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1. Posted by sally8585 (Full Member 64 posts) 12y

sally8585 has indicated that this thread is about Brazil

Hey
Im actually doing this on behalf of my friend.She ir travelling to rio alone in July and dosen't know alot about the place.Im a bit worried because Ive heard its not exactly the safest place to go but its what shes set her heart on so is there any tips you could give her to keep safe or any info at all would be appreciated!Thanks!;)

2. Posted by JillAnn (Budding Member 18 posts) 12y

Hello, I was a tour director in Rio for 6 years and was able to keep everyone happy and safe by sharing these few tips....

1. Stay in a hotel in Ipanema. It is less populated and more upscale than Copacabana, but has all the great restaurants and shops.

2. When going to the beach, do not bring anything but a towel and flip flops. Leave anything of value or importance in the hotel safe. Most hotels in Rio have safes now in your room --- usually located in the closet.

3. Don't use the standard public buses in Rio -- the ones where you get in the back of the bus and pay in the back of the bus and then go to a turnstile -- to sit in the front. Tourists notoriously get pick pocketed on these buses, and since they go to all parts of Rio --- including the suburbs ---- may be difficult to navigate. There is one type of bus in Rio that is safe -- and that is the "Frescao", called that because they are air-conditioned.
But, to be honest -- to avoid any problems and get to where you want to go quickly --- use taxi cabs. Make sure the driver uses the meter. Try to have the address you are going to written down on a piece of paper, in case the driver does not understand your English or your accent. It happens. Depending on the economic situation in Rio when you go, there may be a chart on the window of the cab -- where you will convert the price on the meter -- to the current legal price that you will be expected to pay.

4. Don't walk around Rio with expensive watches or jewelry. Try to blend in with the Brazilians. They dress casually and stylishly.

5. Stay out of Favelas. These are the shanty towns that dot the hillsides in Rio.

6. Don't walk alone on dark streets or the beach at night.

7. Don't carry around large amounts of cash. If you plan on buying something expensive -- use a credit card, or have the shop deliver it to your hotel -- and pay them at the hotel. This is a common practice.

8. You may arrange a private guide for your first day. This is a very good idea to get insider tips from a local when you arrive.

If you need help arranging a private guide, please feel free to contact me at -snip-

And lastly, remember the above items, but do not forget to enjoy yourself! Rio is beautiful and the people are very friendly!

Sincerely, Jill

Personal e-mail addresses are not allowed in the forums. Please use the Message Center.

[ Edit: Removed e-mail address. ]

3. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 12y

Hi, just been in Rio and loved it travelling all on my own too, I felt realy cõmfortable there and felt that the danger thing was way over hyped a lot of people i have met agree with me on this too, including many lobñe women. can i make some friendly remarks in answer to jills tips? ...
1. Ipanema is really expensive i stayed in a lovely HI hostel in Botofogo(Key hostel on Rua General Dionisio) really friendly and helpful and i felt totally safe in that neighbourhood (neighbouring copacaobana) on my own even at night.
2. You can take a bag to the beach if your going ina group just keep an eye on things...
3. I loved the buses and didn't have any problems at all..they're really reliable.
The rest....agreed wouldnt do the favela tours either totally un PC
tell her to look me up in SA till August
just message me here and ill give you my e-mail

mim

4. Posted by Rach-a (Respected Member 368 posts) 12y

There is a great website it was given to me by another traveller on this forum earlier this year it is www.ipanema.com detailing everything in Rio from eating out to carnival, it's an excellent site I haven't been to Rio yet but the main warnings I have had have been stated here on this thread already. Basically they are to avoid the beach at night, to not wear too much jewellery or look too much like a tourist and to avoid the favelas unless going with a tour company. Apart from that I am sure Rio is a great place to visit I'm adding it to my RTW itinery and can't wait to see it. I'm going in early February next year which is when the Carnival is (around 4-8 February)

5. Posted by Pam CAN (Inactive 22 posts) 12y

Hi sally

I'm from Sao Paulo, but I've been to rio several times, I really agree with Jill Ann's tips, Ipanema is beautiful, less crowded than Copa and is frequented by upper class cariocas as well as everybody else, but ipanema and Leblon (just joining it) are upperclass neighbourhoods in rio, while copacabana was once, but it is not anymore. Rio is beautiful, people are very friendly, but sometimes a little bit too much, specially with single women. I've been living abroad for a while and now sometimes the brazilian men way bothers me a bit, Just tell your friend to don't be too paranoid or she wont enjoy, don't wear the obvious jewelry when she goes to the beach and just around during the day, in the evening tell her to get taxis to go for diner if she will be on her own. Mim has also some good remarks, so it really depends on her budget, if she can afford ipanema stay there, as it is the place to stay.

Be also aware that the summer on the northen emisphere is winter in Brasil, so depending when she goes it might be around 18 celsius druing the night, but not much lower - that for cariocas is very very cold!!!

6. Posted by Pam CAN (Inactive 22 posts) 12y

By the way, I'm brasilan and I would never take a bus in rio on the rush hour, it is a sardine can, and its no adventure, you even get pervs feeling you - its a no no - brasil is very cheap for foreigners, tell her to walk or get a taxi.

7. Posted by Nat1 (Budding Member 3 posts) 12y

The two times that I have been to Rio I stayed in a great hostel in Copacabana, I cannot remember the name but I think it is the only hostel in that district. It was really good because the staff would often invite guests along on their nights out, so you got to go to places that the locals go to, not just the tourist places (which in Copacabana are pretty seedy -- Impanema is much nicer for a night out).

Also, each section of the beaches have a different character, like family, hippy, gay etc. My favourite spot was by Posto 9 on Impanema beach, this is where all the beautiful young creatures hang out and do the posing and flirting -- a great spot to people watch.

Plus, on the beaches -- to been seen reading a book would be social death, even sitting or lying down seem to be frown upon! rather you should turn up with just swimming costume, a pocket full of change and a flirtatious smile.

Rio really is a great city and I am always counting down the days till I am next there.

8. Posted by dcasanares (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y

Thank everyone for sharing your experience with RIO.

I have been wanting to travel their since childhood and now I'm faced between RIO and Panama City on my next great adventure.

Rio seems so exciting and I love the people and the music from Brazil.

Hope to be there within the next 90 days.

Derek -