say man can get aggressive or unpolite. Whistles, dying looks are common, many will try to talk to you, etc, but nothing more serious than that, usually.
The major problem is that women travelling alone are the easiest target for robberies...If you are coming in an organized trip, with a group, it´s okay....but backpacking completely alone, depending where you are going to, is not really a good idea.
Avoid walking alone at night or empty spots...
If anywhere, someone approaches you and you don´t want to talk, the best behaviour is to politely ignore, or pretend you did not understand a word. Just don´t be aggressive or unpolite, NEVER.
And if you want to get the minimum attention to men possible, avoid wearing provocative clothes or tight dresses.
The rest is fun! =)
You must take care about some things when coming to Brazil...as everyone knows, many places in the country, mainly big cities, are not the example of safety....Because of the uncontrolled growth and the social difference, violence exists, unfortunately. There are a thousand stories of robberies, mainly in São Paulo and Rio. That does not mean you can´t get out of the hotel without being robbed....in fact most part of the country is extra safe, except the megalopolis....
But the greatest reason for robberies is that people usually don´t pay attention and don´t take care...pickpockets are everywhere, waiting for someone unprepared to steal money, cameras and purses. If you follow some rules, you´ll be okay:
1- Always ask about the surroundings...Inform yourself in the hotel or with locals if there is any danger on walking alone at night, if there is any place you should avoid going to or any caution to take. People are usually very concerned about the safety and will certainly warn you correctly...
2- Avoid empty streets....always...no dark shortcuts on cities, keep yourself always in the most crowded places possible. At night, be ultra careful....never walk alone, beware of your surroundings, if there is any thing suspicious, go back....
3- Get the minimum attention for you...that means no fancy shoes or famous trends...dress simple t-shirts and jeans. NEVER show off your wallet and count money in front of others, don´t wear expensive jewelry...cameras clinging to you neck are not a good idea...but them in your bag.
4- NEVER, under no circumstances, leave bags or purses away from your sight....you must keep everything that is valuable with you or leave them in the hotel.
5- Always be polite, discrete, don´t talk loud, don´t show to everyone you are a tourist....behave like everyone else around to get the minimum attention possible.
If you take care, you won´t have problems in Brazil.
all around the Country be aware and give pickpockets no chances..they work in bandos, from 2 onwards, kid's often, who have no other means of support...
and where they're is temptation, there is gain and loss not far from each other.
Although this is a tip about a warning, it's also about where to get fixed up after a run-in.
Rio is a beautiful and fun city that has a lot of poverty and therefore, crime. I'd been to Rio 3 times without incident, but on my last visit (May 2005) I had a run-in with 3 teenagers who wanted my bag.
Every situation is different and I am not recommending any specific course of action. In my particular situation, which took place in Santa Tereza on a Sunday afternoon, it seemed correct to me NOT to hand my bag over to the punks.
Three boys appeared in front of my husband and me on the main drag in ST. We both realized quickly, without yet being in arm's reach of them, that they were going to try something. My husband put up his fists and I turned and ran.
One of them caught me and grabbed my bag, but he couldn't prise it away from me. I had it over my left shoulder and under my arm, and I gripped it with my right hand. He tugged hard but couldn't get it. I screamed as loudly as I could, and on the second scream they all ran away.
The middle finger on my right hand had been wrenched and was swollen, but not broken.
That evening we went to a few drug stores in search of a splint (the word in Portuguese is tala). It is impossible to find a splint in a drugstore in Rio!!
The next day we went on a quest for a splint, going to sporting goods stores, pharmacies, and doctors' offices. Finally a doctor's office directed us to a small room on the 9th floor of a building in Leblon. This store sells all sorts of splints, braces and crutches. It's far off the beaten path but it had what I needed and it was great. It's in:
Av. Ataulfo de Paiva 135 (room 903)
I consider what happened a victory since they didn't get anything from us, and I still love Rio. I would still encourage anyone to go there, just to be extra careful in Santa Tereza.
I got robbed, when taking a morning walk along the Copacabana! Nothing helped - not even a nice jogger, who passed by and tried to help! I guess it was my fault that I went on that walk by myself AND that I had my daypack with me - probably an open invitation!!!
I was soooooo lucky: the guy was stopped by a police man - and I got all my belongings back!
Still, this incident made me think a lot, but it also made me feel very suspicious ever since!
Just dont be dumb, its just like any other city. Copacabana had its charactors, especially down by the favelas. Anywhere the tourist hang out, be careful! We decided to take cabs only, the buses sometimes have robberies on them. We just decided to play it safe. When I first arrived, I was quite nervous about walking around solo, after a week or so, I had a good sense of false security and walked around solo with out a problem.
Here is a list of vaccinations that we all hear about and think we might need to get for Brazil. You don't need to get all of them and, in many cases, don't have to get any.
Prophylaxis with Lariam, Malarone, or doxycycline is recommended for forested areas within the nine states of the Legal Amazonia region, including Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Maranhao (western part), Mato Grosso (northern part), Para (except Belem City), Rondonia, Roraima, and Tocantins, and for urban areas within this region, including the cities of Porto Velho, Boa Vista, Macapa, Manaus, Santarem, and Maraba.
Recommended for all travelers over age two. It should be given at least two weeks (preferably four weeks or more) before departure. A booster should be given 6-12 months later to confer long-term immunity.
For travelers who may eat or drink outside major restaurants and hotels (Basically for those traveling around smaller towns, drinking unfiltered water, etc.) (It will not hurt you to eat fruit or veggies that have been washed in tap water)
Recommended for all areas except Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, the central eastern area to the coast, and the coastal areas south of Sao Luis. Required for travelers arriving from a yellow-fever-infected area in Africa or the Americas.
For travelers who may have intimate contact with local residents, especially if visiting for more than 6 months
Recommended only for those at high risk for animal bites, such as veterinarians and animal handlers, and for long-term travelers who may have contact with animals and may not have access to medical care. In Brazil, most cases occur in the northeastern and northern regions and are related to dogs.
All travelers should be up-to-date on tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, polio, and varicella immunizations
Cholera vaccine is not generally recommended.
On a friday late afternoon, in a busy bus, Rafael forgot his bag with his camera and "documents". That proud lady ( Raimunda) found it and manage during 24 hours to reach Rafael ( with internet tools) and gave him back...INTACT !!!.
The day before i left, we went to visit her again. She is a teacher, so with her we went to visit poor childrens in her area and make them happy..( with crayons, pencils, ballons)
Thanks to that great lady...
Rafael had his camera and "documents" before we left for Foz do Iguazu
A question about safety in beaches in Rio,
Go to places where Brazilian go...
like that fantastic beach, close to Niteroi,ITACOATIARA.
I went there with Rafael ( DONRAFA ), a saturday.... full of people,,,, and we went swim and left money AND camera on the beach... IT WAS SAFE......
CONCLUSION : TRAVEL WITH AND LIKE BRAZILIAN...AND IT WILL BE SAFE
As many of you i had many concern about security in Brazil, in Rio.
Like you read the "stories" in Rio in the newspaper. Yes it could be true, they talk about it on TV in Brazil.
BUT I NEVER FEEL INSECURITY during my 3 weeks in Brazil.
Because i was with a local guide, Rafael ( DONRAFA ). He knew where to go, i dress more like a brazilian ( simple and relax..).
AND he makes me feel secure....all the time.
Thanks to Rafael, NEVER i feel insecurity, NEVER....
Although there were few incidents involving violence in Fortaleza, I did experience 1 attempted pickpocketing, which was foiled as I carry no wallet in public abroad. Keeping money and passport in the front pants pocket is recommended. I didn't trust the hotel room safe too much, so I kept most of the loot inside an electrical outlet in my hotel room. Most maids don't know much about electrical work....
I know others have warned about this, but just to reiterate: watch for shoe shine artists who create work for themselves by walking by and throwing something onto your shoe! I saw two shoeshiners get into a kicking fight with each other on the Copacabana beach boardwalk over an American woman customer after one was loudly exposing the other's scam.
More Regions in Brazil