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Safety in Brazil
There has been an outbreak of yellow fever and a risk of Zika virus transmission in Brazil. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre.
Levels of crime and violence are high, particularly in major cities. You should be particularly vigilant before and during the festive and Carnival periods. Bank card fraud is common. You should remain vigilant, follow local advice and monitor local media.
Make sure your passport is stamped. If it is not, you may be fined on departure. Keep your immigration landing card. You’ll need it when you leave. If you lose it you may be fined. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Brazil. Yellow fever certificate is required. Check details with your embassy of your country. Short-duration visas (valid for 30 or 90 days, for example) are valid from the date of first entry into Brazil.
See also: How to Apply for A Brazilian Tourist Visa
You can stay 180 consecutive days in Brazil but you’ll need to go to the Policia Federal and request an extension. More on that here
More about safety from travel blogger women on the road
Most visits to Rio de Janeiro are trouble free. The most common incidents affecting are thefts or pick pocketing around Copacabana Beach, Ipanema Beach and the Lapa area.
A number of tourists in Rio de Janeiro have recently reported robberies on the walking trail to the Christ the Redeemer statue. Be particularly vigilant and never resist attackers.
Thefts are particularly common on public beaches, especially in Rio de Janeiro. These include ‘arrastões’ where large groups of running thieves target an area of beach.
In any situation, be ready to hand over valuables if you’re threatened. Don’t attempt to resist attackers. They may be armed and under the influence of drugs.
Crime levels are high
Violence and crime can occur anywhere and often involve firearms or other weapons. You should be vigilant, particularly before and during the festive and carnival periods.
Be vigilant when using public transport, especially during rush-hour as petty crime is common. Generally, the metro systems in Rio and São Paulo are safer than buses.
Only use licensed taxis. You can pick up a licensed taxi from the many recognized taxi ranks around Brazilian cities. Always check your taxi has the company details on the outside. Use Taxi apps.
Brazil has a high road accident rate. In many rural areas the quality of roads away from the main highways is poor, and standards of driving, especially trucks and buses, is low.
Always use recognized national air carriers. There have been accidents involving light aircraft, which sometimes have poor maintenance standards.
The rainy season runs from November until March in the south and south east and from April until July in the north east of the country. Heavy rains can often disrupt infrastructure, particularly in rural areas.
There are high levels of poverty and very high levels of violent crime in shanty-towns (favelas), which exist in all major Brazilian cities. Violence, particularly aimed at police and officials, can occur at anytime and overspill to areas close to the favelas. You should take extra care and be aware of local conditions at all times.