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Safety for Solo Travel in Rio

Melbourne, Australia
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43 posts
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Safety for Solo Travel in Rio

Hi all.

I'm planning to travel to Rio for the 2015 carnaval in Rio and spend around a week or so there- as part of an overall South america trip.

I'm planning to go there solo and have two day trips around to familiaise myself with the city and the sights.

As a solo traveller in rio, what are the safety issues you ahve come across? (I'm aware of typical street pickpocketing etc etc) but like which areas are to avoid for safety? and also at nightime how do you manage your safety?

Like to hear your tips and experiences. Thanks.

Philadelphia...
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
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1. Re: Safety for Solo Travel in Rio

Safety tips for first-timers in Rio:

http://bit.ly/113p9Yf

Staying safe in Brazil:

http://bit.ly/1axXqHJ

Crime and Safety Report: Rio de Janeiro:

http://1.usa.gov/1gTc7GC

The most common forms of crime in Rio affecting tourists are pickpockets and street muggings.

Kidnapping in Rio de Janeiro, other than express kidnapping, is not an issue as it is reported to be in some other Latin American countries. (Express kidnapping [Portuguese: sequestro relâmpago] is a method of abduction where a small ransom from an employer or family member is requested. An ATM seizure, where the victim is forced to withdraw money from his or her account, is another example.)

In the past, the security risk was higher than it is today and police protection has improved significantly in the Zona Sul (Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon, Lagoa, Jardim Botanico) and Barra da Tijuca in the last two years. Today, although the likelihood of experiencing crime in Rio has diminished, it still exists. It has to be said that much of the crime that occurs is opportunistic crime. Meaning that criminals focus more on those they think are easy or high-value targets. For example, the elderly, someone walking alone at night, or someone wearing lots of jewelry.

While Rio does have a certain security risk involved, visitors can greatly minimize their risk by following a few common sense rules.

Try to travel in a group preferably with local friends. At night, avoid walking on the streets alone.

Be careful about public transportation at night. Take a taxi and not a bus at night. Late at night, consider booking a radio taxi or calling for a regular taxi, especially when travelling to less secure or unfamiliar locations. Many people prefer calling a taxi company rather than picking one randomly in the street. The line 1 of the underground (especially, Centro-Copacabana) is perceived as being safer that buses, but at night the entrances to the subway stations are a focal point for the homeless.

Be aware of your surroundings and others when walking on the street. Especially at night. If you see a group of young kids that look suspicious walking towards you, cross the street. Avoid dark/enclosed areas.

Do not walk around wearing flashy jewelry or expensive looking items. A basic watch or wedding band is okay (prospective criminals won't be able to distinguish between a fake Rolex or costume jewelry and the real thing).

Do not carry a lot of cash around. Carry around only enough for your expected purchases and a credit card (none if you don't expect to use it). Leave the passport and other credit cards in the safe at the hotel.

Make a copy of the biographic page of your passport and carry this with you.

Do not keep all of your money in one pocket. Distribute it in different pockets.

Take extra care when taking out money from an automatic teller machine. Beware of suspicious characters lurking near by. It is best to use the machines located inside banks, buildings and shopping centers.

Keep digital cameras in your pocket or in non-descript paper or plastic bags.

Don't leave belongings unattended.

The city centre (Centro) should be visited during work hours (but be aware of pickpocketing there); it is generally considered an empty and dangerous place during the weekend and at night—although some parts of it have been renovated, particularly the Lapa district, where many world-class samba clubs are located. Always take a taxi when visiting Lapa and make a reservation at the club you intend to visit in advance.

Rio's beaches are beautiful and seemingly tranquil, and as such may lull you into a relaxed sense of safety. It has been reported, however, that thieves are on the lookout for people who appear to be alone and have cell phones, watches, jewelry, cameras, or anything that can be quickly stolen.

Rio de Janeiro, RJ
Destination Expert
for Rio de Janeiro
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2. Re: Safety for Solo Travel in Rio

Some trip reports that may help you: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g303506-i1199-k698…

3. Re: Safety for Solo Travel in Rio

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4. Re: Safety for Solo Travel in Rio

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