Brazil Travel Safety Tips
Brazil is a beautiful country with lots to see and really friendly people but unfortunately there is poverty and a fair amount of criminal activity. This shouldn’t stop you from visiting Brazil at all but it’s important to do what you can to minimise any risks.
When I visited Brazil with my friends we made all the mistakes and heard some bad stories from other tourists, which could have been avoided.
1. Blend in
If you’ve got a lobster looking sun burn from your first day in Brazil, an English football top, a big bottle of water and a shiny watch you may as well be a big red target.
Even if you don’t get mugged you may get a slap on the head or have a thirsty homeless guy snatch your water.
Havanas is the flip flop of locals and is incredibly popular. They are now available in the UK so its easier than ever to mix in with the locals. Its a much safer choice than wearing expensive trainers.
Don’t wear any jewelry. Even if its not particularly eye-catching or expensive, don’t attract the unnecessary attention by wearing silver or gold. It sounds like common sense but I’ve seen people ignore this and find out the hard way.
2. Befriend the locals!
They’re really friendly and by hanging around with locals you will definitely attract less attention and they will be able to guide you on what is safe and not safe to do.
Not only will you feel safer with them but your experience will be much greater.
You will experience much of the culture and what its really like to live in Brazil. It can make a massive difference to the trip, it can be very easy to stay with the comfort zone of other English tourists within Hostels and hotels.
3. Visit the slums the safe way
You may hear stories about the Favelas in Brazil and some of the locals will look at you completely puzzled as to why you may want to visit them. It’s a really interesting place and you can do it safely.
Hostels often have deals with tour guides and this is the best way to visit. The tour guides have good rapport with the people inside the Favelas. This trust with the insiders that run the favelas make it safe for you to visit.
The tour guide knows everybody in the Favela and its a really close community. When you visit you will see bullet holes from shoot outs and gang graffiti but despite this the guides give a sense of security.
We had opportunities to support them by buying their artwork, handcrafts and local cuisine.
If you are feeling really brave there are tour guides to the Night club; Favela. Its not as dangerous as it may sound, they offer a balcony with a VIP area for tourists but all the fun is downstairs and you are more than welcome to join in.
It’s also important to note that the police have been making big efforts to increase the safety in the slums since the World Cup and with the Olympic games only a matter of months away. This has even seen some tourists moving into the Favelas, which hasn’t overjoyed the locals as it raises property prices.
Coincidentally I actually met a person from my hometown who did just that. Surprisingly they felt safer in the Favela then they did in the tourist areas.