Brazil Code of Conduct & Security – Believing the media, Brazil is considered one of the most insecure countries in the world. Every day there are attacks, thefts and rape. It may all seems very bad, but believe us, in truth, it’s all half so bad. If you stick to the Brazil rules of conduct and safety tips we give you here, you’ll be guaranteed to spend a wonderful holiday in Brazil – without any incidents.
But not only for the sake of safety, you should know the Brazil rules of conduct, because other countries, other manners. So a small gesture, which is not noticeable in US or Europe, can quickly be considered impolite in Brazil…
But do not be confused, you are guaranteed to spend a nice time in Brazil, just follow our safety tips in Brazil. Even if you do not know all the proper rules of conduct in Brazil, you will get to know them at the latest a few days after your first Brazilian holiday.
No matter where you go, whether it’s a bar in the evening, to the sights, or just to the beach, you should always dress appropriately. Why? Quite simply, because everyone does it, even the Brazilians. You can walk around the beach and the beach path without a shirt, but in the city it is really inappropriate. Many of the Brazilians are tolerant towards tourists, but in the end of the day it does make a good impression if you dress appropriately and do not make yourself a puppet.
Carry no valuables with you
You should avoid carrying a lot of valuables along with you. Handbags, cameras, watches etc, all these items you should best leave in the hotel safe. Thieves targeting tourists with a lot of valuables and before you even notice it, something is missing. The rule also counts for credit cards and larger amounts of cash. Just take the amount you really need.
Our tip: make sure to use a second phone, which you use for the holidays. From only 80USD you get a good smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy J. Should this phone be stolen, the loss is bearable.
Use the metros instead of the buses
Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo have a well-functioning metro network that is adequately guarded and considered very safe. The busses are usually a bit cheaper, but we advise against it, as it has often come to raids and thefts in the buses. If a destination you want to visit is outside the Metro system, invest a bit more and use a taxi. With a taxi, you are always on the safe side. Pay attention first to the appearance of the driver, whether he makes a serious impression or not. If in doubt, just take another taxi.
Avoid dark side streets
This is a common sense, but we explicitly point out to avoid dark and deserted streets! Although a robbery can happen almost everywhere, it is not the best idea to challenge your fortune. Outside the bustling places and especially in the nearer area around the Favelas, you should not go! Here it can be very dangerous.
Don’t go to the favelas!
The favelas in Brazil are an absolute no-go for tourists! You should know that. Here you can assume 100% that you will not survive a visit. In the favelas is traded with drugs, mafia bosses reside and there are no laws. Not even local police have control of these districts and avoid these areas.
Meanwhile, there are also guided tours through the favelas, which are carried out by experienced travel agencies and locals. Apparently this should be very safe and nothing can happen to you. Apparently! But who can guarantee that? We advise against these tours, because you never know what you really expect, or what can happen and it is also morally reprehensible.
Info: There are many peaceful favelas in Rio. But also some dangerous slums.
Read reviews about your accommodation
Before you book an accommodation in Brazil, you should thoroughly inform yourself about what other guests’ experience was and what they say about the hotel. Afterwards, guests who have already stayed in your accommodation can usually assess well whether the district is recommendable. Also check exactly where the accommodation is located and do not book any that is too far from the center.
The thing with the money…
As we mentioned before, you should never really carry large amounts of cash with you, as it can always can come to a robbery. As a rule, you can say you need not more than 50-100USD over the day to cover your expenses (without partying!). Do not make a macho and proudly show how much cash you have, otherwise it could be faster gone than you would like.
Our tip: use a money belt.
Do not walk around drunk and alone at night
It’s hard to stay sober during a holiday in Brazil, especially when it’s the legendary Carnival. As drunken tourists are easy targets thieves are „hunting“ them. This does not mean that you are not allowed to drink anything, but at least take care that you always have a sober companion with you. Generally speaking, the more people you travel, the safer you are. Solo traveler are unfortunately the most common victims.
Worst Case Scenario – Raid & Robbery
Unfortunately, it can always happen that a robbery occurs and you are getting robbed. If that’s the case, then stay calm and do what you’re told. Do not try to play the hero or save your valuables. Give the robbers everything they want to have, do not contradict them and again, stay calm. Even if your heart rate is 180, keep calm.
If you see how someone else is robbed, then do not interfere! That may sound selfish, but a few valuables are not worth risking your life. Criminals in Brazil don’t play games.
Enjoy your holidays
The most important tip for the Brazil Code of Conduct: Do not worry too much. The points listed here sound far more dramatic than they really are. We do not want to scare you, just point out the dangers in Brazil, which can happen under certain circumstances. We have never had major problems in Brazil before, but have always been well informed about the places we planned to visit prior to our travels. With a little common sense, you are safe in Brazil and can enjoy your stay to the fullest.