Brazil, the largest country in South America and the fifth largest in the world, is probably the most famous one in the entire continent. A dream for football lovers, since it’s the cradle of football tradition and a paradise for fans of festivals, music and partying, this country hosts around 6 million of tourists each year. The vibrant urban life is more than obvious in São Paulo, and the spitit of this joyous country can be felt at the famous Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, as well as those in Salvador, Recife and Olinda. You can experience the cultural energy of Pernambuco and Bahia, and, of course, immerse yourself in the wilderness of the Amazon rainforest and the world famous Iguaçu Falls,
There is so much to see and do in Brazil, just concerning nature, that you probably won’t have time to do it all during one trip. There’s the Amazon River Basin that holds more than half of the world’s remaining rainforest, and as much as 60% of it lies in the North of Brazil – it is truly a natural sight worth seeing, a mesmerizing proof that nature itself is a wonder. Brazil’s waterfalls of all shapes and sizes are a different story, with Iguaçu Falls stealing breaths in eastern Parana. These are among the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.
Warnings & Dangers in Brazil
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Brazil is somewhat safe but you should take precaution on the streets of major cities, and after dark. Be wary of pickpockets and bag snatching and keep your valuables safely by your side. Never carry all your money in one place or leave your valuables in plain sight in a car or at a beach when swimming.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Public transport is generally safe in Brazil, though it has its dangers. Be careful on buses and bus stops since that's where pickpockets and petty thieves operate.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpockets are a common occurrence on the streets of Brazil and tourists are recommended to remain vigilant at all times when on the street. Make sure you don't flash your valuable possessions on the street, or better yet, leave them in your accommodation. When in Rio, be extremely aware of your surroundings.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There are some natural threats in Brazil, such as dangerous insects and diseases they carry, and riptides. This is why it is important never to go swimming alone.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Mugging is not altogether uncommon on the streets of Brazil. In such a situation, hand over all your possessions immediately and do not resist. Avoid poorly lit and deserted areas.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Although there haven't been any terrorist attacks in Brazil's recent history, they shouldn't be ruled out so remain vigilant at all times.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
Scams are very common in Brazil, so double check your change, never pay anything upfront and negotiate everything in advance. Be very careful around ATMs and be wary of people trying to distract you. Also, be careful around children as they're probably trying to distract you too - they are skillful pickpockets.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Traveling to Brazil is generally safe for solo women, but bear in mind that you should always hike in company, never alone. Be especially careful in the North East and the remote area of Amazon. Stay away from poorly lit and deserted streets and areas and from people that are visibly intoxicated or under the influence.
So... How Safe Is Brazil Really?
Brazil is one of the most criminalized countries in the world, and therefore, it is not the safest choice. But if you keep your wits with you and follow rules of precaution, you will minimize the chances of something going wrong. The golden rule in Brazil is never to wear bling in public, or anything gilded, diamond encrusted or oversized. You are advised to always keep a small amount of cash with you (preferably cleverly hidden, concealed in a money belt under your clothes, in secret sewn-in pockets, or in your shoes) and to avoid carrying bank cards. If you go out shopping, it is smart to return your purchases to your accommodation before you head out to dinner or to a bar.
The statistics when it comes to violent crime in Brazil do not offer a sunny prognosis: though the cities of Rio, São Paulo, Recife and Salvador are ridden with crime throughout the year, it skyrockets when tourists arrive in hordes during Carnival and festive holiday periods. Never assume that you’re safe if you remain on-the-beaten-path. Tourists are walking targets, be it day or night, in tourist-frequented areas including Copacabana Beach, Corcovado Mountain, Tijuca Forest and Leblon.
Pickpockets have a bunch of creative diversions to distract you long enough for them to steal your wallet. Never carry all your money in the same place and keep your belongings close to you at all times.
- Visas - Brazil has a reciprocity standard when it comes to issuing visas and the rule goes like this: whatever restriction or visa prices apply to Brazilians when traveling abroad, also apply to foreigners from these countries. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency - Brazilian real is the official currency in Brazil. ATMs are available throughout the country, and are the easiest way of getting cash in big cities. They are also available in many smaller towns, but they sometimes don't work for non-Brazilian cards.
- Weather - Located within the tropics, Brazil is wonderful to visit all-year round as its temperatures rarely go below 20°C with the exception of mountainous areas and southern regions. The climate varies in Brazil, from hot and dry in the inner areas to humid and sticky in the tropical Amazon jungle rainforests.
- Airports - São Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport, also known as GRU Airport, or simply GRU, is the primary and busiest international airport serving São Paulo. It is located in the Greater São Paulo area.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Brazil, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.