How Safe Is Brazil for Travel?

Brazil
Safety Index:
52

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 tourists each year.

The vibrant urban life is more than obvious in São Paulo, and the spirit 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Useful Information

  • 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.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Brazil Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 23° C
Feb 23° C
Mar 23° C
Apr 23° C
May 21° C
Jun 19° C
Jul 19° C
Aug 21° C
Sep 23° C
Oct 24° C
Nov 23° C
Dec 23° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
282828282726262830292828
Low
°C
181818171512121316181818
High
°F
828282828179798286848282
Low
°F
646464635954545561646464

Where to Next?

18 Reviews on Brazil

  1. K
    Kyle M. says:

    Big fall from grace

    I just want to say that the only reason terrorism is low on this rating is because it is out of their reach. Brazil is one of those places that are beautiful to visit for historical reasons but it just is not safe. It gets worse each year too. There is crime in all the streets and if you travel alone, you will end up having to look over your shoulder the entire time. Hardly enjoyable.

    1. I tend to disagree with you. Brazil isn´t safe in some places like all countries. Go to favelas for exemple isn´t a good idea in any place of the world but when you go to christ of redeemer for exemple is all safe. São Paulo is way saffer than Rio but in my opinion Rio is the best city to visiti in the whole Latin America.

      1. Very dirty cities, racist people, violent and extreme poverty overall

        Rafal from Brazil “tend” to disagree about an honest opinion about his country… who would have thought?

  2. C
    Chinara says:

    I won't be going there!

    My family moved from Brazil to Canada when I was a baby. I hardly remember the place. I wanted to visit and my family wouldn’t stand for it. They said they left for a reason and it is way worse now than when they left. Needless to say, I will take their word for it and go elsewhere.

    1. A
      Annoyed says:

      So you’ve never been to Brazil and yet you have an opinion, you know what opinions are like?

    2. Q
      Qasim Gondal says:

      Is bad too much

      It was safe before now is medium safe is not good at all

    3. Regret going

      Your family is completeley right, going is a waste of time and extemely dangerous.

  3. Q
    Qasim Gondal says:

    It was safe before now is medium safe the is not good at all

  4. Safe if you go to the right places

    I have been to Brazil 4 times, and I partially agree with this article. It is mostly safe, but there is a relative risk of danger, mostly from thieves. However, if you go to the right places, it is very safe, and there is little to no danger- also, criminals tend to not target tourists. I would recommend going to Brazil with someone from the country, so that they can advise you with the right places to go. Lastly I would add that you should be careful driving in Brazil, as lorry drivers in particular sometimes don’t drive completely safely-especially on motorways. Go, and have fun, if you’re careful you will come to no harm.

  5. Awful place

    It’s really funny that the ones who “tend” to disagree are, of course, brazilians.

    It’s extremely difficult to find people who had not been robbed or assaulted, unless you go to small and quite ugly cities with nothing to do or see (they’ll tell you there are things to do but there are not! beware! you didn’t cross the ocean for that). Also, a lot of white brazilians are very very racist (and most of them wouldn’t be considered white in north america).

    Finally, unless you go for the beach and gals (careful, most of people are overweight in big cities) you will find all major cities very dirty, full of graffities (even in higher floors of buildings), blocks and blocks of abandoned buildings, tents with homeless in every park… it’s really disgusting.

  6. Food had salmonella on it

    Unsafe and they are destroying the only one nice thing they have: landscape

  7. W
    WATCHOUT says:

    JUST DON’T GO. YOUR LIFE IS AT RISK IN EVERY WAY

  8. Too many pickpocketers at best

  9. N
    Not magic says:

    Not magic at all it’s VERY DIRTY at least all main tourist destinations, and full of graffiti and homeless. Plus people are kinda rude if you are foreigner and not blonde.

  10. Hell on earth as a group of women backpackers. Do not recommend, plus police is the most corrupted in South America by far according to our experiences.

  11. Disappointing, a new Turkey

    Yes, most major cities are very violent, whether targeting tourists or not. And countryside not worth visiting, though…

    But, what a resentment, uh? I would even think you spent a lot of time among Brazilians or be one yourself. BR is such a racist country, yet many southern Europeans are not considered white either in a Nordic-centred POV.

  12. Very nice apes

    It’s ok! Not that bad as they say. I strongly recommend trying a delicious dish of traditional Brazilian coussine called “Monkey Soup” or Sopa Do Macaco in local language. Google it.

Rated 2 / 5 based on 18 user reviews.

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