By Pedro Souza
With dazzling nature, warm and friendly people, wild parties and a rich culture, Brazil has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, it is also known for its high crime rate. That being said, this shouldn’t be a problem if you take the necessary precautions. With this in mind, we have compiled some safety tips so you can enjoy your stay and have some peace of mind.
1. Dress like the locals and blend in with them. You are much more likely to be targeted if you are clearly a tourist.
2. Don’t wear jewelry or clothing that is too expensive in public, as this might attract robbers.
3. Avoid walking alone at night on empty streets.
4. In urban areas, there are some parts of the city that are extremely dangerous and others that are safe. When going to a city, learn where you are safe and which areas you should avoid.
5. If you get lost and find yourself in a shady place, try to relax and act like you belong there. If you are visibly nervous, this will make you much more likely to be targeted.
6. Learn some basic Portuguese. It is always good to have an idea of what people around you are saying. A basic vocabulary will also be of great help in case you have to ask someone for directions, help or talk to the police.
7. If you are out partying by yourself avoid getting blackout drunk, as that will make you an easy target.
8. Pickpockets are common in certain areas, and they are known to prey on tourists. When taking public transportation or visiting a crowded tourist area, do not put valuable items in your back pockets or in parts of your backpack that are too exposed. Getting a money belt is also a good idea.
9. Do not carry a lot of cash with you, and distribute your money between different pockets if possible.
10. Do not leave valuable items unattended in public places.
11. Don’t hang your bag or backpack in your chair when eating.
12. When walking around the city, try to check your path before going rather than opening a map in the middle of the street and showing everyone around you that you are lost.
13. Consider couch surfing or try to find a contact in the place where you are going. Few things will make you safer than having a local to show you around.
14. Get adequate health insurance.
15. If you happen to be robbed, do not resist under any circumstance.
16. Be aware of your surroundings. Simple as this is, it makes a huge difference.
17. Do not enter a favela. They are generally unsafe, especially for tourists.
18. Have the contact details for the nearest embassy of your home country in case of emergency.
19. When walking around, don’t be afraid of staring at people. This will make you more aware of what people around you are doing, and it is not considered rude in Brazil.
20. Be careful when crossing the street, as drivers are often quite aggressive.
21. When using ATMs, give preference to the ones inside banks.
22. Be alert but don’t be paranoid. And don’t forget to enjoy yourself!