Where not to go in Brazil?
Do not travel to informal housing developments (commonly referred to in Brazil as favelas, vilas, comunidades, and/or conglomerados), even on a guided tour. Neither the tour companies nor the police can guarantee your safety when entering these communities.
Violent crime, including mugging, armed robbery and carjacking is common. These occur more often in large cities and during festivals, such as Carnaval. Don't go out alone at night. Avoid isolated areas, including beaches.
Which Part of Brazil is the Safest? The southeastern states of São Paulo, Santa Catarina, and Paraná are some of the safest parts of Brazil. Some of the safest Brazilian cities include Florianópolis, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, and São Paulo.
Areas to avoid in Rio de Janeiro
As a general rule, don't visit the favelas (slums), especially in Zona Norte, even on a guided tour. Your safety can't be guaranteed by the tour company or the police when traveling into these communities. No one knows the city like the locals do.
Places far from the city center, like Pari, Perdizes and Lapa and most of the poorer neighborhoods, like Campo Limpo, Vila Clementino and Capão Redondo should be avoided because they can be dangerous. Just like the neighborhoods, some subway stations are a little dangerous.
Florianópolis, Brasilia (the country's capital), Curitiba, and Belo Horizonte are among the safest cities in Brazil, with some of the lowest crime rates in the country. Vacation destinations like Fernanda do Noronha are also quite safe.
São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro: Which Brazilian city is safer? According to Atlas da Violencia 2019, Sao Paulo has a homicide rate of 13.2/100 000 inhabitants. This is nearly one-third of the homicide rate from Rio de Janeiro (35.6/100 000).
Country Summary: Violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, and carjacking, is common in urban areas, day and night. Gang activity and organized crime is widespread. Assaults, including with sedatives and drugs placed in drinks, are common.
Exercise a high degree of caution in Brazil due to high crime rates and regular incidents of gang-related and other violence in urban areas.
Most tourists who visit Rio have a great time and don't run into trouble. Most of the time, in terms of crime, tourists may encounter petty theft. Your cell phone might be snatched from your hand, for example. Although violent crimes do happen, they aren't common.
What is the biggest problem in Rio de Janeiro?
Rio's problems include overcrowding, crime, urban sprawl, poverty, environmental destruction, air pollution, and water pollution.
If you are in the main touristic neighborhoods like Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema you will be fine up to, say 9 PM. Do NOT go down town or near favelas. During day time no problems at all. Public transport as the underground, taxis and Apps like Uber and a local one called 99 are very safe and do not cost a lot.
What about at night? As a touristy area, Ipanema is quite safe. This is not a beach where you need to worry about violent crime, and there is always a visible police presence throughout the day. As in most parts of Rio, the biggest risk by far is pickpocketing, so keep a close eye on your belongings.
Rio de Janeiro, the most visited destination in Brazil by foreign tourists for leisure trips, and second place for business travel.
Colombia is safer overall statistically, with lower rates of property and violent crime than Brazil. That continues to analogous cities, with Bogota having somewhat less crime than São Paulo, and Medellin having dramatically less crime than Rio de Janeiro.
Crime statistics in the city of São Paulo
Brazil separates crimes of stealing under the two main umbrellas of robbery and theft. The former involves force or the threat of force, while theft is a less confrontational offense, including acts such as pickpocketing. “Theft is by far the most common crime.
Considered and recognized by many as one of the most luxurious and exclusive neighborhoods in Brazil, Leblon, located in the southern zone of Rio de Janeiro, is famous for its sophisticated gastronomy, designer stores, and for being home to some of the most expensive properties per square meter in the country.
Brazil has the highest number of intentional homicides in the world, with 57,358 in 2018. In recent years, the homicide rate in Brazil has begun to decline. The homicide rate was 20.64 per 100,000 in 2020 with 43,879 killings, similar to 2019, but down from 30.67 per 100,000 in 2017.
It's always advisable to stay alert, avoid isolated areas, especially at night, and to keep your belongings close. As always, knowledge of the local language Portuguese is invaluable to navigate any safety concerns. Brazil is currently ranked #81 safest country for solo female travellers. Check the full ranking.
Stay alert Be aware of your surroundings. São Paulo has a reputation for crime, including armed robberies, pickpocketing and muggings. Leave valuables like laptops and jewelry at home, and keep your cellphone concealed. Carry a copy of your passport with you and leave your passport in your hotel room's safe.
Are Ubers safe in São Paulo?
Uber is commonly used throughout the country by millions of people. Uber rides tend to be readily available and are a budget-friendly way to get around the cities like São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Fortaleza, and more. Uber is also considered to be a safe way to travel.
On the downside, air pollution, near-constant traffic congestions, crime, and extreme poverty are a part of daily life in the city as well. All in all, however, most expats who have decided on living in São Paulo over the years have come to love their new home.
Flashy items make you a target in Brazil. Personally I love gold jewelry, but even though all of mine is fake, wearing it would make me a target. Studs and small hoop earrings should be fine, but necklaces and bracelets I would refrain from wearing – as recommended to me by local Brazilians.
June - December are considered the best months to visit, with the most hospitable conditions.
With an average cost of about $55 USD per day, two weeks in Brazil at a moderate budget totals around $770 USD.