We have just returned from a trip to Rio de Janeiro .After reading a lot of blogs and guide books we set off.My advice to anyone going to rio is
1. Dont worry about what to wear anything goes (men do wear trunks but they wear shorts and board shorts also,get a sarong off a beach seller and when going out just be neat and tidy no fuss)
2. You can take cameras on to the beach (just be aware of your surroundings like in any big city)
3.Go on a favela tour its an eye opener
4.Take the yellow cabs they are all on metres,public buses are great and the metro is also good. (we never had a bad experience in any taxi ,metro or bus)
5.All the local beach sellers are trying to earn a living they are polite and will leave you alone if you just say no.
6.Go to lapa for a friday or saturday night ( Rio scenario is a great place with dancing and food in many rooms)
7.Remember its hot put on lots of sun cream.
9.Copacabana and Ipanema are well lit at night and well policed
24/7 you can take a late night drink in any of the bars along the beach front.
10.Take a frase book you will need one as not everyone speaks english .
11.Drink local drinks caipirinha and eat local foods (it will save you a lot of money)
Rio is like any other big city be careful and you will be safe ,people are helpful and friendly and the sun shines daily.
Dont let peoples tales put you off its much safer than depicted in travel books .