Travel safety: Is Brazil dangerous?
An important issue when traveling in Brazil is the safety of guests who are unfamiliar with the country and its customs. To that end, we would like to provide you with first-hand information so that you can prepare well for your vacation and make yourself aware of what type of conduct to expect.
A Lot of Crime in South America: Is it just prejudice?
With regard to Brazil and South America in general, the press runs rather negative headlines that announce high crime rates in and around the slums (favelas). Is this really true or is it just prejudice? It is a fact that crime rates in Brazil are higher than in the United States. More violent crimes are committed. But this usually affects the local population and not tourists, so it is not decisive for travel safety in Brazil. Above all, if you inform yourself adequately before your vacation and adapt to the local conditions, your trip will be safe and you will not be a victim of crime in Brazil. In addition, our destinations are not located in areas of risk, so you are not exposed to increased danger.
Florianópolis, Our Safe Home
The headquarters of Aventura do Brasil is located in Florianópolis, capital of the state of Santa Catarina and affectionately referred to as Floripa. Florianópolis is regularly listed as one of the safest big cities in Brazil. Floripa not only offers a high quality of life to its inhabitants, but it also regularly attracts countless tourists from Brazil and all over the world. The unique and divided location between the mainland and "Ilha de Santa Catarina," which are connected by a bridge, is the postcard of the city. Life in Floripa is characterized by the countless extensive beaches and the surrounding Atlantic Rainforest with its lush flora and fauna. Here guests enjoy great travel security.
The Team at Aventura do Brasil Supports Your Travel Safety in Brazil
Of course, we cannot guarantee that you will not be a victim of crime during your vacation. Nevertheless, your safety is our priority. All team members at Aventura do Brasil are expatriates and, to a certain extent, experts in travel safety in Brazil. Our guests benefit from our experience. We know that, especially in the big cities like Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo, there is always greater danger. Therefore, we organize our trips so that guests are picked up at the airport by guides who give tips and advice on security on the way to the hotel. The guides will also explain what you can do from the hotel on foot or on your own and what is better not to do. If you stick to this, normally, nothing will happen, as we of course book the accommodations in city districts that are relatively safe (e.g., Copacabana in Rio).
In smaller places it is more relaxed, whereby you should still be attentive.
Rules of Thumb to Follow for Maximum Safety
Stick to the helpful tips from your experienced guides. They know the area well and are happy to share their knowledge with you to ensure you have a safe travel experience in Brazil. If in doubt, you can also ask at the reception of your accommodation.
We recommend that you make copies of your passport and other important documents in advance. This way you can keep the originals safe in your hotel during your outings and carry the copies with you to prove your identity.
As with beach getaways in most other countries, you should avoid wearing flashy valuables in Brazil. Do not take your gold watch and valuable jewelry with you.
Brazilians rarely use backpacks in the city. Our tip: Grab a fanny pack or a simple cloth bag and take only the bare essentials on city tours. Even if you go to the beach or to the park, it makes sense to carry only a little bit of cash with you and leave your credit cards at the hotel. For hiking trips, a backpack is of course the first choice.
Rely on your intuition and common sense. You can easily orient yourself by the general street scene. Wherever "normal" locals go about their daily lives and you yourself do not have an insecure feeling, it is actually safe, always being mindful that you are in South America.
Do not go or drive into a favela on your own! Especially in Rio de Janeiro this can lead to dangerous situations. For this reason, Aventura do Brasil plans self-drive tours in such a way that the big city centers are avoided.
If you do end up in a favela, it is best to follow these tips from the military police, which were published by the internet news portal R7:
1. Lower all front and back windows.
2. Turn on the car's interior lights and parking lights.
3. Ask for the way back. If there is nobody around, drive back at a leisurely pace.
4. If you are being threatened at gunpoint, everyone in the car should show their hands and do not try to escape. Trying to escape could lead criminals to believe that you are the police or a rival gang. Answer questions. State your name and occupation. Ask for help to find your way back.
Don't be overprotective and don't worry about it too much. Doing so will make you stick out like a sore thumb. It is better to immerse yourself in the culture and with the Brazilian people in a natural and relaxed way. Learn important words in Portuguese like "Oi" ("Hello"), "Obrigada"/"Obrigado" ("Thank you" women/men) and "Bom dia" ("Good morning"). Brazilians will immediately receive you and try to be accommodating. If you are not able to learn much Portuguese before your arrival, you can take part in a language course with us in Florianópolis.
Last but Not Least...
We would like to point out that our information regarding your safety in Brazil is not exhaustive nor exclusive. Please familiarize yourself in detail with local conditions before your arrival in Brazil. Clarify the following important questions: What are the customs and traditions native to your destination? What behavior and places should you avoid? What is considered dangerous or safe?
You can find detailed and up-to-date information on the Brazil page of the US Department of State website or at your local travel office.