Visiting Brazil? Our top tips.
Visiting Brazil is on many people's bucket lists, but it’s also avoided by many thanks to the dangerous and violent reputation it has gained. That said, stick to the main tourist hot-spots of Brazil and you’re unlikely to get into any serious trouble, and Brazil is the 5th most popular destination in the Americas.
It’s a sad fact that there are pickpockets and thieves in every country, so keep your wits about you, take advice from your hotel staff and enjoy your vacation in Brazil.
Don’t forget to pack a USB travel adapter in your hand luggage so you can quickly and easily recharge your phone, tablet and laptop batteries. Brazil uses two different voltages across the country, so make sure your device is compatible by reading our multi-voltage guide and Brazil electrical system guide.
Our top tips for visiting Brazil
If you are unlucky enough to be the victim of thieves or a pickpocket, don’t try to stop them. It is very common for pickpockets to be armed and they will most likely not be worried to use it if you try to fight back. Whatever they have, let them take it and get away. As simple as that.
Don’t carry lots of cash or original documents
Seasoned travellers know to split their cash between pockets and companions. Leave most of your cash in the hotel safe, don’t carry original documents, but instead keep clear colour photocopies with you. In this way, a pickpocket will probably not get away with very much and you can put it down to experience. Losing all your cash, cards and passport in this way would be traumatising, so don’t do it.
Use public transport
Driving in Brazil can be a little risky. Some might be tempted to rent a scooter to get about and save some time, but the death rate for motorcyclists is scarily high and rising. Hiring a car is a better option, but do bear in mind that at night, many people do not stop at red traffic lights, but will continue straight through if it is clear. This is to avoid the possibility of being mugged at the lights.
In essence, let the bus or train take the strain and use the public transport network. Which brings me to the next point.
Learn some Portuguese
Learning a little of the local language always helps, and if you follow our tip above about using public transport, then recognising some words will really help. It also means you can be polite to the locals and hopefully get to know them a little.
Visiting the Amazon? Take a guide
The Amazon rainforest is one of the natural draws for tourists to Brazil and rightly so. However, it is a vast area and an amazing variety of animals live there. Some can be deadly to humans, including the panther, anaconda, poisonous spiders and some insects. Also, watch out for caimans that on the whole are not a threat to humans as they are too small, but the black caiman is big enough to be a danger.
With a guide you will be able to get up close to see the animals and the forest without putting yourself in danger.
If you are going to visit the Amazon forest or other out of city areas, then it is advisable to get vaccinated. Check with your doctor or government travel information page, but most likely you’ll need Hepatitis A, Typhoid, yellow Fever and Malaria. if you’re only planning to visit major cities, then you may be okay without vaccinations, but check first.
In common with many other countries, it pays to be careful when using taxi’s in Brazil. Of course, the majority of taxi drivers are honest, genuine people, but there are always some that will try to overcharge. Make sure the meter is switched on when you set off and from the airports, you should be able to get a fixed price taxi.
If my tips above have put you off visiting Brazil, don’t let them. It’s a wonderful, vibrant country with masses of culture to explore. Just be careful and take advice from hotel staff etc and all will be okay.
Check out our travel adapter guide for Brazil and make sure you take a USB travel adapter. The Sublime Ware Travel Adapter has four USB connections, making it perfect for charging all your devices in one go, plus they are light and small to fit in your hand luggage.