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.

How Does Brazil Compare?

CountrySafety Index
Brazil52
Morocco54
Finland86
Spain83
Botswana77
New Zealand90
Hungary83

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?

36 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?

        1. Rafael from Brazil lives in Brazil. I can assure you he knows better than you about the country! 😉

          1. As you point out Rafael is a local and therefore less likely to be targeted than a tourist.😉

    2. Use common sense and stay safe

      Moved to Brazil about a year ago, have travelled along coast and in interior. Mostly feel safe here, but I always take the precautions normal for any big city – avoid display, don’t wear flashy jewellery or walk along the street carrying your new phone visibly, don’t go to dodgy areas at the wrong time of day. The landscape is beautiful, there are amazing and well maintained national parks with waterfalls, panoramas and terrific hiking. Brazilians are mostly friendly and courteous.

  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.

      1. Be smart when traveling

        Why are you taking your time here to comment poorly about the country on every post? What happened to you there? I’m curious. Brazil is huge, a continental country. There are good things and bad. If you are from a first world country where anyone can freely walk at the streets at night with no fears whatsoever, don’t go there. But if you know how a big city works, that are places and behaviors you should avoid, no problem. Minimize your risks by not using blings and enjoy the beautiful country it is

  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.

    1. Oh wow, you are incredibly disrespectful. Good thing you didn’t like it here, please don’t come back.

  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.

  13. Very beautiful country with an amazing culture, it is pretty dangerous though. Haven´t felt safe in any moment. Without the danger Brazil would be paradise and I would still recommend going.

  14. Don't be spoiled!

    I am pretty sure the people complaining this much about the country being dirty and dangerous have all just visited big cities like Rio and São Paulo. People saying the countryside isn’t worth visiting, are you kidding me?? The absolutely beautiful and amazing mountains, the untouched forest we have in so many places, the friendly people and nice food, the amazing ecosystem in general are all unworthy of your holy presence? And we’re talking about a country with absolutely divine beaches in cities like Arraial do Cabo, Buzios, Ilha Grande… and these places aren’t dangerous, at least not nearly as dangerous as people in the comments are making it out to be. I’ve lived in this country for over 20 years and have never been robbed, neither have my parents. I’ve lived in big and small cities. You just have to have some common sense and it will not happen. If you’re unsatisfied please request that the first world countries some of you come from stop interfering with our politics so maybe we can grow economically.

  15. A
    Anonymous says:

    YOU’RE GOING TO BRAZIL

  16. L
    Luis Raymondi says:

    Come to Brazil you will love it!

    I live in the USA and I believe that many cities in the USA are more dangerous than any city in South America!
    The cities gangs and thieves , the White Supremacists, the KKK the Qnon and the racism are high.
    Brazil population in general are very welcoming and they know how to party and enjoy life!
    The food is great and the music and arts and sports superb!
    Millions of people visit Brazil and many more move to live there.
    I being visiting Brazil since 2005 and had never had been exposed to any crime or violence!

    1. Idk

      First of all racism is at an all-time low in the US. In Brazil it’s higher, and most Brazilian cities are in the top 50 all of them being In a worse position then American states, gun battles just don’t randomly happen in America like in Brazil, the most dangerous city in Brazil is the 8th most dangerous in the world while the most dangerous city in America is the 40tg so don’t make me laugh, do not compare Brazil to America. Brazil is in a worse place politically, economically, and dangerous.

  17. A
    Anonymous says:

    Hahaha

    Racism is actually lower in USA than most countries, look it up.

    I’m from Canada and that’s even more racist than USA.

  18. J
    Jose’ Armstrong says:

    Brasil, o paradiso na Terra!!!!

    I’m an American citizen and have traveled around the world; I lived in São Paulo, Brasil with my family for the happiest years of our lives and I will not hesitate to relocate permanently to São Paulo, Brasil; we speak several languages fluently English (naturally), Portuguese, Spanish and a smattering of others; we thoroughly enjoyed the people, the year-round weather, International cuisine, and ALL things related to Brasil.

    Eu nao sou brasileiro mais o meu coracao ficou sendo mais brasileiro do que muitos dos Cariocas e Paulistas e outros mais.

    Para nous, Brasil eis o País mais semelhante ao paradiso. Si eu pudese, voltaria pea la’ ONTEM!!!

    1. Could be better, but sadly is not anymore.

      Thank you for your opinion Jose! I’m a Brazilian that moved to Canada with my wife and kids 4 years ago. I love Canada so much that makes me not even think about living in Brazil again. I had problems with security a couple of times in my life living there, and I’m talking about 37 years. Yes, Brazil is a BEAUTIFUL country! Yes, Brazil has an amazing culture and people. But some aspects make (sadly I’m talking about the crab culture and our bad politics) the country deteriorate more and more every year. Still, I have Brazil in my heart, all my family still there. But I can live there anymore, for me does not worth it. I used to say that Brazilians that still are living there today, and being VERY generalist, are like frogs in a saucepan. They don’t feel the heat anymore and when they figure out is too late, they die.
      If you want to visit the country go, but be careful, and everything will be fine. But I will not suggest living there anymore.

  19. Dont go

    Don’t Go Brazil or you going to have a lot of lag in the lounge, trust me I know some brazil players that are very laggy

  20. It can be an amazing place but it has it’s dark side

    Like someone already said Brazil is safe if you go to the right places. The favelas should be a no-go zone as the poverty there will drive people to do all sorts of stupid things. Thieves are present in all crowded areas so watch your pockets. I agree that Sao Paolo is safer than Rio although Rio is a beautiful city. It’s best to go to Brazil in groups of at least 4 people and just avoid the bad areas. Doing so will result in a great vacation as Brazil has so much to offer.

    If you rent a car or drive your own, be careful as some drivers here have nothing in common with the rules of driving. Keep your eyes open and try to avoid overcrowded roads if/when possible.

    As a woman, I would never go here alone. Last time I was there we were 7 people and I didn’t feel unsafe. Even when I saw a small group of pickpockets I wasn’t afraid as we had 5 guys with us. But it’s clear that the poverty in this country does “encourage” some people (even kids) to try and steal money or things. It’s always best to keep a close look on your belongings and not waver money, credit cards or your phone around as someone may steal it.

    As for where to go, there are so many amazing destinations. The Tijuca National Park for example, is beautiful and here you will find the Cristo Redentor statue. Seeing this in pictures or even on video is nothing, just wait until you are here! It’s so big and if you look down from there, the view is absolutely breathtaking! And the park is so fantastic, with countless birds, springs and waterfalls.

    The Iguacu Falls is also something you don’t see everywhere. Some of the falls are 100+ meters high and they mark the meeting point for Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The best view is from the Brazilian side but you can also go a bit into the Argentinian side for some different views.

    There are many other interesting places that one should visit if they have the time. Pernambuco Beaches, the beautiful art museums of Sao Paolo, Belo Horizonte, Ipanema, Copacabana.

  21. Too much poverty

    DO NOT TAKE YOUR NEW IPHONE TO THE BEACH IN RIO IT WILL BE SNATCHED. Bring a cheap back up phone or no phone at all at the beach or when walking in the streets.

  22. Lovely, don't let the fear get to you

    There’s absolutely so much to do in Brazil, and the “imminent danger” is absurdly overstated. Don’t let the bad fame get to you. Watch vlogs from small Youtube channels that went there. You can stay in that country for 90 days till your Visa expires and you will still have so much to do.

    It is very unlikely anything happens to you, and still, if it does it probably will be just a pickpocket snatching your wallet on a city. Tourists are not targeted at all, most crime apparently happens in poor neglected neighborhoods.

  23. Candomble

    I’ve never been to Brazil, but am interested in Candomble. I’ve read much about it, and have met practitioners here in St. Louis, Missouri. U.S.A. Can anyone commenting here offer insights on this fascinating faith, or better yet, relate some personal experience?

Rated 2.5 / 5 based on 36 user reviews.

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