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1. Posted by stephies7 (Budding Member, 5 posts) 17 Jan '07 03:20

Hiya, im new to this. I would like to here from people whove been travelling s.america. I am going travelling with 3 other girls and people have made us quite worried, telling us that it is not safe for 4 girls to travel there. I am hoping that this is rubbish and would like to here some real and honest experiences x

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru, 2398 posts) 17 Jan '07 03:28

search this forum for 'safety'.

As you will find, SA is as safe as Europe or the States, provided you exercise the same caution one should also do there. So,

  • no flashing expensive jewellery,
  • leaving at home everything that you couldn't bear being relieved off by a pickpocketer
  • u
  • NO HITCHHIKING
  • /u

  • no wandering off into suburban areas after dark

etc. All quite obvious. And, there is no such thing as a risk-free country.

Niels

3. Posted by vanbest (Budding Member, 19 posts) 23 Jan '07 08:35

Hi there, i`ll tell you from my experience. I stayed in SA for 3 months, Most of the time I spent in Sao Paulo, Brazil. So all the locals told me dont wear expensive cloth, Don`t talk over celurar in doubtful places, eg: Praca de Se and Municpal theather. Ofcourse stay out from shady personalities if you see some, don`t go to bad areas like Favelas in Brazil. Generaly my expirience was very enjoyable i hanged out every day, i had no problems, so no problems, travelled everywhere in Sao Paulu, however one evening in november me, my friend, and a girl were riding a car in the center of the city, it was about 6pm already dark, i was sitting on front chair playing with my mobile, so my friend stop on a traffic light with lots of cars standing there. Then he started moving his car from left to right and seconds later he hit me on my hands so my celurar flew down under the chair, I was like what are you doing ??!? he said look; so i looked out of the window there were 3 guys about 16-17 years old with guns walking in our direction, my friend beeped the horn and managed to move car some place to left, then those 3 guys surrounded car next to us, there were no more than 2 meterse between us, so i saw him taking something from people from that car and then they simply walked awau without even running. So in this situation, my mobile could cost me something else but we got lucky, so don`t attract this kind of attention, comparing to Argentina, Brazil is dangerous, but if you be carefull watch out, look at the people around you, you`re safe, thats what i understand and what all my brazilian friends told me. So in Buenos Aires it is so safe, you can walk alone in the middle of night, i was doing it, drunk, in 3-4 am, and nothing at all happened, not at all like Brazil. In Buenos Aires its 100% safe you will get this impression at once, once you arrive.
Uruguai, I`ve been in Uruguay for 6 horus only in Colonia, city close to Argentina, I cant say about all of Uruguai, but that little city and the people i saw gave me impression of a quiet country.

Hope that gave you some idea

4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator, 5555 posts) 23 Jan '07 09:11

Quoting vanbest

Hi there, i`ll tell you from my experience. I stayed in SA for 3 months, Most of the time I spent in Sao Paulo, Brazil. So all the locals told me dont wear expensive cloth, Don`t talk over celurar in doubtful places, eg: Praca de Se and Municpal theather. Ofcourse stay out from shady personalities if you see some, don`t go to bad areas like Favelas in Brazil. Generaly my expirience was very enjoyable i hanged out every day, i had no problems, so no problems, travelled everywhere in Sao Paulu, however one evening in november me, my friend, and a girl were riding a car in the center of the city, it was about 6pm already dark, i was sitting on front chair playing with my mobile, so my friend stop on a traffic light with lots of cars standing there. Then he started moving his car from left to right and seconds later he hit me on my hands so my celurar flew down under the chair, I was like what are you doing ??!? he said look; so i looked out of the window there were 3 guys about 16-17 years old with guns walking in our direction, my friend beeped the horn and managed to move car some place to left, then those 3 guys surrounded car next to us, there were no more than 2 meterse between us, so i saw him taking something from people from that car and then they simply walked awau without even running. So in this situation, my mobile could cost me something else but we got lucky, so don`t attract this kind of attention, comparing to Argentina, Brazil is dangerous, but if you be carefull watch out, look at the people around you, you`re safe, thats what i understand and what all my brazilian friends told me. So in Buenos Aires it is so safe, you can walk alone in the middle of night, i was doing it, drunk, in 3-4 am, and nothing at all happened, not at all like Brazil. In Buenos Aires its 100% safe you will get this impression at once, once you arrive.
Uruguai, I`ve been in Uruguay for 6 horus only in Colonia, city close to Argentina, I cant say about all of Uruguai, but that little city and the people i saw gave me impression of a quiet country.

Hope that gave you some idea

Very very good example of how to act in particular places. Want to add one remark though about Buenos Aires, it's really not 100% safe. I heard especially about people being robbed in taxis for example. So call a taxi if you really need one, otherwise don't when you are just by yourself or even two girls together. It's just to make sure, not having said that this is the case everywhere and everytime...it just happens now and then.

5. Posted by vanbest (Budding Member, 19 posts) 25 Jan '07 12:13

Oh yes, sorry ofcourse it is not 100% safe in BA, just like everywhere, though it is much calmer than Brazil. And btw i totally forgot about this, since we used a car there, but when i just arrived to airport it had a sign there Do not use unofficial taxis, some random cars, I guess it`s important not to do it since they even warn, i used taxis my self, official ones few times, np .

6. Posted by jenboro (Budding Member, 3 posts) 31 Jan '07 19:42

I have been to South America several times and have had no problems or fears traveling alone as a woman. That being said, it is important to be careful: no jewelry, avoid walking alone at night, don't carry lots of cash, don't visit an ATM in a secluded place. If you do run into problems don't fight it. Remember to keep nothing on you that you aren't willing to lose.

Here is a sight I use frequently
www.ontheroadtravel.com
They have a blog with some recent travel warnings for Brazil:
http://ontheroadtravel.blogs.com/chronicles_on_the_road/travel_brazil/index.html

Have fun!

7. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru, 586 posts) 1 Feb '07 09:27

Travel South America (also Central America)

There is an excellent resource on line, a travel group/forums called 'South America for Visitors' tri-lingual posts and the moderator was a resident of South America herself for several years, fluent in Spanish and savvy and the culture and customs. On the group pages is a 3 page article on travel safety and security in the region. Us resident ex pats, of course, the locals and long term volunteers and humanitarain aid workers are far and away the best sources to contact if travelling to SA or any another developing area or country worldwide. Backpackers and casual travellers tend not to know the culture, customs and often the language and view things through different 'eyes'..Hotels, hostels, guides, transport and tour operators may always be found everywhere, when you know where you ae going and why, logistics become less of a problem. Travelling, especially on a tight money budget and short term time frame can be come a very stressful proposition and stress can make or break a journey. Stressful, hurried and harried travellers tend to be in a hurry, get confused, and for theives, there is profit in confusion. 21 years ago my Passport was robbed at an Int'l border because I was in a hurry and did'nt think, did not use common sense. Anyhow visit gosouthamerica at about dot com and browse you may join free.

8. Posted by cat009 (Budding Member, 28 posts) 2 Feb '07 00:42

Bad things do happen but they tend to get remembered. At anyone time there is estimated to be over 10000 tourists in SA, the vast majority of whom encounter no problems.

As long as you take sensible precautions listed elsewhere on this site, you should be fine.

Don't get paranoid and let it spoil the trip. Have a great time.

9. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru, 5336 posts) 12 Feb '07 21:03

Hi Stephies

I'm 27 and I just spent 7 months travelling South America solo. YOu have to be careful definitely and constantly on your guard, but it's a fantastic place to travel and you should be fine.

Probably the best advice for female travellers is not to go out late at night, even in a group. I know its crap but there it is.
When I was in Bolivia, a Canadian girl that I met was attacked one night when she was out with her friends. she was beaten black and blue and was nearly raped but some locals came to her aid. She wasnt out alone that night, she just walked a bit ahead of her friends and was dragged down an alley.

It's not to scare, it's a reminder that we have to be really careful especially in countires where you stand out. At that point in my trip I was just starting to feel that I was safe and on top of things, and what happened to her was a big jolt to all the girls staying in our hostel at the time.

I had only good experiences I am very glad to say. You defintiely get a lot of attention from the SOuth American men in every country but after a while you realise that 99% of them are just being complimentary and funny.
Watch your back, dont take any risks, and dont trust strangers.

Its a fabulous continent. You will have some of the best experiences of your life there. Enjoy! :)

10. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru, 2398 posts) 13 Feb '07 00:19

Quoting samsara2

Probably the best advice for female travellers is not to go out late at night, even in a group. I know its crap but there it is.

Though not a woman, I don't agree with this one bit. Of course, nasty things like Samsara described do happen, but hey, what's the difference with Amsterdam, London, or NY? Also, I've heard the odd story from women having nasty experiences with fellow (European!) hostel guests... That never kept anyone at home, did it?

There's really no need to be so paranoid; as long as you exercise some common sense (like NEVER wandering off in the dark alone, or out into quiet residential areas), the risk of anything happening to you is quite small.

Niels