Brazil : Safety by City
- Belo Horizonte
- Porto Alegre
- Rio de Janeiro
- Sao Paulo
Fortaleza is one of the largest cities in Brazil – it’s about 2,5 million people- and certainly one of the most vibrant.
It’s a quite a party town, but the carnival in Fortaleza is rather feeble, although growing bigger by the year, with the largest parades being Maracatu-style.
Travelers come here to see the unique Brazilian style of living.
Quite an effort has been put into restoring colonial architecture over the last years.
Stretch from the beachfront of Praia de Iracema, via Dragão do Mar and to Praça do Ferreira is steadily improving and worth a walk.
Here also are several lovely places for surfing on the beaches, and frequent competitions at Praia do Futuro.
Warnings & Dangers in Fortaleza
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Most of the risks in the city are related to the possibility of being robbed. You should be especially careful not to carry valuables and cash. It is also recommended not to appear on the streets after dark. Avoid drug dealers and prostitutes on the streets.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Public Transport is generally safe in Fortaleza. Be very careful with your valuable belongings in buses - as incidents inside buses have been reported. One thing tourists should worry about is taxis. Always take official, licensed cabs. Do not get in any unmarked taxis, especially if someone has solicited a ride for you.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpockets and petty thieves are a significant problem in Fortaleza. They roam the city center and the beaches looking for easy victims in the face of tourists. Avoid carrying too much cash with you, use credit cards. Always have a copy of your ID, passport, or other relevant documents.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
The region is prone to droughts - and as a result - to forest fires. But the likelihood of this is low. Floods and landslides are also possible here. Examine the weather and the current situation for natural disasters before you travel here.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
The risk of being robbed is very high in the city. Especially in specific regions and on the outskirts of the town. Criminals hunt for easy prey in the form of tourists. Do not walk in the streets of Fortaleza at night and move in groups, not alone. If you were attacked - give everything you ask and contact the police immediately.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Even though in the history of Brasilia, there were no terrorist attacks, the proximity to Venezuela and its conflicts makes it possible to attack the capital of Brazil. Besides, like any capital, the city is especially attractive to terrorists. Be on the alert and avoid political demonstrations.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
Fortaleza tourist scams are common. You can be fooled by selling fake admission tickets or selling "branded" things that turn out to be false. Criminals also often work in pairs - one will distract or ask you about something, while the second can empty your pockets. Also, withdraw money only ATM at banks to avoid scams with a card.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH
Women are not recommended to travel to Fortaleza alone; the risk of getting into trouble is very high. It is better to move around in a group and be sure to take a taxi if you return to the hotel late at night.
So... How Safe Is Fortaleza Really?
Fortaleza is generally considered a not-so-safe city for tourists and has one of the highest crime rates in Brazil.
The index of crime is very high here, most problems here are with home broken, car thief, armed robbery, violent crime and corruption, and bribes.
The city occupies the number 7 spot on the list of cities with the most homicides per 100,000 people in the world.
This type of violence though it doesn’t usually involve tourists, and most have no problems visiting Fortaleza after taking some necessary precautions.
As with any other city, there are some areas in Fortaleza where the crime rate is much higher than in other districts.
Some areas to avoid or be especially vigilant: Cais do Porto and Serviluz slum; Commuting between Praia do Futuro and Centro; beaches – never enter beaches after dark; Suburbs – like almost everywhere else in Brazil, the city suburbs host the highest amount of homicides, armed robberies, muggings, etc.
Tap water is not drinking in Fortaleza.
If you travel west from, into the states of Maranhão, Pará, or further, Brazilian authorities recommend that you get a yellow fever vaccination.
You can feel quite comfortable in Fortaleza if you use common sense, don’t walk around the city at night, don’t mess with drug dealers and prostitutes (men tourists, in particular, are often the victim of drugging and robbing crimes by prostitutes) and move around the city in groups, not alone.
How Does Fortaleza Compare?
|Rio de Janeiro||43|
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)||61|
|Niagara Falls (Canada)||87|
- Visas - Visitors to Brazil must obtain a visa from one of the Brazilian diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa-exempt countries. Visas are not required for airport transit, from any nationality, as long as the traveler does not leave the international transit area. A valid passport is a must.
- Currency - The Brazilian real is the official currency of Brazil since 1994. It is subdivided into 100 centavos. It has a sign: R$ and code: BRL. The Brazilian real is the nineteenth most traded currency in the world by value.
- Weather - The best times to visit Fortaleza for ideal weather are from August to January. The average temperatures in Fortaleza vary barely at all. All year temperatures feel hot with a low chance of precipitation most of the year.
- Airports - Fortaleza International Airport is the international airport serving Fortaleza, Brazil, operated by Fraport, located 11 km south of downtown Fortaleza. It serves international and domestic flights. The former passenger terminal, on the north area, serves as a General Aviation Terminal (TAG) for private aircraft, where it operates small general aviation, executive, and air taxi.
- Travel Insurance - The travel insurance policy is a must when visiting a foreign country. Make sure you got it before starting your journey, the customs officer may ask for it.
Fortaleza Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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4 Reviews on Fortaleza
Parts of this article are pointing to Brasilia and not Fortaleza, specially the “Terrorism Risk”.
The Scam Risk is about the same as any big Brazilian city.
Terrorism? Are you crazy? Fortaleza is just like any other capital in Brazil: a lot of inequality and misery. However, if you know local people, you can have a great time there. While alone, I would advise you to read a lot about the locality you are visiting in the city.
I visited Fortaleza in November 2021 and never had a problem. Advise, use common sense. Knowing someone is always a PLUS. Fortaleza Is fun, police are around. Beach is great, weather is great, food is great and hotels are great. My place to come back again.
What the hell are you talking about? Fortaleza is clearly the safest city in Brazil, you just can’t prove it.